Meet the Team

The Hosts

John Patrick

John Patrick “JP” Villanueva (New York, USA) John Patrick “JP” Villanueva holds a Masters degree in Romance Linguistics from the University of Michigan, specializing in first- and second-language acquisition, as well as foreign language pedagogy; specifically, communicative/task based method. A native of Seattle, Washington, he taught Spanish and French at the high school and university levels for 12 years, before going on to host an award-winning Spanish language learning podcast from Shanghai, China.

Joseph Mulligan

Joseph Mulligan (Pitt., USA/Lima, Peru) Joseph hosts the Peruvian Spanish Series, the Spanish Phonetics Series and the Verb Conjugation Series. A native New Yorker, he studied Literary Translation in the Departments of English/Romance Languages at SUNY Albany, NY. He carried out studies at Universidad de Concepcion, Chile and translation research in Lima, Peru and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. He is a specialist in the poetic works of Cesar Vallejo. English is Joseph’s native language; he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is literate in Latin. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, USA and Lima, Peru. Aside from his deep dedication to the improvement of communication and understanding, Joseph has great interest in learning the fine art of structured procrastination.

Beatriz Sosa

Beatriz Sosa (Pitt., USA/Lima, Peru) Beatriz is the hostess of the Peruvian Spanish Series, the Spanish Phonetics Series and the Verb Conjugation Series. She is a native of Lima, Peru, where she studied Fine Arts at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica. She has carried out language studies at Hartnack Schule in Berlin, Germany. Her work prior to the SpanishPod101.com team includes Logistical Coordination for a German Eco-tourist company, throughout Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Spanish is Beatriz’s native language, and she is also fluent in German and English. Beatriz resides in Pittsburgh, USA and Lima, Peru. Her interest in language is complemented by her dedication to the art of other cultures, especially modern art.

David Perez

David Pérez Sánchez (Madrid, Spain) David was born and raised in Madrid, Spain where he still lives. Hosting the Iberian Spanish Series, as well as a number of Advanced Audio Blogs, David opens up the doors for us and shows us what Iberian culture is all about. He got a degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the Universidad Politecnica and is currently working full-time for a multinational Spanish telecommunications company. He enjoys collaborating on motivating projects and community associations. He has a deep interest in Ancient and Medieval History and in languages. He is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English, and is currently studying Japanese due to his interest in Japan.

Megan Cytron

Megan Cytron (Madrid, Spain) Megan, a native English speaker, was born in the US and has studied and lived all over the US, France, and Spain. She has degrees in Political Science, Linguistics, Hispanic Studies, and she wrote her thesis on the history and politics of the Catalan language. She is the hostess of the Iberian Spanish Series, offering us insight into what it means to be a bilingual/non-native speaker in Spain. A perpetual student, she is currently finishing up her “licenciatura” in Spanish Philology (translation: literature, linguistics and Latin) at the Universidad Complutense. For the past four years, Megan has worked as a freelance writer and web-designer in Madrid and as the “mama” of a bilingual six-year-old. Despite her nearly all-encompassing obsession with literature and words, she counts film, art, gastronomy, and music among her other passions.

Lizy Stoliar

Lizy Stoliar (Lima, Peru) Lizy is a profesional voice over artist born in Lima, Peru. She hosts the Newbie and Beginner Series at SpanishPod101.com. Her mother, Uruguayan and her father, Argentine, and growing up in Lima, Peru, Lisy is well aware of the importance of learning a standard form of Spanish.She studied both English at La Asociacion Cultural Peruano Britanica, and for Bilingual Executive Secretary at La Academia ELA, but being a voiceover artist is what she enjoys most! Music is her passion too. Lizy has worked as a DJ at several radio stations in Lima, and she has provided translations from English to Spanish for TV specials, such as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, the MTV Music Awards, etc.

Alan La Rue

Alan La Rue (Lima, Peru) Alan La Rue was born in Canada and moved to Lima, Peru in 1995. He hosts the Newbie and Beginner Series at SpanishPod101.com. Besides having an interest in voiceover and multimedia production,he is also the founder of the El Sol Spanish Language School http://elsol.idiomasperu.com in Lima, Peru. Despite his love for Canada, Alan has yet to find a good reason to leave Peru. He’s married to a Peruvian, and they have two children. One of his greatest pleasures is watch his kids grow up with complete fluency in both Spanish and English. At El Sol, Alan works to help people make tremendous progress in a short time. There, the goal is hide the learning process in the lived experience. He is constantly looking for new ways to show students that the best way to learn Spanish is to seek out opportunities to apply it. Between his Newbie and Beginner Lessons and the Immersion courses at El Sol, you cannot but learn with Alan.

Carlos Acevedo

Carlos Acevedo (San Jose, Costa Rica) Born and raised in New York, Carlos became interested in education through an insatiable appetite for reading. He currently hosts the Costa Rican Regional Series. A seasoned teacher, Carlos earned a Masters degree in Education while teaching high school English literature in the New York City borough of the Bronx. After living in Valencia, Spain in 2001, Carlos decided to pursue teaching opportunities in San Jose, Costa Rica, where he currently resides.

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Natalia Araya (San Jose, Costa Rica) Born and raised in Costa Rica, Natalia has spent time living in the United States and Australia. She hosts the Costa Rican Regional Series for SpanishPod101.com. An academic vanguard with a wide range of interests, she is currently pursuing a career as a silversmith with the goal of creating her own studio. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Natalia encourages a practical approach to learning, one that focuses more on application than theory.

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Ana Madrigal (Guanajuato, Mexico/Morgantown, USA) Ana, a native Spanish speaker, was born in Mexico. She hosts the Intermediate Series at SpanishPod101.com. She is a Spanish and English teacher at Universidad de Guanajuato, where she is also the off-campus English coordinator. Ana holds a BA degree in English. She currently resides in Morgantown, West Virginia where she is doing her MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at WVU. She has a Teaching Assistantship in the Foreign Language Department at WVU. She is fluent in Spanish, English, Spanglish and French. Her interest in languages in complemented by Literature, Modern Art, Photography, Music and Red Wine.

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Kathy Vargas Byrd (Chiclayo, Peru) Kathy, was born and raised in Peru. She hosts the Lower Intermediate Series at SpanishPod101.com. She is a Spanish native speaker, but she is also fluent in English and German. Kathy studied translation and interpretation at the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru. She holds a BA degree in German from WVU. She currently resides in Morgantown, WV where she is doing her MA in Linguistics and TESOL at WVU. Kathy is a Spanish instructor at West Virginia University, and she also teaches Spanish to children. She believes that the best way to improve language skills is by forgetting about inhibitions and learning from mistakes.

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Jessi Nuss Jessi was born in California in the U.S. to an American father and Mexican mother. Her cultural background and environment allowed her to be exposed to the Spanish language and Mexican culture from a young age. She developed, edited and hosted a number of series at SpanishPod101.com and other Innovative Language Learning sites. She holds a degree in Linguistics and Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Besides Spanish, she is also fluent in Japanese, and she enjoys sharing her passion for languages with language learners from all over the world.

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Javier Serrano Perez Javier co-hosts Absolute Beginner Season 2, which focuses on Iberian Spanish. Although he was born in Barcelona, he has also lived in Auckland and Tokyo. He speaks Spanish and Catalan as native languages, as well as English and Japanese, and French at a basic level. Holding Postgraduate qualifications in Digital Marketing, he has worked on different web projects but also as a translator, and a teacher of Spanish and Catalan. Due to his interest in different cultures and languages, he never knows where his next destination will be.

Carla Valenzuela

Lucia Cuadros Lucia was born in Chimbote, Peru and is native Spanish speaker. Currently she is a senior student at the Tokyo University of Agriculture. She has been teaching since she was a teenager. She used to teach Math and literatures to kids in shelters. In Japan, she taught Peruvian Culture and Spanish. As a big fan of language teaching, she is very glad to be working with the SpanishPod101.com team, and hopes that the listeners will enjoy her work as well.

Carla Valenzuela

Fernando Fernández del Castillo Garcia Fernando was born in México city, Mexico. He is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks English fluently. When he was in the postgraduate program at Tokyo University, he started teaching Mexican Spanish and rekindled his passion for language teaching which he had studied at a younger age. Utilizing his bilingual language instructor certificate, he has been working as an English/Spanish teacher and translator in Tokyo and Yokohama since 2009.

Currently he resides in Mexico, and aside from his regular occupation, he manages an eLearning platform for a local language teaching academy focused on international proficiency evaluations. He also continues to work as a teacher and translator, creating his own original courses based around different topics such as physics, history and Mexican culture. He is very glad to be working with the SpanishPod101.com team, and hopes that the listeners will enjoy his work as well.

Carla Valenzuela

Carla Valenzuela Carla was born in Lima, Peru. In 2009, she studied at Tokyo University of Agriculture, and attended the International Bio-Business Department. She has studied English for more than ten years, and in Japan she got chances to improve her English and Japanese skills. Languages are her hobby and her passion..

Alexandra Franco

Alexandra Franco Alexandra is from Chihuahua, Mexico and majored in International Studies at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Alexandra speaks Spanish and English fluently, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to broaden her education in other countries and to learn as much as she can from different languages and cultures.

Laura Ivette Landa Gallegos

Laura Ivette Landa Gallegos Laura was born in Mexico City. She is a native speaker of Spanish and is fluent in English. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, and obtained the equivalence in the United States. She has over five years’ experience as a pharmacist in the Medica Sur, Mexico City. She has been a part of the Innovative Language team since May 2013 and currently she’s working as a Product manager at Innovative Language Learning and developing content for SpanishPod101.com and other language learning sites. Her main aim is to keep developing the ability to analyze, process, and transmit in an effective and easy-to-follow manner the knowledge that students need.

Tomas Mackey

Rosa Martín Rosa was born in the most beautiful city in Spain, Granada. Her early interest in Japanese culture made her start studying the language and then take a break from her studies in Biotechnology in the University of Salamanca to spend a year as an exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo. She is now an Erasmus student in Leuven, Belgium, trying to finish her bachelor’s degree and learn some French, while tasting the famous Belgian beers and fries. She likes reading, travelling, music, eating and contemporary art.

Audio Engineering

Tito Huapaya

Tito Huapaya (Lima, Peru) Tito is a music composer and audio engineer from Lima, Peru. He owns a music production & audio post-production company. Tito is in charge of producing/recording SpanishPod101.com lessons from his studio in Lima. He has also composed some of the SpanishPod101.com music. As a composer, he has credits in remix compilations and in hypnosis CDs and DVDs programs. He also works closely with production music libraries and developers around the world in the role of music composer or sound effects designer, creating multimedia applications, animations, ringtones and games for computers and mobile devices.

Tomas Mackey

Tomas Mackey (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Tomas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he resides. He has lived in the United States where he learned the English language. Tomas studied Film in Argentina and worked for several years in marketing. Currently he works as professional voiceover in Standard Spanish and English for the Latin American and the Hispanic market of the United States.

Daniel

Daniel Sánchez Llordés Daniel was born and raised in Barcelona in Spain and currently resides in Ichikawa, Japan. He speaks Spanish and Catalan as native languages, and English and Japanese at a basic level. He studied law at Barcelona University and is currently taking a specialization course at the King Juan Carlos I University in order to qualify as a Spanish teacher for foreigners. Besides his dedication to SpanishPod101.com, he gives private Spanish classes in Tokyo, promotes Spanish painters in Japan, and appears as an extra in TV dramas on NHK. He enjoys learning about different aspects of languages and cultures and loves travelling, and has spent time living in Chile and Argentina. Improving the mutual understanding between people is a goal in his life, which is the source of his passion for teaching Spanish.

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Anna Salamaña Alsinet Anna Salamaña Alsinet was born in Barcelona, Spain. She speaks Spanish and Catalan as native languages; she is also fluent in English and has an intermediate level of Japanese. She has always had a deep interest in animation, drawings, and films. She spent time studying Audiovisual Communication at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and is currently an exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo, doing Japanese Studies. Since she started living in Tokyo, she has been teaching Spanish and Catalan. And because she has the chance to improve and use Japanese and English on a daily basis, she is now thinking of what language to learn next. What she likes about learning languages is that every one can give you different perspectives on the world.