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The Heart of Buenos Aires: San Telmo
By Sylvia Kathleen, student at Rayuela

Buenos Aires is often referred to as the Paris of South America. While there are certain parts of town where one feels like they are walking around the streets of Europe, we’ve found that San Telmo is quintessentially unique and feels like the heart and soul of Buenos Aires.

I came to Buenos Aires with my other half for an extended “semi-vacation”. After spending a few weeks in Recoleta and Palermo, we moved to San Telmo. While working on our business plans and studying Spanish at Rayuela, we realized that living in a new, lively place actually made us more energetic and productive.

San Telmo felt like home from the first week – not just because of its colorful and vintage architectural elements and graffiti, but also because of its warmth and accessibility. We have quickly settled into a routine of daily life and made friends at local bars and cafes – turns out, every expat living in San Telmo has quite an interesting life story.

Curious shopkeepers and baristas are eager to chat about any variety of topics from football to inflation, and are just happy that you are attempting to speak Spanish, no matter what level.

Every week, we discover something new in the neighborhood – whether it is a new eatery or a walking path leading to a new discovery, my personal favorite being the Ecological Reserve leading to the Rio de la Plata Basin, with Uruguay sometimes being visible on the other side.

I never get tired of the Sunday market in San Telmo or the evening tango shows, attracting both tourists and locals on the main square with vendors offering a substantial variety of colorful “sifones” or antique seltzer bottles in the background.

Another popular local spot, the Mafalda statue, led me to investigate more about the cartoon character that seemed to pop-up on decorations and souvenirs throughout Buenos Aires. Mafalda’s social commentary on the Argentine middle class, on a variety of topics, proved to be an eye opener into certain aspects of society.

One learns about cultural a spects of Argentina just by living in the neighborhood – one of the most memorable ones being “cacerolazo” – a form of popular protest where people get together in groups banging on pots and pans on the street, with others joining in from their windows and balconies, encouraging anyone and everyone to join the party.

All in all, we’ve found that living in San Telmo, was the perfect way to make the most of our stay in Buenos Aires and supplement our classes at Rayuela by experiencing the uniqueness of Argentina and its people in this little corner of the world with affordable but comfortable surroundings, friendly neighbors, great food and last but not least, reliable wi-fi.

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TripAdvisor nos elimina, TripAdvisor nos repone, TripAdvisor nos distingue…

El 28 de abril pasado, recibimos este correo de TripAdvisor:


During a review of our listings, our editors determined that your property (Instituto de Espanol Rayuela , property ID: 4010071) does not meet the TripAdvisor criteria to be listed as an attraction. It will be removed.

You can review the listing criteria here:

We apologize that your property was erroneously listed as an attraction.

Best regards,
The TripAdvisor Support Team

Por supuesto, nuestra escuela cumplía con esos criterios de publicación. Los revisores de TripAdvisor, sin embargo, habían determinado que no después de un ¿minucioso? análisis de nuestro sitio web… Noten, de paso, el tono brutal e intransigente de la frase “It will be removed”: en efecto, nuestra página fue eliminada casi en el acto. ¿Habíamos cometido algún delito mayor para ser tratados así?
Nos comunicamos de inmediato con TripAdvisor, primero por teléfono, luego por escrito, para pedir explicaciones y solicitar la reposición de nuestra página. Un día después, el 29 de abril, recibimos este segundo correo de TripAdvisor:

TripAdvisor Support (TripAdvisor Support)
29 Apr, 02:44
Hello Aleksander,
Thank you for calling TripAdvisor. This is in regards of your business listing.
I'm happy to inform you that i have passed your issue to another department and I'll notify you immediately once i have the feedback.
If you have any questions, please let us know.
Thanks and Best regards,
John S

Al día siguiente, recibimos este otro:

TripAdvisor Support (TripAdvisor Support)
Apr 30, 09:32
Thank you for your patience.
Our Editors have looked into the information and we apologize we are unable to grant your request at this time. According to our Editors, They cannot accept information on a school's site that says lessons start at $X per hour as proof of them offering a 1-day class. We must be very specific about this since we don't list multi-day classes. We want them to show the potential customer what is included in a 1-day class, including how long the class lasts, and what they are teaching you in just one class. The reality is that the only kinds of classes we see qualify to be listed are typically a brush-up style class which helps a person learn some basics in just a couple hours.
We cannot accept text on their site that says anything to the effect of the customer choosing as many or as few classes as they wish. It must describe how long the class lasts (how many hours), and what they are teaching you in just one class.
We can't accept day tours or day classes that are part of a larger, multi-day stay or multi-day course either.
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact us again.
John S

Al que enseguida respondimos así:

Dear John S.,
Thank you for your explanations and help. However, I would like to ask the TripAdvisor editor to check the page (Spanish conversation club) on our website that provides information on what might be included in a one day course-it is a 90-minute Spanish conversation session that takes place every Thursday from around 5:00 pm to around 6:30 pm and which is open to anybody wishing to brush up on or improve their communicative competence in Spanish. The link to this page on our website is:

I would appreciate it if you take the time to look into it.
I look forward to your reply.
Kind regards,

Finalmente, el 3 de mayo TripAdvisor nos comunicó esto:

TripAdvisor Support (Christian) (TripAdvisor Support)
May 3, 13:50
Thank you for your patience.
We have successfully republished your listing. Please allow 24-48 hours for the changes to reflect on the website.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us again.
Christian T.
TripAdvisor Customer Support Team

Era, claro está, una excelente novedad y, sobre todo, un acto de justicia. Esperábamos, sin embargo, algún pedido de disculpas por el error que habían cometido los revisores de TripAdvisor: nada, che, no es necesario, las cosas son así…

22 días después de tal opereta, recibimos esta comunicación de TripAdvisor:

You've Been Recognised for Superior Service

We're thrilled to announce that Instituto de Espanol Rayuela has been selected for the 2016 Certificate of Excellence, reflecting the consistently great reviews you've earned on TripAdvisor.
Showcase your achievement to get more customers!
Showcase the Certificate of Excellence logo in your advertising and marketing!

Nuestra pequeña escuela de español es seria y confiable, como lo demuestran todas y cada una de las reseñas escritas por nuestros estudiantes a lo largo del tiempo. Solo ellos tienen autoridad para certificar la calidad de nuestra práctica profesional. El resto es puro blablablá burocrático.

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¡Nuestro sitio web ya está en noruego! Saludamos la llegada del nuevo idioma que, gracias a nuestra amiga Marit (¡gracias!), se suma ahora al inglés, al alemán y al portugués. Los invitamos a conocerlo en

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Compartimos esta excelente nota de Alberto Bustos sobre la concordancia en español, un tema clásico de nuestras clases.

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Compartimos "La escuela del silencio", un documental sobre la desigualdad de género en el sistema educativo de Perú. Es una mirada profunda y conmovedora que muestra una realidad común a la mayoría de los países de Latinoamérica, incluida, por supuesto, la Argentina. Vale la pena verlo con detenimiento.
Agradecemos a nuestra colega Rosa, de Perú, el haberlo compartido con nosotros.

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Compartimos este análisis contrastivo de las expresiones que en español y portugués se refieren a la edad de las personas. Recomendamos especialmente su lectura a nuestros estudiantes brasileños y angoleños: leerlo con detenimiento los ayudará a enfrentar un poco mejor la tenacidad del  "portuñol avanzado".
Análise contrastiva de expressões relacionadas à idade PT<>ES
Em português, usamos as expressões “ mais velho ” e “ mais novo ”
para referir-nos à idade; em espanhol, usamos “ mayor ” e “ menor ”: Exemplos: Juana é a filha mais
velha = Juana es la hija mayor . Pablo é o filho mais
novo = Pablo es el hijo menor . Juana...

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Estudiar español: ¿Dónde está el gato?

La pizarra es siempre un recurso indispensable en nuestras clases. Aquí va una pequeña muestra de cómo la profesora Yani usa la pizarra para presentar la expresión de las localizaciones en el español de América. ¡Creatividad total! ¡Felicitaciones, Yani! 
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Momentos divertidos en la clase de español: un juego de palabras :-) Gracias a Stefan por la fotografía.

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Momentos divertidos en la clase de español: un trabalenguas :-) Gracias a Stefan por preguntar qué quería decir esa frase tan extraña...

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Para el común de los turistas, Argentina es famosa por el tango, el fútbol, la carne, el vino, la naturaleza, la corrupción económica y política, la amabilidad y la simpatía de la gente, y tantas otras cosas que las guías de viaje se esmeran en repetir hasta el hartazgo en casi todos los idiomas. Argentina, sin embargo, es mucho más que ese folclore turístico. Es, por ejemplo, el país con el mayor número de mujeres astrónomas en todo el mundo. Los invitamos a leer este artículo sobre las mujeres argentinas que sueñan con estrellas. Vale la pena.
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