Conversa's first home - San Jose, 1975
Volleyball game on Spanish immersion campus, 1980
Spanish class 1981
Spanish class 1983
Andy Kaufman with a calf 1981
Spanish school cafeterial 1982

Spanish Program Directors

At Conversa we like to believe that we're more than just a Spanish school. Whether you begin contact with us before you arrive in Costa Rica or once you're here, we like to think of ourselves as your host - and we'll do our best to see that your experience in Costa Rica is as good as it can be. Here are a few of the folks that help make this happen:

Dave Kaufman - Director (
Dave obtained his B.A. in Spanish from Ithaca College and began his Spanish language teaching career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. He served as Spanish Language Coordinator for Peace Corps training programs in Puerto Rico. He then obtained his MS in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University before coming to Costa Rica as Language Coordinator at a Peace Corps training center for Latin America. In 1975 Dave co-founded Conversa and has been the head of the school ever since.

Andy Kaufman - Program Development Director (
Andy obtained his B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering at Boston University in 1997 and began working for Intel Corporation as an engineer in the Pentium chip manufacturing operations. From there he moved on to work in consulting with a firm called KPMG (which later became BearingPoint), working on selection and administration of government IT initiatives. In 2003 he obtained his MBA at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and he's been back at Conversa ever since.

Irene Orlich - Administrative Director (
Irene obtained her B.S. in Business Administration in 2002 at Georgetown University, where she majored in International Business and Small and New Business Management. That same year she opened DBB, a family owned retail store, which she managed for 11 years. In 2010 she joined the Conversa team as the Administrative Director, overseeing all administrative aspects of our operation in addition to meals, lodging and personnel.