Alice Dooley was one of the lucky Spanish class students to visit Cabra, Andalucía, in Spain in September 2019. Nine students from Bishopstown Community School, Ballincollig Community School, Ashton Comprehensive School, and Carrigaline Community School went on the immersion trip, organised by their tutor, Mariana Jiménez Moreno.
“It was fabulous – Mariana and her partner did great work. It was a full immersion trip, everyone spoke in Spanish all the time. It was non-stop for four days, you’d nearly need a holiday after it! But I was fully able to comprehend everything.”
Cabra is a rural town in the Córdoba region. It lies along the route between Cordoba and Málaga in the south of Spain. A small town by Spanish standards – its population is around 21,000 – Cabra’s main industry is agriculture and its key products are olives, olive oil, grapes and wine.
“This area was known as the Garden of Spain – there are 200 fountains in the area, so there’s no shortage of water. We visited an ecological centre, a winery, the Ermita la Virgen de la Sierra, and a local bullring.” Visits to local cities were also included, with plenty of time to view the stunning local mountain vistas. “It’s a fabulous area for walking with lots of greenways. It would be great for an active holiday.”
“We were learning all the time, and getting explanations about the food during mealtimes. They are very serious about what they eat and drink and we got a good sense of the importance and provenance of food.
“The trip was unique. We even had people coming up to us in Cabra asking if we were the linguistic group from Ireland. Everyone was very friendly.”
Alice started the Spanish class three years ago and is a frequent visitor to Spain. The class, on Wednesday afternoons, is very sociable. “Everyone is interested in learning and, in the class, everything is related back to Spain. I like languages and, on the trip, it was great to meet people from the other schools. Hopefully, Mariana will do the trip again!”