Colleen Castillo

Destinations, Cultures and Languages

Dr. Colleen Castillo is a world-celebrated educator and teacher-trainer who has dedicated her life to helping international students learn English both at home and abroad. She holds degrees in home economics, Spanish, English, linguistics, and counseling. She has worked mostly at the university level but at times has taught students ranging in age from 3 to 88. She has had the privilege of conducting educational seminars in several countries including Korea, Japan, Australia, and Mexico. She has also lived and taught overseas: one year in Seoul, Korea; two years in Habikino, Osaka, Japan; and five years in various parts of Mexico.

Dr. Castillo enjoys traveling, and when she travels she looks for opportunities to experience the true culture of the places she visits. She studies the languages and customs of the people and tries to interact with as many native people as she can. She especially enjoys collecting idiomatic expressions in different languages as well as proverbs that she can compare from culture to culture.

When Dr. Castillo isn’t traveling, she spends time at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge where she interacts with many people from many countries and teaches them about the birds they can see at the Refuge.

In addition, she enjoys quilting and other types of needlework and crafts, reading, and watching films in different languages.

Although Dr. Castillo speaks several languages, she has often found herself in places where she doesn’t know the language. However, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for her. When asked how she communicates with people whose language she doesn’t know, she replied, “A smile is understood in any language!”


Barcelona – Gaudi’s Inspiration -- Join Dr. Castillo as she explores the diverse history and architecture of Barcelona which has been known as “a place to inspire.”


Rome – A Step Back in Time -- Get on board as Dr. Castillo takes you on a journey through Rome including such enchanting stops as the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter’s Basilica.


Pisa – Is the Tower Still There? -- Yes, the tower is still leaning! Would you like to learn why? Then join Dr. Colleen Castillo as she takes you on a virtual tour of Pisa.


Florence – Michelangelo’s Playground -- Come follow in the footsteps of the great Michelangelo as Dr. Castillo guides you through the rich history found in Florence.


Amalfi Coast – Small Towns, Beautiful Views -- Visit the romantic cities of Positano, Sorrento, and Amalfi as you take a guided tour around the Amalfi coast with Dr. Colleen Castillo.


Pompeii – What Really Happened There? -- Join Dr. Castillo as she takes a tour of the World Heritage Site of Pompeii to learn what new discoveries have been made in recent days.


Palma de Mallorca – Land of Many Cultures -- Dr. Castillo will explore the Roman and Moorish cultures as she leads you on a visit to the Moorish Almudaina royal palace and 13th-century Santa María Cathedral. 


Learn Essential Greetings in Portuguese/A Bit About the History of Brazil -- ​Join Dr. Castillo for a beginning lesson in Portuguese as well as some interesting information about our first stop in Brazil: Salvador -- the only place that has a what? and the biggest what? in the world!

Introductions in Portuguese/Some More About the History of Brazil​ -- Learn how to introduce yourself and your friends/family to others in Portuguese (and a few other essential phrases), and then continue with more about the fascinating history of Brazil.

Shopping in Portuguese/The Music and Dance of Brazil​ -- Let’s get ready for souvenir shopping during your stops in Brazil and then enjoy a time listening to and learning to dance to the rhythms of Brazil.

At the Restaurant in Portuguese/Exploring The Catholic and Pagan Beliefs of Brazil -- ​Have fun together as Dr. Castillo teaches you to order “caipirinha” and other delights at a “churrasqueira”. Later you will delve into “Carnaval” and different Brazilian religious traditions.

So, How’s That Portuguese?/Have you seen Brigitte Bardot? ​-- Have you had a chance to practice that Portuguese? How did it go? Let’s review . . . Then Dr. Castillo will lead you on a historical tour of Buzios, and you’ll discover why the chapel is dedicated to “Nossa Senhora Desatadora de Nós” (Mary Undoer of Knots).

Oops! Time to Switch to Spanish!/Rio, Such a Rich History​ -- First, you’ll find out how easy it is to switch from Portuguese to Spanish in preparation for the remainder of your trip, and then Dr. Castillo has some interesting facts to share with you about Rio de Janeiro (River of January), past and present.

More Spanish to Add to Your Repertoire/Why does Uruguay Owe Its Very Existence to Brazil?​ -- Isn’t it great to learn new languages? So many new doors begin to open! We’ll continue with some more Spanish phrases, and later Dr. Castillo will explain some of the history of Uruguay.

Shopping in Spanish/Where Did the Tango Really Originate? -- ​We need to get ready to haggle in Spanish for many of the ports we will visit, so join Dr. Castillo as she teaches you the basics of dealing with the vendors in South America. From there, she will get you ready for the argument between the Argentinians and the Uruguayans about the origins of the Tango.