About Us


Paige

paige

I fell in love with Spain twenty years ago when I came over with a backpack and great expectations. I was not disappointed. Here I have encountered some of the friendliest, most interesting, and open people one could hope to find. In addition, there is a fascinating culture and rich history to peak the interest of just about anyone.

I have been working in education for eighteen years, teaching high school in Chicago, ESL Reading and Writing at Hunter College, NYC, and Freshman English and Composition at Tulane University, New Orleans. Here in Tudela I have taught English as a Second Language for eight years to all levels and ages. Beyond my many other projects, I work part time in the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (the Official Language School) organizing conversation clubs and theater workshops. In the Argia Ikastola (Basque pluri-lingual school) I am the Assistant English teacher for the primary students and focus on fluency and pronunciation.

When I was young my family hosted students from France and Madagascar. It was such an enriching experience for all of us that a few years ago I decided to organize a trip for Spanish students to spend August in Richmond, VA where I graduated from High School and lived many years. It was an absolute success and a wonderful experience for all. It made me think: “why not give American students the same opportunity?” Thus began my new great adventure!


Luis

luismi

My life is devoted to my family (wife and two daughters), sports (basketball and running) and my work as an English teacher at San Francisco Javier Secondary School, in Tudela, Navarra. I’ve been working as a teacher for 16 years and basketball coach for more than 20 years.

I have organized and participated in plenty of summer activities with youngsters, including language courses abroad. In addition to all these experiences, I still feel so full of energy and enthusiasm as to search for new challenges in life, like the London Marathon, which I ran successfully in April.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel to the USA, which was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. Apart from visiting very famous and amazing places, I was able to meet a lot of wonderful people, with whom I have kept in contact ever since.

My fascination with the American people and culture has continued to grow to such an extent that I felt inspired to arrange an activity which involved establishing links between America and Spain. So this is the challenge I am immersed in now!


Angelo Leotta
Angelo Leotta USA Representative
I see the world as a playground and a classroom. I have hosted international students in my home in New Jersey, participated in the WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program, lived and taught English in Japan, and back-backed through Europe. I have also taught English to students from around the world in San Francisco, and currently am a freelance film maker and editor, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

My family and I had been hosting Spanish students for a few years; I first met Luis when he came to New Jersey as a chaperone with a group of students. I admired his life-long study of English and his passion for travel and cultural exchange. He quickly became friends with me and my family, and we have kept in touch through the years. After returning from teaching English in Japan, I stayed with him and his family in January of 2015, and was very touched by him and his family’s warm hospitality and kindness. I really felt like they showed me the true side of Spain; interacting with Spanish people, visiting beautiful, historic places, enjoying home-cooked Spanish food, and I even learned a little Spanish! Although I did visit some big cities, it was so nice to stroll around their smaller town Tudela. Without the chaos of a larger city, I had a chance to relax have a more intimate experience of the Spanish country and its people. While visiting, I also met and became friends with Paige, and it was actually during this time that the idea for Riberamerica was born! I will always cherish the amazing memories Luis, his family and Paige have given me during my stay in Spain. I really love anything that has to do with travel, especially introducing the joys of travel to young people. I really look forward to giving American students the opportunity to experience Spain first-hand, and to foster a deeper cultural understanding of Spain and Spanish people.

Elvira Notivol
Dear parents, I’d like to tell you about my son’s stay in the USA. He went to Richmond (Virginia) and stayed there for three weeks. He was part of a small group of teenagers and everything was organised by Paige Bailey. My son thoroughly enjoyed the experience in Richmond and as a parent I was very pleased with the organisation. My son’s host was more than friendly – she made him feel very welcome and at home from the very first day. The organised trips included a visit to Washington, a day at the beach and watching a live baseball match among others. They were all well prepared and my son had a wonderful time. He also benefited from the daily lessons, which helped him improve his language use enormously. On the whole I would recommend this programme to everybody as not only did my son’s English get better but he also had a rich and unforgettable experience from the personal, linguistic and cultural point of view. I hope this helps in the difficult task of finding the best for our children.

Nieves Navascues
Before we met Paige, my son Carlos traveled to the USA with international companies. It was a good experience but these companies are so big and they don’t take care of the student’s individualism and personal features. In 2012 Paige traveled with a little group of students and spent three weeks in Richmond. They began the trip from Tudela so we didn’t have to worry about anything. Paige took care of looking for a wonderful family for each student. Carlos loves riding bycicle and he was living with a family who own two famous cycling stores. He loved living with them and today they still keep in touch. Definetly it was the most wonderful experience he could have.
William and Julie Strain Ocean City, New Jersey, USA
It is our pleasure to recommend Luis Jimenez. During the month of July 2008 we volunteered to make our home available to a student from Spain who was traveling with a group of young high school age kids. All of the children were assigned various families throughout the area to serve as their host family. We had the wonderful opportunity to host a young lady named Isabelle. During their monthly stay, the group would take part in scheduled trips and activities once or twice a week. The trips included Philadelphia, New York, and I believe Washington, DC. We had the opportunity to go as a chaperones on at least two of the trips. One the first trip We met one of the student’s chaperones named Luis Miguel Jimenez. We could see the respect and admiration he had established with the students he was responsible for. He also was very organized and helpful. We quickly became friends. During the time Luis was here he took the time to visit us at our home. We were impressed with Luis. He quickly became the (official) translator for the group. His English skills were impressive. He also showed great leadership qualities and a passion for teaching. Based on his performance, we have no hesitations in recommending Luis for any job or business that involves children, as he is the consummate teacher.

Elodie Barnbrooke Head of MFL Department Wimbledon College, LONDON (ENGLAND)
I had the pleasure to work with Luis for 4 years through a linguistic exchange that my English school has with Luis’s school. Luis is very organised and we never had any logistic issues thanks to his careful planning and his attentiveness. Luis has a great contact with pupils and parents and it has helped considerably the process. He is very reliable and easy to work with, which made this collaboration a success as well as a joy to organise. It’s always a great pleasure for me to stay in his family because Luis is not only a good colleague, he is also someone with many human qualities who has become a good friend over the years.

James Getka Wetosha Central High School,Salem, Wisconsin USA
I have enjoyed working with Luis Miguel Jiménez Diaz for over a year with an email exchange program between my American students and his Spanish students through Epals.com. Luis has been very easy to work with in this collaborative project, willingly taking on the extra work of arranging over 100 pen pal partners, assigning written and video exchanges, and monitoring those’ exchanges so that the students have an enjoyable opportunity getting to know their pen pals’ culture and lives. I have appreciated Luis’ excellent communication skills as well as his enthusiasm to make this project an enriching experience for all of our students.
Carol Reilert Community Coordinator Global Friendships, Inc., Margate, New Jersey, USA
During the summer of 2008, I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Luis Miguel Jimenez Diaz. I was the Community Coordinator for Global Friendships, Inc., a summer student exchange program. Through Global Friendships, Inc. Luis was the adult chaperone for a group of 16 high school students who travelled from Spain to the United States to spend the month of July 2008 with an American host family. Luis was their Spanish liason and worked along with me in supervising and advising the group during their stay here. From the time they arrived, Luis displayed the utmost professionalism and responsibility in supervising this group. Luis was in daily contact with the students and their host parents and available to them at all times for anything they needed. He was a compassionate, caring mentor to all of the students. As a colleague, I found Luis to be very knowledgeable of his students and of the American way of life. Luis developed an excellent rapport with all of the host family parents and has remained close friends with many of them, including myself. As a parent myself, I would certainly be confident in sending my children to Spain for a summer immersion program knowing that they were under the good care of Luis. I am excited for Luis’ new venture in Riberamerica and I know he will be very successful in this endeavor.
Jean & Charles Lawless Northfield, New Jersey (USA)
We first met Luis in July 2008 when he arrived here in South Jersey as a chaperone for teenage high school students from Spain. Luis resided with us during the month. We travelled with Luis and students to Washington DC, New York City, and a large entertainment venue (Great Adventure). We were aware of his trials and tribulations and achievements and successes with his teenage students. Luis managed all situations in a very professional and caring manner. Luis was always inquisitive and wanted to know all facets of American life. Luis was very appreciative of all the extras that we were able to do for and with him. He maintained close contact with his family and shared pictures of them to us and our families as well. We sincerely enjoyed Luis’s company and his friendly manner and information about Spain and his customs/culture and family. We have kept in contact with him over the years.