You are here

October 2020 - Susan Hebert

With unfaltering determination, Susan has been wholly dedicated to her Spanish studies since first enrolling in classes at Tierra two years ago. A nature lover and avid hiker, she approaches learning Spanish like she might a hike: she is unafraid of challenges and holds a steady pace on the steep parts, knowing that eventually she’ll reach the peak and stroll down the mountain. Always asking questions to deepen her understanding, she’s recently worked daily Spanish study into her schedule and meets up with a classmate weekly for practice and review. One of her main motivations to learn Spanish is to communicate with those she works with in her business importing hand-hammered copper handicrafts from Michoacán, Mexico. Her burgeoning language skills have allowed her to communicate directly with the artisans. Over the years, she’s made many trips to the region and her authentic interest in expanding her cultural knowledge shines through in her classes. We’re honored to count Susan as part of our Tierra community and look forward to continuing to see her conquer ever higher summits.

Name: Susan Hebert
Occupation: Business Owner (Susan Hebert Imports)
Time Studying at Tierra: Two years

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"I began importing Mexican artesanias in 1994 and for the last 20 years my primary focus has been hand-hammered copper made in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan. Most of my coppersmiths have been with me since the beginning and today I work with men who were sons of the coppersmiths I met many years ago. It's been a privilege to be a part of their lives.

I'm studying Spanish to communicate more directly with my artesanos. I have a translator here in Portland and a translator when I visit my artesanos in Mexico but I want to have more direct communication with them. When I visited last October I told them I was "going to school" to improve my Spanish and I could tell they really appreciated it. Well, there were a few giggles...!"

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?

"I love learning new things and I feel like I am becoming reacquainted with the English language as I learn Spanish. I also enjoy the journey with my fellow classmates."

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?

"I use my Spanish every day whether it's preparing an order to send to one of my artists or during a phone conversation with my translator. I understand their conversations so much more and I feel more confident making comments as appropriate."

¡Felicidades Susan!