Elizabeth Villagomez, the founder of Welcome Amigos, grew up in Mexico City and came to California in 1992.
In 1998, Elizabeth wanted to find a joyful career that allowed her to spend time with her infant daughter. She began tutoring high school students and adults. Before long, Elizabeth has independently brought Welcome Amigos to several Bay Area recreational centers and preschools. In addition, Elizabeth also worked at The Nueva School during 2004-2006 as a Spanish teacher for elementary school age children from K-5th grades.
Elizabeth has a degree in Child Development from Cañada College as well a Children Development Teacher Permit and Site Supervisor Permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Furthermore, she has extensive training in social-emotional and cognitive development from the Northeast foundation and the Responsive Classroom Approach. In addition, she has taken online courses for her Master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College with an emphasis on Leadership and Community. In addition, Elizabeth remains active in the field of Education by taking courses that increase her professional growth in educational institutions.
Elizabeth’s strong attachment to her family, Hispanic traditions and culture and her ability to speak naturally to children in Spanish, led to her dream of creating a Spanish Immersion school with a special environment. Welcome Amigos officially opened its doors in 1998. Elizabeth says, “Being in this career is the best experience of my life, besides having my own children. It’s a joy to teach children in my native language, recognize them as individuals, and be witness to their personal and academic growth while giving them the gift of a second language that will open their world to many opportunities.”
It is a joy to be committed to our passion: Teaching children in Spanish in a nurturing environment that is tailored to their unique needs.
Our native Spanish teachers hold degrees in Education and Early Childhood Development. They have a passionate commitment to the intellectual and social development of each child. The Welcome Amigos staff has developed a rich and dynamic curriculum tailored specifically to a young child’s ability to learn Spanish in a context of full language immersion.
Welcome Amigos International School recognizes that having an educated, well-trained staff is essential to quality care and education for children. In addition, it is highly important that teachers have the ability to stay current and utilize the most up to date information in the education of young children. Therefore, the school supports professional and personal growth and development of teachers in the ECE (Early Childhood Education) field, bilingual education and social/emotional development through seminars, workshops, and classes at local community colleges and institutions that educate teachers in different areas of education and children. Furthermore, teachers are required to do a minimum of 18 hours of professional growth relevant to pedagogy practices during the school year.
“It has always been my belief that giving a child the gift of a second language opens the door to a world of opportunities.”
— Elizabeth Villagomez
A Letter from the Director
¡Bienvenidos! Thank you for visiting our website and taking the time to learn more about our programs. I am delighted to introduce you to Welcome Amigos.
As you browse through our website, you will meet an incredible community. You will see photos of our smiling children, curious and engaged in hands-on, active learning. You will be introduced to our dedicated teaching staff who strive to make each child feel welcomed, loved, included and respected. You will learn about the ways in which our parents partner with our staff to create a loving and diverse environment, both inside and outside of the classroom. Lastly, you will read about our curriculum that not only introduces our children to the Spanish language, but also to a variety of cultures and traditions.
For more than twenty-one years, Welcome Amigos has provided bilingual educational opportunities through our preschool, our after-school enrichment programs, and our camps. For the last four years, we have also been accredited for our dual-immersion kindergarten program.
It has always been my belief that giving a child the gift of a second language opens the door to a world of opportunities. If you would like to learn more about our programs, our future plans and the gift of bilingual education, I would be happy to introduce you to our amazing community in person. Feel free to contact me to arrange a tour.
Founder and Director