Get to Know the Spanish Institute: Mayrelis Cordero

Mayrelis “Maye” Cordero, Academic Director, Graphic Designer and Instructor

Mayrelis “Maye” Cordero is the academic director at Spanish Institute. She is responsible for overseeing all curriculum and teacher development.  Maye received her combined Bachelor Degree in Communications and Photography in 2008, and in 2011 she received a Media Design Master of Fine Arts with Honors at Full Sail University, FL. Maye is also a graphic designer, a creative and professional photographer for several websites, and Spanish instructor.  Since 2000, Maye has worked  as an instructor of not only Spanish but also disciplines such as Salsa, Jazz, and Hip Hop in countries like Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Spain. These opportunities have provided her with a broad scope of cultural, social and pedagogical skills.

Where are you from?
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Who was the most influential person to you as a child?
My mom. I never forget what she says: “Las cosas se hacen bien o no se hacen” (“Things are done well, or not done”). I have followed that mantra in all my ventures, and it’s definitely what has brought me here.

Did you have any childhood nicknames?
Many, and I still do back home! However I never was a big fan of “Gordi” (from gordita “chubby”) :/

When did you come to the US?
About three years ago. After coming on tour, I loved the vibe of the city of Denver. Two months after that first visit I returned with two suitcases and a bunch of dreams…and here I am! 😉

What do you miss most about home?
My family and FOOD!!!—nothing like the Caribbean flavors!

What was your worst job?
I’ve been very fortunate to work on what I love since I was very young. First as a professional dancer, dance instructor, photographer and now as a Spanish Teacher. I can’t complain, I love and have loved what I do.

What was your best job?
As a professional dancer I had the opportunity to travel the world and meet incredible people, it was really cool.  However, working here at SI it gives me the opportunity to work one on one with the students, and see their faces when they discover/learn something in class, is fascinating!!!

What is your definition of happiness?
It’s continually evolving. But knowing that my family has peace of mind, gives me joy.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m proud I finished with honors my bachelor’s and Master’s degrees while I was traveling and dancing around the world. It wasn’t easy, but I did it, and seeing the smile of my parents at the graduation ceremony, was PRICELESS!!!

Do you have any pets?
Not a big fan of animals…

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I meditate and practice Yoga; When I don’t, life can be pretty “interesting”. Besides that, reading, going outdoors and being with friends are my favorite hobbies.

What is your favorite:
Pizza!!! … extra cheese please!

Maroon 5.

Many, but “Mar adentro” (with Javier Bardem) is always in the  top 5 list.

“Ask and it is given” – By. AH

What inspired you to teach?
I love being that link between knowledge and the student. Seeing their bright faces and progress in class is a great reward for me!

Why do you think it is important for people to learn Spanish?
Spanish is everywhere nowadays! Communication is the key to live in society, and with the always increasing Spanish population, it is imperative to be able to connect with it.

What do you like about working with the Spanish institute? 
I love my students. But what really makes every day enjoyable is the amazing team we have in-house. It’s great to work with a team that makes you feel respected, care and appreciated.