Is Peak Me truly sustainable?
Sustainability has been at the centre of Peak Me right from its inception. Panes is a perfect location: you can be hiking in Picos de Europa National park in the morning, and swimming on the Costa Verde in the afternoon. The local food is superb and the cultural heritage second to none. However, the population is ageing and economic activity dwindling. I thought by setting up a language school I could generate some well-needed activity in the area (particularly for accommodations, transport providers, and local shops and restaurants). It would also allow the creation of a couple of good jobs, which are so scarce here, while also allowing me to live in my native village, next to family and friends. Great idea, right?
If the social and environmental sides of sustainability seemed almost to cover themselves in Panes, the financial aspects proved to be mountains tougher to climb than the real ones all around us in this national beauty spot.
For 11 years I made it work. There are hundreds of very satisfied Spanish students around the world (which makes me so happy and proud), but the time has come to accept that this has been to the detriment of my personal finances and quality of life. Many students have told me over the years that my courses are actually too cheap. That what they get is beyond their expectations. So the time has come to rethink our pricing strategy, and the quality of student interaction. The aim of this is to make room for better wages for all, increase our capacity to invest in our facilities and for me to have a better work-life balance.
And so, after much thought, here are the changes ahead:
– Simpler, pricier and more exclusive courses, with a maximum of 4 students per group
– 4 days of lessons per week (while still keeping approximately 40 hours of exposure to the language) and with one full day of eco-adventures on Fridays
– A renewed approach to helping students with their travel arrangements
With this new drive towards an even more sustainable Peak Me, I hope that I can count on Peak Me’s students’ continued support, and I shall raise a glass on New Year’s Eve to a 2024 that is focused, financially viable and, of course, fun.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for news, check out our website in the new year and do please book your course early, as there will be fewer spaces this year). Bookings will open on 2nd January and pencilled-in students will have priority over any other bookings.