Atenas Spanish Academy


Atesa has a small but helpful and friendly staff who will make your stay with us much more rewarding and pleasant. All our instructors are either language or education teachers.


Mercedes Arias is the director of the small school ATESA, Atenas Spanish School. She is a teacher of Spanish, having graduated in Spanish literature and grammar from Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Immediately upon graduating, she began to work with programs for teaching Spanish to Peace Corps volunteers from the United States and to link up with the activities of dozens of volunteers and students who came to study Spanish or to serve our country in different ways.

For many years she combined this work with that of teaching Spanish in the high school here in Atenas and, through her relationship with Peace Corps, began receiving students at what we know now as ATESA. Many of these students desired to complement their courses with volunteer work in the community. Thanks to one of these students, ATESA got in contact with different language and volunteer programs abroad.

Diego Barquero ATESA vicedirector, and a ESL teacher and Spanish and French as foreign languages teacher, having graduated from UCR, and Alliance Francaise. He is now studying at UNA to obtain his master's on translation. He has lived abroad, in Canada and USA where he worked as a teaching fellow in Hamilton College, Upstate New York. He also had the chance to do a volunteer job for a year in France.

With Mercedes, he founded ATESA. Both enjoy having together the opportunity to share their language and culture with students from different countries and nationalities.