We are a group of spanish language speakers living in the Buffalo and Western New York area.  We were formed as a Meetup Group in 2014.  You can click on the Meetup icon at the footer to find our Meetup page, or click on any of the meetings in the live scroll on the Home page.


We formed to provide an environment in which spanish speakers at any level can practice and improve their skills with the language.  This is mostly done with weekly conversational meetings, but we also schedule social and cultural events.


We are people from all walks of life.  Younger, older, self-taught, formally trained, beginners, advanced learners, and native speakers, many from different countries.  Our members are indeed what makes our group so fun, and that makes "praticing your spanish" much more interesting.

The people that make the meetings happen, organize ideas, follow up with diffficult points of the language... are a varied group. 

You can read a short bio about each of them below.


Bruce McAllister

Lead Organizer

An attorney who has been practicing law in California and New York State, Bruce has worked for many years to provide legal services for disadvantaged persons.  He learned Spanish years ago during his travels and adventures in Mexico, and has been speakng ever since. Bruce has been leading the BSLE now for three years, and his experience with, and love of the language is a big part of what makes our meetings fun and engaging.       

Advice for Learners:  "You must not be afraid to practice what you are learning.  Speak up, and be fearless."   

Gaby Chauvin


Born and raised in Argentina, Gaby is a professional translator who provides Spanish language services mainly in the medical and legal fields.  She furthermore does in-person interpretation for various area hospitals and government agencies, as well over-the-phone interpretation.  For over two years now, Gaby has been one of the driving forces behind BSLE.  She is a gifted conversationalist, and provides our group with a wonderful window into Argentine culture.

Advice for Learners:   Don’t be shy, you need to try … practice makes perfect!

Cristina González


Born and raised in Spain, Cristina is an architect and professional translator who provides Spanish translation and interpreting services in the technology, medicine, and  legal fields.  She is an ATA Member, and speaks several languages, including French and Italian.  As you might imagine, Cristina has a very good understanding of what it takes to learn a new language.  And as an advisor to our group, she provides us with a wonderful insight into the Spanish language's country of origin.  

Advice for Learners:   Forget the grammar and spit it out. People understand children and Tarzan, and neither of them use grammar properly.

Liz Johnson


Liz works as a child care professional, and is currently working on producing educational television programming for children.  She is a dedicated "gamer", and often self-identifies as a nerd, but in reality she brings much of the wit and humor that so enlivens our conversations.        

Advice for Learners:  

Steve Lowery


Steve is a retired information technology professional who worked as a consultant on large scale projects for a number of Fortune 100 companies.  Steve began learning Spanish during his travels in the Caribbean.  He later took lessons at El Buen Amigo in Buffalo, and has been speaking Spanish for 8 years.

Advice for Learners:  "There is no such thing as a 'one size fits all' approach to learning a new language.  It is important for you to know how you like to learn, and to find teachers and tools that suit you best.""

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