Tutors for conversational Spanish classes

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Juan Carlos Alvarez,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Juan Carlos Alvarez

Juan Carlos Alvarez is from Madrid, Spain, and currently lives in Chicago. He attended Complutense University of Madrid and he earned a diploma from Fuerteventura 2000, a vocational training school in Puerto Rosario, Spain, as a Technical Specialist in Counseling and Family Therapy.

Juan Carlos has taught Spanish to students across the globe for more than 10 years from African refugees in a refugee camp in southern Algeria to Latin American immigrants in the adult education program at the Centro Romero on Chicago’s North Side. He also launched his own tutoring practice, Spanish Online, in 2013, and has taught students from the U.S.A., Great Britain, Singapore, and elsewhere.

Before settling in Chicago, Juan Carlos had lived previously for many years on the island of Fuerteventura, one of the seven islands that comprise Spain’s Canary Islands. He has also lived in Madrid (where he grew up), London, and Banjul, Gambia.

Besides teaching, Juan Carlos’s passion is for Yoga, historical fiction, and American coffee. Cooking Spanish paella every Sunday is almost a routine. He lives on Chicago’s Northwest Side with his Jack Russell Terrier, Flamenco, who followed him to the U.S. from Spain.

Nicolás Zuluaga,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Nicolás Zuluaga

Nicolás Zuluaga holds a bachelor’s degree in Filosofía y Letras and in Spanish, French, and English Languages from Universidad de La Salle, and a Master’s Degree in Literature from Universidad Javeriana. Nicolás grew up in Bogotá, a metropolis with over 6.5 million people, which he loves for being the largest city in Colombia, the cradle of Pan-American arts and thought, and for being the place where he grew up and learned how to interact with people from different backgrounds, stories, and points of view. When he is not teaching, he is most likely to be reading, spending time with his wife, or playing fútbol.

Rolando González,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Rolando González

Rolando González comes from Guadalajara, Mexico, known among other things for its Mariachi, its tequila, and its world-famous Feria Internacional del Libro. He has been teaching Spanish in New York City since 2011. In addition to knowing his own language through and through, he is also fluent in Italian and English.

He holds a degree in Science of Communication from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, Guadalajara, Mexico, and has worked as a journalist, Spanish-Italian interpreter, and teacher of both Spanish and Italian before moving to New York. More recently, he served as coordinator of the English program for Latin American immigrants at the Asociación Tepeyac of New York, with the sponsorship of New York Cares. In 2013, he co-authored and co-taught the Spanish program developed for The New York Public Library employees.

Nelson Navarrete,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Nelson Navarrete

Nelson Navarrete is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. He has been teaching Spanish since 2006. Nelson’s teaching experience ranges from standard private and group lessons to career-focused technical programs including Business Spanish (BBVA, ZARA, Young and Rubicam and Philip Morris) and Medical Spanish (Albert Einstein Medical School and Mount Sinai Medical School). When he is not teaching, he is usually playing electric guitar, writing music, or being involved in some environmental or animal rights cause. Nelson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film-Scoring from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s degree in Classical Composition from Lynn University.

Edgardo Salgado,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Edgardo Salgado

Edgardo Salgado was born in Barranquilla, Colombia and raised not far from there in the northern part of the country where he acquired a bilingual education since an early age. While still in his childhood he developed a passion for drawing and other visual arts; and later also for language, specifically Spanish. At age 19 he moved to the U.S to pursue his studies in graphic arts in Florida and in 2014 he came to NYC looking for an environment to harness his career and creativity. He is currently finishing his studies in Linguistics after his passion for the science of language grew beyond Spanish alone. Edgardo loves explaining and helping anybody who shows interests in learning Spanish or asks questions about the language; he can go on about it if prompted to. He has been working as a freelance illustrator, translator, interpreter and Spanish tutor since he moved to NYC.

When he's not drawing, reading about linguistics or learning a language (currently French and trying to start with Greek), he’s most likely enjoying a book, a movie, a concert, an art show or a new food spot; or simply playing soccer and cruising around on a skateboard.

María Chanamé,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

María Chanamé

María Chanamé was born in Lima, Peru. She studied in an Italian high school and came to the US in 2009. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish with a concentration in Literature from City College of New York, where she has also been a Spanish tutor. Additionally, she has participated in research at Stanford University in Peruvian poetry. She’s practiced ballet for 7 years and loves books and classic Colombian coffee. She’s also a big fan of Real Madrid soccer team, and she can cook amazing Peruvian food. Her favorite writers are José de Espronceda and Alfonsina Storni.

Alan Zuluaga,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Alan Zuluaga

Alan Zuluaga holds a bachelor’s degree in video arts and technology from Unilatina, in Colombia, and a bachelor’s degree in drama from The City College of New York. He is also in the process of obtaining his master's in education at New Jersey City University. He has taught Spanish for over 10 years, both to kids in bilingual families that don't want their children to lose their Spanish and adults in general.

Alan has traveled widely around South America, learning, among other things, the different Spanish accents and dialects from varied countries that use Spanish as its primary language. Besides traveling, he likes to attend Broadway and off-Broadway plays, write drama, and produce theater, film and video.

Diana Niampira,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Diana Niampira

Diana Niampira was born in Pasca, Cundinamarca, a little town located in the Colombian mountains. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and she is a Specialist in Environment and Local Development. In 2011 Diana arrived in New York City to study English, and she fell in love with the language and culture. Diana is also a certified Community Health Worker and Health Educator who focuses on mental health and community issues. She has taught Spanish for 6+ years. Recently she earned her dual certification as an Interpreter and Translator from Hunter College. Diana loves teaching, reading, walking, painting, dancing, and exploring different cultures.


Gloria Alveal,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Gloria Alveal

Gloria Alveal was born in Chile, famous for its wines, the beautiful Andes mountains, and Chilean Patagonia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English-Spanish translation from Universidad de Concepción and a graduate degree in education. In Chile, Gloria worked as a translator and an interpreter for many big national and international corporations. She was also an academic coordinator and taught English and Spanish for over 20 years before moving to the US in 2015. Once in NYC, she started teaching Spanish for private students as well as corporate programs. 

On the weekends, Gloria’s happy place is the roller-skating rink when the weather is nice. She is also an animal lover; she is a volunteer with the ACC animal care center in NYC to foster dogs and cats before they find their forever home.

Claudia Montoya,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Claudia Montoya

Claudia Montoya is originally from México. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance from Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan), and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Flute Performance at Mannes School of Music. Claudia started teaching both music lessons and Spanish at a young age and has been equally passionate about performing as she is about teaching ever since. Claudia loves to travel, attend concerts, discover new music, photography and appreciates culture and all forms of art.

Silas Bermudez,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Silas Bermudez

Silas Bermudez is originally from Venezuela. Silas holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the USPTA Tennis Professional Title. He has been teaching languages for more than five years. His true passion is to help his students reach their potential. He embarked on a new chapter when he moved to the United States in 2019 and fell in love with New York, where he has to interact with different languages and cultures daily. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and learning new skills.

Gaston Celaya,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Gaston Celaya

Gaston was born in a beach town in Sonora, Mexico, where the desert meets the sea. He holds a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of Arizona. He has taught Spanish basic and intermediate language classes and Spanish Literature and Culture courses at several colleges and universities in the United States.

Gaston maintains a strong connection with Mexico, its cultures and traditions. He enjoys his leisure time doing fun activities with his family and friends in the beautiful town of Tucson, Arizona. He also loves traveling the world and meeting people from different cultures. His favorite hobbies are playing the guitar, reading, and watching interesting TV shows.

Alejandra Gutierrez,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Alejandra Gutierrez

Alejandra was born in Venezuela. She got her undergraduate degree in Journalism from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas. In 2004, she moved to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in Spanish at The University of Virginia. She graduated in 2011 with a PhD in Contemporary Hispanic literature. She started working at Florida State University in 2008. There she has taught all levels of Spanish language, Hispanic literature, theater, culture, and translation. Alejandra also works as a translator. In 2016, she founded Tallahassee Hispanic Theater, a non-profit organization dedicated to present Contemporary Hispanic Theater in the US.

Luana Barbiero,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Luana Barbiero

Luana Barbiero was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently finishing her studies in Spanish language and literature at the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento. She loves to teach Spanish as much as she loves to practice English with others.

Luana reads a wide variety of things. One of her favorite books is Evgeny Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. When she's not reading, she enjoys listening to music. Her favorite artists are Aurora, a Nordic singer, and, of course, Charly García and Cerati, internationally well-known Argentine musicians. 

Mónica Negron,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Mónica Negron

Monica Negron is originally from Northern Argentina. She moved to the USA in 1999. She has been a teacher for over thirty-three years. First, she was a kindergarten teacher; in Argentina for nine years and for five years in the US. Since 2004, Monica has been teaching Spanish in private and public school systems in Connecticut. Monica earned the World Language Teaching certificate in the State of Connecticut and holds two master's degrees in education from US universities. Throughout her professional career, Monica taught Latin American Studies courses in English as well as exploratory, beginner, and high level Spanish classes. She also tutored students of all ages, online and in person.

In addition to teaching Spanish, Monica coaches sports at her school. In the Fall, she coaches Cross Country, and Track & Field in the Spring. She is also the Student Council Advisor to guide students to develop leadership by organizing and implementing school activities and service projects. In her spare time, Monica enjoys going for long walks or riding her bike on nature trails around the state.

Marian Mazhari,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Marian Mazhari

Born in Los Angeles, California to a Guatemalan mother and an Iranian father, Marian spent her childhood in Guatemala City and her teen years in New Jersey. Marian’s passion for languages started at a very young age. Her passion for languages and culture led her to travel and work abroad with the military. While abroad, she was able to take some Korean classes, study German, and practice her Italian. 

Marian pursued a BA in Middle Eastern studies, which led her to study one of her favorite languages, Arabic. She also holds an MA in International Relations and holds a TESOL certificate as well. She also holds a Holistic Practitioner/Massage Therapist Certification. 

Marian embarked on her teaching journey by teaching ESL while serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Flagstaff, Arizona. Upon her relocation to San Diego, she started teaching Spanish both in person and online to children, teens, and adults.  

When Marian is not teaching, she is helping people through the art of Thai Massage. She is also a language learner and a passionate dancer of Salsa, Bachata, and Oriental Dance. 

Yuli Casallas,
                    Spanish language instructor at Berges Institute

Yuli Casallas

Yuli Casallas holds a BA in Spanish and foreign languages from the National Pedagogic University in Bogotá, Colombia. Yuli loves teaching, and she has taught Spanish, English and French in both primary and secondary schools.

She also loves cooking, and her sancocho is delicious. Yuli also likes to meditate, read, and spend time with her daughter and her pets—she has 4 kitties and a dog.

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