Mission and Vision
We impact communities through language
Common Ground International impacts communities through language! We are a niche Spanish & English language training and services company based in Colorado. We bridge language gaps in health care and education industries through…
- Targeted Language Training
- Spanish Immersion Programs
- Translation & Interpretation Services
We equip healthcare & other professionals with the functional Spanish they need to
- Be successful in their workplace
- Better serve their clients
- Manage their teams
- Have a GREATER IMPACT in their communities!
Learning how to interact with others of diverse backgrounds and learning how to communicate across cultures helps you make a difference in the lives of others in your community.
Leaders in Industry-Specific Spanish & English Language Training.
Experts in Spanish Immersion Programs.
Professional & certified translators and interpreters.
What we offer
Each of Common Ground International’s language solutions are specifically designed to help individuals and companies better manage their diverse workforce, and improve their servi\e to current and potential clientele.
We specialize in Practical and Industry Specific:
- Professional Spanish language classes
- Professional English language classes
- Spanish Immersion Programs
- Translation & Interpretation Services
- Intercambio: Spanish & English Language Exchange
Founders & Owners
Rory and Leslie Foster founded Common Ground International in the fall of 2001 while they were teaching Spanish at a local college preparatory school in Colorado. During this year, through various personal and professional interactions they noticed a real and urgent need that was not getting met. With backgrounds in Spanish Education from the University level to pre-school and with training in curriculum development, they realized they needed to create a solution. In that moment, it became clear that their day job was not matching up with their true desire to use language to have a greater impact and provide a solution to a communication problem they discovered. The defining moment was when their friends, in a Doctorate of Nursing program, requested customized Medical Spanish classes to help them be more successful in treating their Spanish speaking patients. It was in that request, their passion for designing a language curriculum that could potentially save lives and improve patient health outcomes was discovered.
Common Ground International emerged with a zest for teaching language to fill real life needs and impact communities through industry specific language trainings, services and immersion programs.
Since 2001, Common Ground International has developed language training programs across the nation and internationally in Central and South America. Our programs and curriculum have expanded to include other professional industries apart from medicine, such as:
- Industry specific Spanish immersion programs in Central & South America
- Educators across the nation that work with limited English speaking families and need Spanish language support
- American English training for professionals
- High school Spanish students who need to graduate with real Spanish conversational skills
- Document translation and interpretation for professional industries
Rory and Leslie now have a wonderful team of language professionals in the United States and throughout Central and South America that they enjoy working with as they carry out Common Ground’s mission- “impacting communities through language.”
The newest addition to Common Ground International is Intercambio: Spanish & English Language Exchange. This unique virtual Spanish & English Exchange program became a needed reality during the Global Coronavirus pandemic as Rory and Leslie saw a need to pivot their business as face to face classes and immersion programs were no longer an option BUT people still wanted to develop their Spanish and English skills across cultures and countries. With their deep connections in Central and South America and their dedicated community of learners in the US, Intercambio launched with several hundred members who saw the need and had the desire to continue to develop their speaking skills in a professional, communicative environment.
Rory and Leslie have a bilingual family, and a wonderful team of language professionals in the United States and throughout Central and South America that they enjoy working with as they carry out Common Ground’s mission- “impacting communities through language.”. You can learn more about the Fosters on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Google +. Follow Common Ground on Facebook & Twitter
Karen Quintero Castañeda – Un Poco de Todo Specialist
Karen is a Venezuelan journalist who is currently living in Argentina. After spending one year in Ireland as an English language immersion program student, she gained interest in the education field and started working with students and teachers over the world.
She has traveled throughout Europe and speaks high-intermediate English and survival level Italian, French and Portuguese.
Karen loves reading fiction and non-fiction books and walking around the city to discover the real jewels on it (bookshops, coffee shops, parks and squares, and a big etcetera). She continues learning English to reach the fluent level very soon, is currently studying law in Argentina, and is learning piano during her free time.
Merrisa Moccia, Intercambio English Instructor
I have been a teacher since 2005, and I love learning and teaching languages. My specialties are teaching English as a new language and teaching teachers about language learning. I am excited for this great opportunity to practice Spanish and support others as they practice English.
Also, I am technically a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language.
Carly Woolman, Intercambio Instructor
Hi, my name is Carly and I am from Washington state. I am a high school English and Spanish teacher and my partner and I teach and train Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
I love spending time with my family and being active.
Corey & Kristina Mickle, Immersion Leaders
Kristina, Spanish teacher & Immersion leader:
¡Hola! My name is Kristina Mickle. I am from Washington, D.C. but I now reside with my husband in Charlotte, N.C. I have a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Communication Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish. This is my eighth year of teaching Spanish. The first two years of my career, I taught high school and then transitioned to teaching middle school. I began learning Spanish in middle school in Washington, D.C. and developed an interest in the language and culture because many of my classmates were from El Salvador and my childhood best friend was Dominican. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband Corey and watching Netflix series.
Corey, Athletic Director & Social/Emotional learning expert:
Hello, I am Corey Mickle. Born in Richmond, Virginia, I now live in the Queen City, Charlotte, N.C. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Management with a minor in coaching. Although I work as a Behavior Modification Technician at Coulwood Middle School, I also coach Coulwood’s boys football and basketball teams. Anyone who knows me quickly realizes my passions, coaching sports and mentoring youth. Many of the students I work with achieve success because sports are a healthy outlet for them. This touches my heart because it was the same for me when I was growing up. When I am not working or coaching, I hang out with Kristina, my lovely wife and play kickball and dodgeball.
Kelly Damare, Immersion leader
Mrs. Kelly Damare has a lifelong passion for the Spanish language and hispanic cultures. Kelly has spent time living, studying and working in many hispanic countries; her favorite is Sevilla, Spain where she spent a year studying and playing basketball and of course Costa Rica! Most recently over the summers she spent time leading trips in Costa Rica and working in a local school. Kelly has spent the last six years teaching elementary and middle school Spanish at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Raleigh. Kelly attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish. In addition to her love of Spanish language and culture, she enjoys coaching the JV women’s basketball team at Cardinal Gibbons.
Andrea G Dima, Spanish instructor
My name is Andrea Giganti Dima, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I spent most of my life, became a lawyer and practiced law for 10 years. I met my husband and married him in 2003, and came to be the mother of two of my children while we lived in Argentina. In 2011, I moved with my family to Wisconsin, where my youngest child was born short after.
When I moved, I decided it was time to leave my Law career to affect lives in a different way: I wanted to share my love for the Spanish language and cultures around the world, and help others to enjoy the language. I worked with young students in homeschool settings, and decided to get certified as a Language Educator, working in Middle and High School. I started using Comprehensible Input, knowing that the brain acquires the language through messages that are relevant. I became a curriculum creator and voice artist for Language Education and work with professionals that want to acquire or improve their use of the language.
I believe that we all have gifts to serve the world and I look forward to using mine to help you in your endeavors.
Stephanie Beltrán, English/Spanish Teacher
Hi my name is Stephanie, I live in México and for the last 8 years I have worked as a language tutor, helping children, and adults learn Spanish and English, and I have been able to do so online, one on one, in a group setting and in person.
I love helping others develop new skills and I believe a positive caring attitude and dedication can be an upbuilding force in achieving success when learning new things.
I enjoy seeing the learning process in myself and others when we try something new and we are able to practice it!
It is amazing to observe the progress of how a student goes from speaking very little to having conversations that slowly build up to longer sentences and fuller expressions of their ideas.
In my spare time I spend time with my family and friends, I love languages, writing, swimming, meditating, and learning new things, I enjoy reading with a cup of coffee non fiction books, thrillers, fantasy and crime novels.
I consider it a privilege to be given the opportunity of helping others learn Spanish by being approachable, encouraging, engaging and patient.