Mariposas Spanish School for Kids was started in 1999 as a fun side activity for the founder, Yvette Montalvo. After graduating from college with a Business and Spanish Language Arts Degree, she began working in sales and marketing for a dancewear store. The job was fun, but not fulfilling. She quickly decided she wanted something extra to do outside of work. The idea of teaching children Spanish came from an earlier college job where she taught dance and gymnastics in preschools.
Being from a border town, McAllen, Texas, Yvette spent many summers and weekends in Mexico with cousins and extended family. Not only has Yvette been immersed in American and Mexican culture from a young age, but she has also enjoyed being around children and taking care of younger cousins. Growing up with the border culture has made a huge impact on her understanding of others, respect for diversity, and a love of different cultures.
When she learned English at age 5, she had no trouble picking it up. In her early travels during high school and college, she learned the importance of speaking a second language. Thus, shortly after college, she started to teach Spanish to children at local Austin Pre-K schools for fun.
In the beginning, there was not much interest in Spanish classes for children and very few schools wanted a Spanish program. There were two schools, NorthWest Montessori and The Montessori Center (now Hyde Park Montessori) that gave Mariposas Spanish School a chance. Yvette is thankful to both of these schools for not only giving her the opportunity but also inspiring her to get her Montessori training in Monterrey, Mexico. This important step in her education lead her to apply the Montessori Method to the curriculum that has become a signature part of Mariposas Spanish School’s success.