About your host Lorell Stewart

Hello!  My name is Lorell (Elle) Stewart and I hope to meet you soon!

So first....here is a bit about me....

Originally a Northern Virginia native, I lived "inside the Beltway" until leaving home to attend college at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I majored in Spanish, including a summer abroad at the University of Salamanca, Spain. 

Changing course, I furthered my education in Boston, completing a curriculum in Industrial Design and earning my undergraduate degree in Business from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

My early career began as a designer of high-end sunglasses for Foster Grant, ironically manufactured in France and shipped back to the States as imported luxury wear(!)  Once introduced to a world of product design, I was fortunate to move into the more technical aspects of ophthalmic eyeglass frames and was the "designer behind the names" of well-known brands such as Oscar De La Renta and Vera, before assuming managerial and executive roles in marketing, communications and sales management with a number of Fortune 500 companies.  I often joke that in those days, my fluency in Spanish "came in handy while talking with the cab drivers in Germany", as I traveled the world for my career.

I was fortunate to be able to take an early retirement in 2007 and moved my family from Dallas, Texas to the San Francisco Bay area.  Being avid sailors, my family and I joined the Tiburon Yacht Club, where I served on the Board of Directors for two years.  During that time, my husband and I sailed our Catalina/Morgan 440 twice to Mexico, with plans for a "someday" sailing circumnavigation.

Inspiration for teaching Spanish!

I was blessed to be able to live on my sailboat for nearly two years as I oversaw the many improvements and upgrades required for sailing around the world.  It was during this time, while living aboard in Ensenada, Mexico that I observed fellow boaters struggling to learn how to communicate in an Hispanic culture.  It was here that I decided to formulate a process to teach people what they needed to know to feel confident in their ability to quickly and effectively communicate in Spanish.  I began working first with a few friends who were able to give me direct feedback on how they learned best, and (lo and behold!) I was able to turn these successful interactions into a method that I could apply in teaching virtually anyone to communicate with confidence!

Once back in the SF Bay area, I decided to formalize the process by teaching a class of interested adults with a variety of language levels and abilities.  It was encouraging to find that by adopting the "Club" concept, my students were comfortable, and were able to speak effectively, helping each other along the way.  It is this well developed and proven process that I have happily brought to Cuenca.

The Cuenca Spanish Club is a social club that will be exactly what our members decide it will be.  After your Spanish Homestay Immersion of between one and two weeks, you are a member of the Club, joining other members free of charge for as long as you like.  And although the Club talks about our meetings in terms of "classes" and "lessons", our time together is focused on the goal of learning and speaking Spanish, and having fun!  Our time together will serve both those who have never studied another language and those who may be currently enrolled in formal classes.  You will be amazed at how we can help one another!

Back to Spanish Immersion Homestay page.

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"Quito, Cotacachi, The Coast & Cuenca in 10 Days"