About Us - Common Ground International Language Services

About Us

Mission and Vision

We impact communities through language

We are a niche Spanish language training and services company! We bridge language gaps in specific industries such as healthcare and education. We offer three branches of service:

We equip healthcare workers and students, teachers and other professionals with the functional Spanish they need to

What we offer

Leaders in Industry-Specific Spanish & English Language Training

Experts in Spanish Immersion Programs

Professional & certified translators and interpreters

Founders & Owners

Rory and Leslie Foster founded Common Ground International in the fall of 2001 while they were teaching Spanish at a local college preparatory school in Colorado. During this year, through various personal and professional interactions they noticed a real and urgent need that was not getting met.

With backgrounds in Spanish Education from the University level to pre-school and with training in curriculum development, they realized they needed to create a solution. In that moment, it became clear that their day job was not matching up with their true desire to use language to have a greater impact and provide a solution to a communication problem they discovered. The defining moment was when their friends, in a Doctorate of Nursing program, requested customized Medical Spanish classes to help them be more successful in treating their Spanish speaking patients. It was in that request, their passion for designing a language curriculum that could potentially save lives and improve patient health outcomes was discovered. 

How our Family Spanish Immersion Program started

Our History

Meet the Common Ground Team

Rory Foster

Rory Foster


Rory began studying Spanish in middle school and always enjoyed learning the language. He took a brief pause in high school when his only upper level Spanish options were with the teacher that he didn’t enjoy. So he started back over with Spanish in undergraduate. He met Leslie in a masters program in Colorado and the Common Ground story began to unfold from there.

Today, Rory loves leading the Common Ground team of linguists and support staff and helping Common Ground’s community members achieve their Spanish goals. He enjoys encouraging learners to speak more, which in turn impacts communities across the country.

Leslie Foster

Leslie Foster


When I was 16 years old, we hosted an exchange student from Spain. At the time I was annoyed because she would smoke out my bedroom window. But my perspective quickly changed when I had a chance to live with her family in Spain for the summer. This experience opened my eyes and ignited my love and passion for learning Spanish, experiencing and learning about other cultures and seeing different lifestyles. This passion continued into college where I had the opportunity to live and study abroad in Costa Rica. The day I left Costa Rica, I wrote in my journal “I have got to figure out a way to make Costa Rica a part of the rest of my life and share my passion for language and cultures with others” This experience led to the birth of our Spanish Immersion Programs.

These days, I spend a lot of time involved in the planning and coordinating of our Spanish immersion programs and creating new Spanish learning opportunities for the Common Ground Community. I’m honored to lead our team of incredible teachers and Spanish Immersion leaders as well as continue to spread the mission of Common Ground International: Impacting communities through Language whether that is in the United States or abroad.

Alexandra MacPhee

Medical Spanish Instructor

Andrea Giganti Dima

Medical Spanish Instructor

Kelly Damare

High School Immersion leader

Hi my name is Stephanie, I live in México and for the last 8 years I have worked as a language tutor, helping children, and adults learn Spanish and English, and I have been able to do so online, one on one, in a group setting and in person.

I love helping others develop new skills and I believe a positive caring attitude and dedication can be an upbuilding force in achieving success when learning new things. I enjoy seeing the learning process in myself and others when we try something new and we are able to practice it! It is amazing to observe the progress of how a student goes from speaking very little to having conversations that slowly build up to longer sentences and fuller expressions of their ideas.

In my spare time I spend time with my family and friends, I love languages, writing, swimming, meditating, and learning new things, I enjoy reading with a cup of coffee non fiction books, thrillers, fantasy and crime novels.

I consider it a privilege to be given the opportunity of helping others learn Spanish by being approachable, encouraging, engaging and patient.

Stephanie Beltrán - Medical Spanish Instructor - CGI

Stephanie Beltrán

Medical Spanish Instructor

Johanna Dima

Medical Spanish Instructor

Hi, my name is Samanta and I’m from Managua, Nicaragua. Since 2012 I’ve been working with different websites in the educational niche as a translator and in support roles. I’ve been part of the Common Ground team since 2021 assisting with the organization of the Immersion programs and helping carry CGI’s mission of transforming communities through language.

In my free time I like to discover new music, do yoga and read. I love nature and hope to live semi off-grid in the middle of the forest or in an ecovillage someday.

Samanta Urbina

Samanta Urbina

Immersion Support

Vanessa Hernandez

Social media & translation project manager

David Riveroll Fuster


Start your Spanish learning Journey with us today

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4 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. I see you have immersion programs for different healthcare professionals. I’m a chiropractor in Colorado and many of us have a significant number of Spanish speaking patients. Some of us belong to integrated practices that often include a medical provider, physical therapist and others. Have you considered including chiropractors in your travel programs–with a focus on orthopedic/rehab facilities? BTW–I’m enjoying your YouTube videos.

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for the note! Yes the medical Spanish immersion program is open to all who work in or are studying healthcare. We’ve worked with many PTs, some Chiropractors as yourself and a student or two headed toward PM&R. Immersion is the absolute best way to learn! While on program, the community outreach work we do is typically community health education – so we don’t set up or assist clinics and see patients. We do the language-rich work of educating vulnerable populations on health. In the daily classes, you would certainly have the time, opportunity and support to work on specifics around your work with patients. Thanks for checking in – we’re hoping our first post-covid trip will be July ’21. Hope you can join us!

  2. Hi this is Gene Mandell. I am a retired teacher, still very active that lives in Central Point, Oregon. Years ago, I use to order some of these wonderful booklets(I still have a few left), and I would use them for my adult Spanish classes when I was teaching medical professionals. I am very interested in some of your programs. I will leave you my email address so you may contact me. Thank you very much.


    Gene Mandell

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