Meet The Owner.

About Carolina, founder of Pura Buena Onda.


¿Qué tal? I’m Caro, the founder and owner of Pura Buena Onda – Conversational Spanish!

Thanks so much for visiting our page and wanting to know more about us!

There’s so much to share that I had to limit it to 10 random facts about me, otherwise you’d be here all day! Ha ha!

Here are some personal random facts about me:

  1. I was born in Santiago de Chile in 1970, but have lived in the United States for over 40 years.
  2. I’m divorced, single at the moment (any cuties out there?) and live in Hillcrest, a fun and beautiful neighborhood in San Diego, CA.
  3. I speak Spanish and English fluently and study Italian. I also studied French in high school but learned nothing, which is a huge bummer because my step-brother and his family are French.
  4. I love dogs and happen to be incredibly lucky to have found my dog soulmate, who previously wandered the streets of Tijuana. Her name is Lola, she’s a Chiweenie and looks a bit like an alien. She’s incredibly well-behaved, sweet, and doesn’t need to be walked on a leash. You can find me at the park with her almost every day.
  5. I am an extroverted introvert. I love spending time with people and in crowded chaotic places, but NEED my alone time.
  6. The things that bring me the most joy are: reading, taking my dog on beautiful walks, singing (horrible voice), dancing (very mediocre), exploring new places, driving in my Jeep (Fiona) with the top down – music blaring – singing my ass off, going to the theater, and having deep and/or meaningful conversations with people.
  7. I love to travel, but only once or twice a year. I love the comfort and routine of being at home, but also love to explore (I’m a Gemini – I definitely have 2 different sides). I don’t enjoy traveling alone though. I am a person who craves sharing her experiences with others.
  8. I am a highly sensitive human who feels things very deeply. I cry when I see others succeed, I cry when I see beautiful sunsets and I cry when I hear a beautiful song. I used to hate this about myself, but I now accept that this is who I am.
  9. I have been on a personal development/spiritual journey for over 10 years now and I spend a lot of time working on myself. I’ve met many amazing teachers on this journey, but by far my favorite one is Zoë Freedman, one of Pura Buena Onda’s students! How lucky was I that our paths crossed through the school?! 
  10. Last but not least, I am a hopeFUL romantic. I genuinely believe that at some point I will meet the perfect partner. I can’t wait!

Random facts about Pura Buena Onda a.k.a. PBO:

  1. Pura Buena Onda means Purely Good Vibes.
  2. PBO came to be for a variety of reasons. One of them is that I hated my job and a co-worker (thank you Matt!) suggested that I open my own business. I told him he was insane, that the thought had never crossed my mind, and yet the next day I quit my job and opened up my own business, which morphed into Pura Buena Onda – Conversational Spanish, about a year later.
  3. I started teaching Spanish in coffee shops and people’s homes in 2006. In 2007 I offered my first small-group conversation class in my home, which was an experiment and a HUGE success. 1 class quickly grew to 3, I rented a space and Pura Buena Onda was born!
  4. I originally taught using traditional methods, because that’s what I was used to…book work, teaching verb conjugations, vocabulary drills, the whole bit. I quickly realized that students wanted to be able to SPEAK Spanish, not conjugate verbs. 
  5. I went to an American school in Chile and yet could not speak English when we moved to the US. I took 4 years of French in high school and can only count to 20 and ask you about the weather. This is what made me realize that traditional language programs do not work and that PBO had to take a non-traditional, organic approach to teaching Spanish.
  6. The question I most often get asked is how our classes are different from traditional classes. Remember when you were learning to drive? You had to read the book to pass the written test and you had to drive to take the actual driving test? Traditional schools teach you “the manual” and we “put you behind the wheel.” I’ve yet to meet someone whose goal revolves around conjugating verbs. Everyone I’ve met wants to learn to COMMUNICATE in Spanish, so that’s what we offer. You can learn the rules as you “drive.”
  7. PBO was originally in Banker’s Hill (a neighborhood in San Diego, CA). I was the only teacher and had 1 classroom. 3 years later I moved us to North Park (another neighborhood in SD) and hired our first permanent teacher, Lore, who is still with us today! We eventually had 10+ teachers and 4 classrooms. Since Covid, our classes are 100% online, but we still offer in-person events.
  8. My background before teaching was in hospitality. I was the VIP Manager at Hotel del Coronado, taking care of celebrities and dignitaries. When I opened the school, I knew I wanted to bring that level of service to PBO. 
  9. Our teachers go through a 7+ step screening process before we hire them. I am very picky because I genuinely want our students to experience the best Spanish class ever!
  10. We currently have teachers from Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, & Ecuador. We hope to add teachers from several other Spanish-speaking countries soon!