Romina Mancilla
Director of SF Spanish

I was born in Quilmes, a province of Buenos Aires, and have been living in San Francisco for over a decade. My work and personal travel have taken me to many Spanish-speaking countries over the years, but Mexico has always been a major draw for me. Each time I visit, I like it more than before.
I love teaching my native language because it allows me to use my creativity, to share my knowledge of the language and culture, and to meet new people.  I enjoy sharing my travel experiences, daily life, and interests outside of teaching. I have been taking dance classes for years now, and dance is one topic that comes up frequently in class conversations since quite a few of my students also dance.
For me, the key to learning Spanish is to use it and speak it regularly.  When I arrived to the US, I began to study English and found that using it in a variety of formats was the most effective way for me to retain the language. I have also studied other languages over the years and I discovered that memorizing vocabulary and doing workbook exercises was not the best way to learn. Seeing this, I began to make an effort to use the language more by putting new words and concepts directly to use in conversation. When I started SF Spanish, I intentionally created a learning environment based on conversation. The "Spanish only" policy encourages students to think and speak -- and excel -- in their new language.  For this reason, I also created the interactive SF Spanish website for students to use outside of the classroom. Here, they can interact with other students and continue to write, read, and listen to the Spanish language.

 Vanina Gaviraghi
 SF Spanish Teacher

I am originally from a small town in Argentina called Santa Fe. For the last year, I’ve been teaching private and group classes at SF Spanish for both adults and children.

Teaching has always been my passion. In Argentina, I graduated as a lead teacher and worked for many years with kids, ranging from six to eleven years old. When I arrived to the United States, I worked as a child caregiver and taught Spanish to younger children.

My love for Spanish language led me to expand my horizons and teach adults. Teaching adults is something I find very fascinating, and I enjoy every second of it. In a usual class, I balance conversation with grammar, complementing my teaching with visual aids, games, stories, and videos.

In a children’s class, my students enjoy songs, poems, stories, games, dancing, videos, and projects. I adjust the activities depending on the level and age of the children in my class.


Carmen Gomez de la Cuesta
SF Spanish Teacher

I am from Spain, and I have more than 15 years of experience as a professional in the Communication and Literature fields as well as in teaching Spanish.

I’m constantly searching for different approaches to teaching my mother tongue. My other passions are travelling, books, and good wine.

My main goal is to continuously build my understanding of the wide network of Spanish cultures and expressions throughout the world. I’m thrilled to be able to share this amazing journey with the students of SF Spanish!

Esteban Magariños Mestre
SF Spanish Teacher

I was born and raised in Argentina, where I studied Literature and Philosophy in Universidad de Buenos Aires.
I lived in Spain for some years, as well, where I embraced my Spanish origins and learned about the richness of Iberian culture, its history, and its diverse languages.
I love literature, classic movies, and exploring the great cultural variety of the world.
During my travels, I got the chance to study and learn other Romance languages, like French and Italian, and experienced many of the idiomatic differences and the multiple traditions that coexist across Spanish speaking countries.
I taught English back in Argentina, and I am very proud to have the chance to teach Spanish here in California. In amazing San Francisco, surrounded by its intense diversity.
I’m very passionate about the language, and I love to work with both adults and children. I put all of my playful and energetic character into creating a fun and interactive learning environment for them.
I’m very excited to be a part of the SF Spanish community and hope to continue spreading the Spanish language and sharing the immensely rich Spanish culture with my students.

Laura Isabel Marquez Orta
SF Spanish Teacher

I’m Laura, and I’m from Venezuela. I used to teach at the University there, and I am happiest when sharing my knowledge of Spanish language and culture.

I came from beautiful Venezuela to San Francisco at the beginning of 2016. I believe this city is the perfect place to be free and meet people from everywhere. 

In 2015, I spent a few month in Paris, where I had the opportunity to learn French. This is now added to my list of languages I know, including English and Spanish.

I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, and watching movies. I also love fashion, traveling, and the beach. I have been to Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Austria, Spain, France, England, and Germany. I think that traveling is the best way to learn about people, languages, and cultures.  

When I teach Spanish I'm pretty relaxed, enthusiastic, and patient. One of the reasons that I enjoy teaching Spanish is because it gives me a way to share my culture, spreading awareness of the Venezualan way of life.

Cayo Rodrigo
Sf Spanish Teacher

I am originally from Peru and have lived in different countries throughout my life. As a result, I speak Spanish, English, and German. I also have vast experience as a professional in the Communications, Training, and Teaching fields.

I have a profound passion for languages, teaching, and meeting people from different cultures, because I believe that gives me a better understanding and awareness of our world. I enjoy teaching Spanish because it allows me to pursue that important goal and to share my culture with you!

I also enjoy travelling, writing, music, yoga, tennis, surfing, and a pleasant conversation with a glass of good beer or wine.

I lived one year in Germany and one year in North Carolina as an exchange student, and ten years in Santiago de Chile, where I got my B.S. in Economics. All of these life experiences made me feel like a constant citizen of the world, and now I am immensely grateful to live in such tolerant, diverse, inclusive, and beautiful city as San Francisco!

Claudia Santana
Sf Spanish Teacher

I was born and raised on the Canary Islands (part of Spain), where I spent most of the time playing basketball. Then I studied Pedagogy at the University of Salamanca, west of Madrid. While in college, I met people from different parts of the world and became obsessed with learning English and traveling to learn about different cultures. I lived in Italy and England. Then I went further and moved to California, where I have also been teaching, both children and adults.

I’ve been living in the Bay Area for almost three years. Teaching is my main passion, and I love finding new ways to help people learn.

I’m very excited to work at SF Spanish and to help other people meet their language goals!


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