Program History

Program History

Elizabeth Villagomez, the founder of Welcome Amigos, grew up in Mexico City and came to California in 1992.

In 1998, Elizabeth wanted to find a joyful career that allowed her to spend time with her infant daughter. She began tutoring high school students and adults. Before long, Elizabeth has independently brought Welcome Amigos to several Bay Area recreational centers and preschools. In addition, Elizabeth also worked at The Nueva School during 2004-2006 as a Spanish teacher for elementary school age children from K-5th grades.

Elizabeth has a degree in Child Development from Cañada College as well a Children Development Teacher Permit and Site Supervisor Permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Furthermore, she has extensive training in social-emotional and cognitive development from the Northeast foundation and the Responsive Classroom Approach. In addition, she has taken online courses for her Master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College with an emphasis on Leadership and Community. In addition, Elizabeth remains active in the field of Education by taking courses that increase her professional growth in educational institutions.

Elizabeth’s strong attachment to her family, Hispanic traditions and culture and her ability to speak naturally to children in Spanish, led to her dream of creating a Spanish Immersion school with a special environment. Welcome Amigos officially opened its doors in 1998. Elizabeth says, “Being in this career is the best experience of my life, besides having my own children. It’s a joy to teach children in my native language, recognize them as individuals, and be witness to their personal and academic growth while giving them the gift of a second language that will open their world to many opportunities.”