As Balint had to do some work with the motorbikes, I decided to sign up for an intensive Spanish course. The lessons were in an eco-hostel (Eco Hostel Medellin – it’s actually in Guatapé), located in the mountains, and the price included vegan lunch for the week, so it seemed a good deal to me.
But what is an eco-hostel? It’s a hostel and a permaculture farm together. The whole place is about sustainable living. They compost organic waste, growing veggies and herbs in the garden, use luffa sponge for dishwashing. And although they have some animals (goats and chickens), they don’t serve animal products. In the morning they start the day with yoga.
As it’s a hostel, most people spend here around a week, while they learn Spanish. Some of them went hiking in the mountains or volunteered at the farm. As we got accommodation in the town, I didn’t need to sleep there, I could join the classes as an outsider. Unfortunately, I wasn’t confident enough about my Spanish knowledge and I chose the beginner course. We were only 4 people so it wasn’t that slow, but if you’ve already learnt the language before, you should choose the intermediate group. The classroom is on the terrace of the hostel and view is amazing from there, it was easy to just stare at the mountains and daydream.
The lessons started at 9 am Monday to Thursday and they lasted 90 minutes. The hostel is around 30 minutes walk from our apartment, so Balint gave me a ride every morning. By the time I got there, the others usually were finishing their breakfast. After our class, we started doing our homework or just chilled on the terrace until lunch which was around 12-1 pm.
The food was amazing! It was mostly made of lentils, chickpeas, beans, rice and potatoes, always with fresh salad from the garden. It was never boring. The drinks were herbal tea or kombucha (fermented tea which has several good effects on the health). I tasted it there for the first time and I liked it very much. After lunch I walked home or to the office, did homework or helped with the bikes.
All in all, I highly recommend this place if you are interested in sustainability and want to stay at a calm place in the mountains, close to nature. It will also help with your Spanish, Paola is a very nice teacher and the class is really intensive. They also offer introduction to permaculture farming.