News Update - Warren Hardy School Offers Alumni Special Discount for Webtutor

Starting our Spanish school 28 years ago was life changing - and here's why we are offering an Alumni Special and have ten reasons to study Spanish online.
Warren and Tuli Hardy - Founders
Warren Hardy Spanish School - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

In September of 1990 we were honeymooning in Puerto Vallarta when a friend suggested that we visit San Miguel de Allende.  

Warren started private lessons and Tuli started selling her homemade pastries (Tuli's Dulces)  in the local restaurants. 

That same year, 1990,  the Warren Hardy School was founded in San Miguel de Allende. Twenty eight years and twenty thousand students later the rest is history.

 We are offering a special discount for Alumni - who have taken Spanish classes at our school.

 The Ultimate Online Spanish Course:
Level 1 Webtutor and Level 2 Webtutor.

We also have a discount if you want an excellent online Spanish course and have not studied with us yet.

We believe that our Webtutor online learning Spanish course is the best out there. Here's ten reasons why. At the end you will also learn why studying Spanish makes your brain smile :)

Alumni Special Offer - "10 Reasons Why" - Full Story > 

If you are not an Alumni, you can still buy Webtutor at a discount from the original price:

Webtutor Special Offer for Non-Alumni :

10 Reasons to Study Spanish Online : Meet Webtutor

Coco the Movie is a Must See if You Like Mexican Culture

by David Brown, Warren Hardy Spanish School student

I recently watched Coco and was so impressed with the animation, the screenplay, and the story that I can see why it won the Oscar and Golden Globe award for best animated film and best original song "Remember Me". If you have not watched it yet and like Mexican culture, it is worth a view.

The basic story as described on Amazon is "Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer." The Land of the Dead is very educational with a deeper look into the meanings of Dia de Los Muertos, one of the most revered sacred days in Mexico.

The video is below.....however I suggest reading this excellent Amazon review from a Mexican-American before or after viewing the trailer - scroll down below the video to view it.

Also you are invited to "Like" the Warren Hardy Spanish School Facebook page to see more of this type of interesting. content.

from Amazon reviews :

"Disney has always been synonymous with great story telling, powerful artwork and animation, and having heart in most of their major films. Some of the great Disney movies have transcended time and are loved by different generations for that very reason. But then in 2013, Disney attempted to trademark "Dia de los Muertos", or Day of the Dead for one of it's upcoming movies, a move met with much deserved resentment and criticism from Hispanic writers, critics, and the public. To say that the Day of the Dead is the Mexican version of Halloween is incorrect. It isn't a holiday as much as a tradition which is embedded into the heart of many Mexican families to honor loved ones who have passed away. Disney's trademark attempt was an insult to not only the day itself but to millions of people who honor that tradition. That being said, Disney dropped the trademark, and did everything right since then to fix their mistake. Many of the people hired to work on Coco were Hispanic, and after their blunder they also hired Lalo Alcaraz, a political cartoonist and Disney critic, along with Octavio Solis and Marcela Aviles as cultural consultants on the movie. They went from possibly being boycotted to having great international and domestic success, turning many into believers including myself. The end result being a culturally rich and emotional movie that left tears in everyone's eyes.

 Unlike past Disney/Pixar movies I've seen, there are three layers of meaning integrated into this movie. The first layer is what every Disney story requires which are the characters, plot, visuals, settings etc. The second layer are the morals that Coco teaches, which any person watching the movie can learn from. These two alone are enough to call Coco a great Pixar movie in my opinion. However the third layer, which involves the integration of Hispanic traditions and culture, is what makes this movie standout as special, memorable, and unique. As a Mexican-American, this movie holds a special place in my heart because so much of this movie feels real and familiar. From the family dynamic that Miguel shares with the family, to the chancla (sandal) smacking grandma, and especially because of the music, this movie feels saturated with Hispanic customs and way of life. It is obvious from the first scene to the last that Disney listened very well to their cultural advisers for this movie.

Being a Mexican-American, I've learned that various aspects of Life, Death, and Family are handled and understood differently between all ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures. Coco involves several scenes in a graveyard, shows relatives returning from the afterlife as skeletal versions of who they once were, and has Miguel racing against the clock to return to his family before dying. These are cinematic occurrences which some may not want to watch or explain to their children. My suggestion for anyone who hasn't watched this movie and is not of a Central/South American background is to be prepared and be open minded. ​Though some parts of the movie could seem far fetched, myself along with all the Hispanic adults and children watching the movie in theatres were mesmerized to watch something you can identify with as a person and as a community. For many, this movie is all about seeing the world through another's eyes, and that's wonderful in itself. Ultimately, Coco is a fantastic movie worthy of the Pixar/Disney brand which every family should enjoy. Prior to release, my two concerns with the movie was that it would be a heartless Pixar version of the Book of Life, and that Disney would take advantage and exploit the Hispanic culture in a distasteful way. I'm glad to say that besides focusing on music and honoring the Day of the Dead , similarities ended between the two movies. I enjoyed The Book of Life, and had low expectations for Coco in comparison. The truth is (no disrespect to the movie or the people who made it) The Book of Life is enjoyable and relatable, not a cultural staple. Although both movies treated one of the most important Mexican traditions with dignity and respect, Coco's heartwarming interpretation will become an unforgettable treasure in the Hispanic community for generations to come."

What Future (and Current) Expats Need to Know About Mexicans

Hola Amigos !
Four years ago Warren Hardy created this video to describe his views of the Mexican people after living in Mexico for over 20 years. The information is very helpful for anyone who is planning to travel or live in Mexico.

read our blog post >
Why Learning Spanish Can Be a Life Changing Experience > 

Why Learning Spanish is Like a Game

by David Brown, guest blogger, Spanish student

"Life is like a game of chess. Every move you make affects the rest"

That is a part of a poem that I wrote when I was fifteen, and have never forgotten it. When it comes to learning Spanish, it can be a like a game, and every move you make or step you take in the process, can help with the entire learning experience. (Yes, I'm a boomer and have oldies lyrics that come into my memory :)

Many people enjoy games of all kinds, and with the huge popularity of games and apps such as Words with Friends and others that we can play on our phones and devices, it's no surprise that games can also be an important part of the learning experience.

In the Level 1 and Level 2  Power Verbs Spanish class at the Warren Hardy Spanish School, we play games during the class. There are a number of three minute exercises where one person says something in Spanish or English and their study partner responds, then switches to repeat the exercise. These "language games" have been designed to make learning Spanish fun. Also the online learning program, WebTutor, includes all of the same content as the class, with games included that allow switching back and forth between English and Spanish.

However, the two - three hours of homework assigned for each three hours of class may not seem to be fun, as there is no study partner or teacher to keep you smiling. Yet the night when I was sitting at a table on the roof of a house in Los Frailes, with a panoramic view and distant thunderstorms approaching, I realized that doing Spanish homework can also be like a game.

When I thought of Spanish homework as a game, and started "playing" with the words and sentences, it was more of a change in my state of mind than any particular change in doing the exercises. Yet this was a shift in my feeling of "ugh homework" to "let's make this fun". When I checked my work with the answers, it wasn't as if I "won some and lost some" and lost the game if I got less than 46 out of 52, or whatever the numbers were.

In this game of Spanish study, you win when you are learning.

Then the distant thunderstorm was much closer. Rain started to come and I needed to stop playing this learning-Spanish-game. There was only one thing to do at that time.

I was all in.

My Big Fat Adventure - A Caregiving Story

Manon - a student at Warren Hardy Spanish School 
Caregiving can be very demanding and stressful for family members, especially with challenging conditions such as Alzeimer's. The cost of a full time facility can be extremely high. In the San Francisco Bay Area it is about $10,000 a month.

One of our students offered her story about her caregiving experience in Mexico as a possible solution for others in similar circumstances.

"About 7 years ago, my husband & I realized that “something” was starting to misfire in his brain.

Within the next 3 years it became very clear that he had dementia; couldn’t remember simple things, suddenly couldn’t cook anymore, couldn’t retain anything he read & was confused off and on throughout the day.  He soon lost his drivers license.  He was very angry and I was devastated.  I had to do everything.

His diagnosis was moderate - severe dementia secondary to probable Alzheimers.
Fast forward to three years later & he needed almost full-time care.  I retired from the SFVA Medical Center and became his caregiver. I looked at Facilities where we lived and quickly realized that $10,000 plus per month was not affordable for us.

Through a friend, I was introduced to Jim, who had recently placed his 94 year old mother in a long term care facility in San Miguel de Allende and so my journey began.

I arrived for my 1st visit in October 2017 with a good friend and visited 4 facilities.  Casa Cieneguita, Cielito Lindo in Los Labradores, Alma Care Facility and Casa de Reposo Santa Sofia. I chose Casa de Reposo for many reasons and he and I with another good friend in tow arrived back in San Miguel on April 30, 2018.

He had a successful evaluation appointment that morning @ 9am and he was admitted to the

facility later that morning.

And thus My Big Fat Adventure began.  I’ve been here happily for 3 months and visit him everyday.  He likes his room, his bed, loves the food and his doctor.  He’s getting really caring, loving care and seems quite content.

I plan to travel back and forth to the states for now but eventually will buy a home."
Manon M. 

Tres Amigas - Three Women Share Their Mexico Stories

Tres Amigas - Gail, Susie, and Laurie

"Owning our stories is standing in our truth. It’s transformative in our personal and professional lives AND it’s also critical in our community lives." Brene Brown

We all have our stories, and when we make big decisions in our life such as visiting or living in Mexico it can be transformative and a part of our journey. These three women share a part of their story, and their experience in Mexico in July 2018. They are learning Spanish with 27 other students in the same Level 1 Power Verbs class at the Warren Hardy Spanish School community in San Miguel de Allende. 

Susie J. 
"I decided to sell my home in Kansas City in January. My house sold within 8 hours and left me in the position of deciding where I wanted to be rather quickly.  I found myself free to go anywhere as it was the 1st time since my early 20s that I was free from all responsibilities to work for others. I have always loved to travel and had lived abroad in my early twenties so I decided I would travel for a year and see where my heart ends up. 

I began in Peru 2 months ago and have chosen San Miguel de Allende as my 2nd destination specifically because of the Warren Hardy Spanish school. I was introduced to Warren and Tulli at the Int'l Living Conference in Atlanta in April this year where I took their 6 hour Spanish course.

I felt like I learned so much and felt empowered to travel solo in Spanish speaking countries for the next 6 to 8 months. I am super excited to be here and very excited about the classes as they are interesting and fun. 

Gail H.
Next?  I am considering Columbia or Uruguay. I will also be visiting Costa Rica and Spain for sure. In my quest to find my next home, I am living in the moment and enjoying this beautiful planet we call home. May all of our lives be filled with joy and laughter and fun! 😎" - Susie J.
"San Miguel beckoned me from afar!  I was contemplating where to live while my house in San Francisco was being readied for sale. Short-term rentals in the Bay Area were expensive and besides, I wanted a change.  A memory from the 1970’s, when a friend and I had visited SMA for a few days, flashed into my head. I thought of the beauty, the weather and the flowers everywhere. 

A friend told me about VRBO, I contacted them on line and rented 2 different charming places in Allende and one in Independencia over a three month period to experience different areas of the city. 

One of the greatest assets of this town is the warmth and generosity of the people. Once on my way back to Allende from Centro, I got totally lost.  I appealed to a young Mexican woman on the street and she didn’t hesitate to help. She led me through difficult terrain over rocky, hilly slopes a long way to the highway where I could catch a taxi. I feel indebted to her and all the other Mexicans who have been so generous with their time and energy.
After that I was hooked. I am now in the process of buying a condo in La Lejona and am loving running around town looking for furniture and art, and of course, taking Spanish classes." - Gail H.
Laurie M. 
"I first came to San Miguel de Allende long ago and always promised myself that I would return. Little did I know that 35 years would go by before that would happen! My family is now grown and I am free to think of myself and what I need... Adventure was the answer. I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve found that having a focus of interest makes everything deeper, richer and more enjoyable. 

Being in my late 60s, I wanted to exercise my brain by studying Spanish without experiencing the pain of language learning that I had when I was younger in school. I researched all of the available SMA schools and knew that I had found the answer with Warren Hardy! Classes and homework progress intuitively and naturally and, best of all, painlessly! The locals are helpful with my practice and I am thrilled with my progress!

I plan to continue coming down here every 6 months to continue my classes, practice my fluency, eat amazing food and visit new friends!
What great fun!!!" - Laurie M. 

Beginnings - How the Warren Hardy Spanish School Started

Warren and Tuli Hardy - 1990 - San Miguel de Allende
In September of 1990 Warren and Tuli Hardy were honeymooning in Puerto Vallarta when they went to an art opening at Galeria Uno.  They met Dan Reuffert.  In a copacetic conversation Dan suggested they visit San Miguel de Allende.  How far down the coast is that? They asked.  No, its inland about eight hours.  Not interested, they said.  You will be pleasantly surprised he insisted.

A few days later Warren and Tuli were driving their conversion van to San Miguel de Allende. 

Arrived at the Mirador late at night and slept.   Daybreak.  Looked down on the little town.  Excited to see it, they drove to the Jardin where they parked in front of the Parroquia.  As the city came alive with street sweepers, street dogs and vendors they watched the sun color the Parroquia with beautiful shades of pink.  

Jon Schooler, a local artist sat down next to them and asked what they were doing there.

 They said that Dan Reuffert sent them.  Jon asked what "they did" and Warren said he was a Spanish teacher.  Jon and his mom Sidell wanted to learn Spanish so they set up a Spanish class for three o'clock at Sidell's galeria.  Warren showed up and taught and everyone was pleased.
That night over dinner Warren and Tuli decided to try their luck in San Miguel.  The next day they rented an apartment in Villas Marta and moved in.  Warren started private lessons and Tuli started selling her homemade pastries (Tuli's Dulces)  in the local restaurants.  That same year, 1990,  the Warren Hardy School was founded in San Miguel de Allende. Twenty eight years and sixteen thousand students later the rest is history.