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The latest news about what is going on in Seville, Granada and Salamanca including sports, local news, cultural events, festivals and holidays.

 

Spain a source of World Cultural Heritage

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

16th november 2010 was a historical date for Andalusia. Flamenco is now part of the latest list of World Cultural Heritage from UNESCO.

Learning how to dance flamenco in Spain

After the first fail in 2005 flamenco startet it’s candidature again in 2009 where it registered in Paris. In January Spain lounched its campaign ‘Flamenco Soy’ in cooperation with the Spanish government and agreement of Murcia and Extremadura as well as assistant from artists and private persons.

It involves a new event, declaration of flamenco. Who has the intellectual property of culture for giving recommendations which sounds a bit perverse. Heritage initiatives like this are the reason why we are full of happiness, because it makes clear that institutions are behind the heart.

In addition last tuesday UNESCO announced designation of mediterranean diet as world cultural heritage in Nairaobi. The reality is that this type of food is a better way of life but it doesn’t mean that it’s the best type of diet which is used in whole Spain as well as Greece, Italy, Morocco.

Enrol you before 2010 and improve your Spanish

Though, in order to feel healthy, we cannot just focus on the quality of the products we consume, but also on the quality of our daily habits. One of the best possible combinations is that mixing a healthy diet with the regular practice of any physical activity.

We strongly recommend you Salsa and Flamenco dancing. Fortunately, you can enjoy both in our spanish school, so you’ll be able to check how Mediterranean diet perfectly fits with music with the best of the results for your health and lifestyle.

Flamenco lessons in Spain

Our Students of Spanish love salsa

The diet is calculated by dividing the energy from typical Mediterranean foods between the energy supplied by traditional meals not included in this type of food such as meat, milk, margarine, vegetable oils other than olive or sugary soft drinks, among others. Spain ranks fourth in terms of more jobs lost, behind Greece, Albania and Turkey.

Dieta Mediterranea

An example of a great menu

Amongst our range of Spanish courses, you can find the hotel management spanish course, where you will discover the essence of our Mediterranean diet in a funny way.

A doctor from Minnesota noted in his study of the seven countries that the inhabitants of Crete (Greece) died less from cancer and cardiovascular disease than in other parts of the world. According to magazine ‘Public Health Nutrition‘ the mediterranean countries are the most departet from this diet. The diet is healthy, but there aren’t a lot of people following it.

The Spanish national soccer team in Salamanca

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Cazorla and Marchena; battle for the ball

Since the national futbol team of Spain won the World Cup finals of South Africa Salamanca hasn’t stopped to cheer his most famous inhabitant.

He was named as citizen of honour of Salamanca City, he received a diamond medal from ‘Unión Deportiva Salamanca’ were Del Bosque started his futbol carreer, as well as gold medal of the province, the most important award from district councillor.

Last friday he got the most warmest welcome with lots of cheers of his ‘Salmantinos’ along with his national team at Helmántico stadium.

At ‘Fondo Sur’ appeared a huge poster with ‘Gracias Vicente’ as proof of love from his biggest fans. They strongly supported our national team against Lithuania with lots of cheers and shouts of ‘Vicente, Vicente’ leaded to 3:1 result for Spain. And don’t forget famous Mexican wave.

Spanish goalkeepers

Reina (Liverpool), Iker (Real Madrid) and Valdes (Barcelona) Who is our best goalkeeper?

Our school also wanted to support Spains national team and took part of one of the trainings one day before the match against Lithuania.

The students really enjoyed that day with lots of fun and taking lots of pics of our national team. Have a look on our facebook gallery for them.

Spanish Team

A view of our soccer team!

Incredible! Spanish national team visited Salamanca! They carried also FIFA Cup 2010 and the match against Lithuania with a 3:1 result done by Llorente and Silva took place in full house Helmántico as well as full house training, where our students took part in.

Salamanca and its history (part 2 / 2)

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

In the 16th Century Salamanca united under the movement of the Communities of Castilla (1520) against the taxes demanded by King Carlos I. After the defeat of the rebels, Carlos I ordered that the towers of the noble palaces in Salamanca be shortened.

The School of Salamanca, led by Francisco de Vitoria (1483- 1546), began its defence of the rights of the natives of the New World. De Vitoria revised the doctrines on the laws of theology, nature and nations, and laid the foundations of contemporary human law and of international law. Representatives from the School of Salamanca actively participated in the Council of Trent (1545- 1563). Also during the 16th Century, Fray Luis de León, a university professor, was imprisoned by the Inquisition for having dared to translate the biblical ‘song of solomon’. When he was released, he once more took up his classes, beginning “As we were saying yesterday…” The two most important mystical poets of the Spanish Renaissance, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Ávila, also passed through Salamanca, leaving their mark on the city.

Salamanca reflected in the river

In 1580, in a town of 24,000 inhabitants, the university had more than 6,500 students. It is thought that Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was probably an alumnus of the university of Salamanca, as he makes reference to the city in some of his works. In addition to his short farce La Cueva de Salamanca, are the references to Salamanca by the bachelor Samson Carrasco in Don Quixote de la Mancha and the famous quote in El licenciado Vidriera (the Lawyer of Glass): “Salamanca que enhechiza la voluntad de volver a ella a todos los que de la apacibilidad de su vivienda han gustado.”

Salamanca didn’t escape the general decadence of the 17th Century; however, in the 18th Century it experienced a sort of revival, from a cultural and economic point of view. Perhaps the best example of this is the construction of its impressive plaza mayor, in the baroque style, in 1729. One of the singular most important people in Spanish culture of the 18th Century was born and died in Salamanca: Diego Torres de Villarroel (1694-1770), mathematician, writer, astrologer, medic, and university professor.

The university, the main square, Cervantes and Fray Luis de León

During the Peninsular War, the French Army was defeated in the battle of Arapiles (1812). Despite the devastation of certain parts of the town at the hands of the French army – for example the current Salamanca Pontifical University was used as barracks for Napoleon’s troops, who caused much damage-, the real decadence began with the closure of the universities decreed by Fernando VII. When the university of Salamanca reopened it no longer was a universally recognised seat of knowledge, but a small university in a Castilian province.

The Frog of the University of Salamanca brings good luck who finds it without help

At the start of the 20th Century, a citizen of Salamanca by adoption, Miguel de Unamuno played an active part in the cultural and political life of the city as Rector of the university between 1900 and 1914. After being exiled, he returned to Salamanca where he died on the 31st December 1936. The Spanish Civil War had begun on the 18th July, and Salamanca was united from the start against the Second Republic of Spain. During the war it was an important city: all the documents obtained by the national troops during the occupation of the country were concentrated in Salamanca. The General Archive of the Spanish Civil War was created, and under Franco it was used to take reprisals against the defeated side. The part of the archive belonging to Catalonia was returned in 2006.

With the establishment of democracy and the arrival of the monarchy in Spain, the prestige of the city and its university rose once more. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1988. Despite its demographic stagnation and aging population, Salamanca is a beautiful and emblematic city that has managed to combine cultural heritage and cosmopolitan life, a combination which probably earned the town its title of European City if Culture, along with Brussels, in 2002.

The human race has left its mark on Salamanca, including almost mythical characters that make it hard for us to distinguish between reality and fiction.

It is a city steeped in history and legend, which invites us to listen to the voices and echoes of centuries of history both along its zigzagged streets and inside its incomparable buildings.

Salamanca’s gastronomy, local products and dishes

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Farinato, a special delicatessen of Salamanca

The strong flavours of such meats like lomo, chorizo or Ham have been the inspiration for many of the typical dishes of Salamanca: hornazoa lomo, meat and egg pie-; chanfaina – a popular rice dish with lamb and chicken giblets, blood pudding and chorizo-; roast suckling pig, and farinato, made up of pork fat, bread, oil and flour. Farinato is eaten raw, or cooked and served with a couple of fried eggs.

And let’s not forget the vegetables of the province of Salamanca, notably the La Armuña lentils, which are particularly popular due to their low fat and high fibre content, and the pedrosillano chickpeas with their unbeatable appearance and creamy texture. As you explore the city, you will more than likely come across sacs containing the yellow and brown mix of these vegetables, with the odd dot of red or green. This visual feast is well worth sampling – even if it’s just a spoonful.

Worth a chapter on their own are the pureed potatoes (patatas meneás or patatas revolconas) which have gone from being nothing more than something to fill you up to an exquisite dish that is offered in all of the best restaurants. This potato is the base of a casserole, which is served with fried bacon and pancetta, and garnished with both sweet and spicy paprika, salt, onion, olive oil and laurel (or “aurel” as it is known in many parts of the region).

Lomo, Vegetables, Ham and Fun in Salamanca

As well as the many butchers shops and delicatessens, Salamanca also contains a great amount of confiterías (sweet shops). The abundance of such shops is understandable when you take into account the huge variety of confectionary that is produced all over the province of Salamanca: the obleas (wafers) and turrón (nougat-candy) of La Alberca, the perronillas (a type of biscuit) – made from flour, butter, eggs, lemon, cinemon, sugar and pine-nuts – or the chochos, which are never-ending white sweets, coated in syrup, and only advisable for the very sweet-toothed.

If you want to sample the wine of the region, you have some options: the Juan García and Malvasía de Arribes del Duero varieties; and the rufete variety, or the Tiriñuelo wine from the Sierra de Salamanca.

Teaching with new multimedia technology and digital boards

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Elements

At Mester Academy we strive to stay at the cutting edge of teaching, employing the latest technologies and teaching methods to ensure our Spanish students are given the best classes they can be given.

One of  our most recent advances at the Academy is the installation of a number of digital boards in the classrooms. These teaching aids provide the teachers with a larger selection of resources than  ever before, guaranteeing the classes are as dynamic and interesting as possible.

Incredibly easy to use and set up, the boards can be calibrated and made ready to use within a couple of minutes.  A “pencil”, which works the same way as a PC mouse, is used when setting the board up: it marks out the 9 points between which the images will be projected and then later, writes or “clicks” on the options of whatever programme is chosen by the user.   The movements of the pencil are detected by device fitted in the corner of the board and the image comes from a projector.  These are the only three pieces which comprise the board, making it ideal for quick set-up and storage.

The elements of the digital board

Standard Uses

The applications are many and varied.  From Internet to Spotify to all the usual Office applications, the boards can even be used as a normal PC.  This enormous range of uses benefits both the students, who enjoy the classes more given the interaction aspect the boards add to the lessons, and the teachers, to who the boards give the opportunity to keep their lessons fresh and interesting. What is more, the teachers are able to save the classes given, as though the board was a usual PC, and so come back to them in the future or pass what’s been dealt with in class on to the students for home-study.

Different uses of the digital board

Other Uses

Examples of novel uses include the download of modern Spanish songs to exemplify a certain verb tense, style of vocabulary or syntactic use, the projection of recent newspaper articles for class discussion and the showing of film clips as a means to show students anything from “real Spanish life” to interaction and dialogue between native speakers.

The many ways in which the board can be used

Conclusion

The installation of these boards is evidence of the Mester Academy’s dedication to teaching, something to bear in mind when picking a Spanish school in Spain.  The opportunities for interaction which the board promotes ensure the students will be using, as well as studying, their new found language skills every single day – the only way to consolidate and accelerate foreign language learning.