The Best Spanish Shows on Netflix

The Best Spanish Shows on Netflix

Inside: My top recommendations for Spanish shows on Netflix. 

 

I speak Spanish all day with my kids and as a teacher, but I need good input too! And lucky for me, there are more and more great shows to watch. Here are a bunch of suggestions (most of which I’ve personally watched). 

As a semi-introvert, my ideal evening just might be curled at home with a good show. Not surprisingly, a good series is one of my favorite ways to learn more Spanish.

(If you’re looking for little ones, check out my post on Spanish cartoons on Netflix for kids. I’ve also got a great list of movies in Spanish. My friend Allison wrote about her top five binge-worthy Netflix Spanish picks, which includes some shows I haven’t seen yet.)

Below, I’ve included a brief commentary where I could, However, if you’re wondering about ratings, please be sure to click on the title and get a better idea of the content. Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

 

Spanish Shows on Netflix

 

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

1. Velvet

This is a GREAT show. The drama of the main two character wasn’t actually my favorite: what makes the show are the endearing supporting characters. I love the aesthetics, clever dialogue, and lively personalities throughout. Set in Spain.

 

2. El tiempo entre costuras

Often compared to Downton Abbey, El tiempo entre costuras is a mini-series based off a novel. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it follows a seamstress unlucky-in-love, who gets caught up between spies in Franco’s Spain. It has gorgeous scenery and costuming. This is one of my very favorites, and I’ve used it in class along with a study of the Spanish Civil War. Set in Spain and Morocco.

 

3. Club de cuervos

This was one of those shows I initially wrote off, then totally got into. The first episode is fairly explicit but gets a tamer as the series goes on. It’s quite the study in family disfunction, and turned out to be more complex, funny, and memorable than I expected. Both my husband and I have enjoyed it (I watched El tiempo entre costuras alone, haha). Set in Mexico.

 

4. Gran Hotel

Here’s your really well-done telenovela that even my action-loving husband couldn’t stop watching. Full of intrigue and mystery, it’s got plenty of the novela qualities– but with a solid story and characters to back it up. Like Velvet, the supporting characters are the best part of the story. (If you’re not finding it on Netflix, search Grande Hotel.) Set in Spain. 

 

5. Pablo Escobar: El patrón del mal

This was a hard show to watch, but one we both really liked. It’s an extensive series based on the life and rise of Pablo Escobar to power. A lot of the events shown were new to me, and filled in some gaps in the complicated relationship between the Colombian public and Escobar (even though it’s not a historical documentary). It was interesting to watch together, as my husband remembers much of the story from his childhood the nearby Peruvian jungle. Set in Colombia.

 

6. La niña

I just started this one and it looks really good. Difficult themes– life during the conflict between the FARC and the national military, re-integration after life as a guerilla, child soldiers– but still good. It manages to deal with those heavy themes while maintaining hope and everyday moments. Unlike many of the other series in this list, it gives a in-depth look into everyday life for working-class families in Latin America. Set in Colombia.

 

7. Morroco: Tiempos de Guerra

Brand-new to Netflix, this looks like a fantastic historical show. If you weren’t ready to let Gran Hotel go, Cristina is back as the star of this drama. Set in WWI, Morroco, and Spain.

 

8. El reemplazante

Just out of prison, a former executive becomes a math teacher. Haven’t seen this one yet, but it comes highly recommended– a perfect watch for teachers!

 

9. Ingobernable

Starring the iconic Kate del Castillo as the first lady of Mexico, Ingobernable begins as her world is turned upside down and she finds herself running for her life. Accused of assassinating her husband, she must find her way outside her life of wealth and power, to prove her innocence. Set in Mexico.

 

10. Las chicas del cable

From the creators of Gran Hotel and Velvet, this show is packed with favorite actors from both shows, as well as El barco and El internado. It follows 4 women who work for a cable company in the 20’s. I was a bit put off by the jarring modern music combined with a really gorgeous set, but enough of my friends like it that I think I’ll give it another chance. Set in Spain.

 

11. El internado

Confession: I haven’t watched this one! That’s pretty much Spanish-teacher sacrilege, I know. However– I have a lot of friends who LOVE it and swear by it. Set in a boarding school, it’s a mystery series. Set in Spain.

 

12. Merlí

An unorthodox philosophy teacher tries to open up the worlds of his students, a la Dead Poet’s Society. On my list to watch (I’ve heard good things), and set in Spain. 

 

13. El ministerio del tiempo

This one is set to come to Netflix on January 28, 2018. It’s a Dr. Who-type show and supposed to be really good! It’s a time-travel theme about two students who join forces under the direction of the Time Ministry of Spain, to go back in time and correct mistakes. This should be great to show in class– lots of history and art, set in Spain.

 

14. Juana Inés

I haven’t seen this one yet, but Allison from Mis Clases Locas reviewed it for us and recommend it

 

 

15. El chapo

It’s a reasonable criticism that too many shows/movies paint Latin America as full of drugs, violence, etc. And this show was hard to watch for the violence, same as Pablo Escobar. I did think it was well-done though, and we both got into it (it was a really interesting background to Kate del Castillo’s documentary “The Day I Met Chapo”). Set in Mexico.

 

15. Sobreviviendo a Escobar

Just to continue right along with narco-theme series, Sobreviviendo Pablo Escobar was a fascinating follow-up to Pablo Escobar (and Narcos). Set in Colombia. 

 

16. La casa de papel

This one just came to Netflix, about a group of burglars joined together to pull off the most daring robbery in the history of Spain.

 

17. Mar de plástico

A detective searches for answers after the death of a girl in southern Spain.

 

18. El barco

Another Spanish mystery, El barco follows a group of young people on a boat during a global cataclysm, who believe themselves to be the only people left on earth. We got really into this one initially, though my interest waned a bit with the extreme drama every episode, hah. If you liked El internado and Gran hotel, you’ll probably like this one! Set in Spain (sort’ve… they’re in the ocean most of the time).

 

19. La esclava blanca

A woman is taken rescued and raised by slaves, and later must make her life in a Spanish nunnery. I haven’t seen this one, but heard it recommended by several other teachers.

 

20. Bala loca

A journalist investigates corruption in Chile. 

 

Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish shows on Netflix? Leave your favorites in the comments!

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The 2017 Spanglish Family Holiday Gift Guide

The 2017 Spanglish Family Holiday Gift Guide

Inside: Spanish gift guide for Spanish/English-speaking kids and families. 

The holidays are quickly approaching, but if you’re like me, you still have people on your gift list!

If you need some ideas for a Spanglish friends and family still on your list, I’ve got you covered. Here are some fun ideas for meaningful and quality gifts. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

1. Coco-Inspired Lotería and Bingo

 


Disney Pixar Coco (Remember Me) A LOTERIA Game

How fun is this? Bingo/Lotería to go with the Coco craze, and bring Mexican culture into your home with these gorgeous designs. 

 

2. Spanish Edition of Scrabble

 


Scrabble Spanish

We are having lots of fun with this one right now! If you have a mix of English and Spanish speakers, you can always allow everyone to play in their native language.

 

3. T-shirts 

 

How about an adorable bilingual onesie? I think these are too cute:


Chiquitin Clothing on Etsy

I wanted to recommend the amazing Ellie Elote Store, but they are temporarily closed! Perhaps a Coco-themed shirt in the meantime:

Disney Coco Heathered T-Shirt for Girls Size S (5/6) Blue

 

5. Magnetic Poetry

 


Magnetic Poetry – Spanish Kit – Words for Refrigerator – Write Poems and Letters on the Fridge – Made in the USA

Keep Spanish on everyone’s mind with this fun magnetic set. Leave message for each other, learn some new words, and get creative with this gift. 

 

6. Music

 


Diez Deditos/ Ten Little Fingers

If it’s a family with younger kids, I can’t recommend Jose Luis Orozco highly enough!

andes gift

Of course I’m partial to anything Peruvian, but this is a great educational gift. The Ebook and CD from Daria’s Little Village Store teach about Quechua culture and life in the Andes.  

 

7. Coffee Mug

 


Funny Spanish Animal Coffee Mug by Crazy Cool Mugs | Como Te Llamas Language Joke, 11 Ounce White

Just yes please. 

 

8. DIY Map Ornament

 

peru ornament

You can make this for free! Decoupage maps onto an old ball ornament. (If you look up DIY decoupage ball ornament, there are tons of tutorials out there.) Use maps that hold significance: hometowns, places traveled to, etc. 

 

9. Map Gifts

 


Custom Wedding Couple 2 Heart Maps Art Print, UNFRAMED, Wedding gift, Personalized & Customized, Engagement Gift, Anniversary Gift, Valentines day gift, Housewarming gift

If you want to be creative, here’s a really thoughtful and personalized idea for a bicultural couple. Just give the hometown of each couple and order the print.  Jigsaw2order – Personalized Photo Jigsaw Puzzle with 504 pieces, 16x20in

Use a family photo, travel pictures, hometown pictures, or maps to make a customized puzzle. 

 

10. Bilingual or Authentic Spanish Books

 

It’s so hard to list just a few. Seriously. Browse my recommendations for 50 Bilingual Books in Spanish and English, or 50 Authentic Books in Spanish for Kids and see what I mean. 

But if I have to boil it down to my very favorites, I’ll do my best. If you want to be a really awesome gift-giver, think about giving a subscription to Spanish and English books via Booklandia or Sol Book Box.

Then your favorite Spanglish family can get something new to read/explore every month!

Here goes:

Board Books:


Loteria: First Words / Primeras Palabras (English and Spanish Edition)

With gorgeous images, these bilingual board books are perfect for small hands. They put even your littlest ones in touch with Latino culture and are sure to delight. 

Preschoolers:


¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)

This collection has the best of traditional Spanish rhymes and songs, with beautiful illustrations on each page. It needs to be on every Spanglish family shelf for sure.  


Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever / El mejor libro de palabras de Richard Scarry (Richard Scarry’s Best Books Ever) (English, Multilingual and Spanish Edition)

Busy and curious preschoolers will love this pictionary from Richard Scarry. It’s great for families where both parents aren’t bilingual and want to learn along with their kids. 

Elementary:


Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas (Tales Our Abuelitas Told): Cuentos populares Hispánicos (Spanish Edition) 
Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy (1996) Paperback

I love anything by Alma Flor Ada, and this collection brings together classic Hispanic stories. 


Que Monton de Tamales (Too Many Tamales) (Spanish Edition) by Gary Soto, Ed Martinez

A Noche Buena story, this book is available in both Spanish and English. It’s a fun story with Latino culture, family, and food woven throughout.

Older Kids:


Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book)

Written in English, Secret of the Andes follows the story of a boy as he learns about his ancestors. (Sorry for another Peru-heavy suggestion!)

Adult Readers:


Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie: Raising Bicultural Children

See my review of this wonderful book here. It’s a perfect read for bicultural parents with young or older children– challenging, heartwarming, and helpful. 

Hope this list was helpful! Don’t forget to sing up for my newsletter below for more Spanglish ideas and help. 

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Latin Christmas Songs: Your Essential Spanish Playlist

Latin Christmas Songs: Your Essential Spanish Playlist

Inside: Latin Christmas songs playlist to celebrate with family and friends. 

 

Whether you like to turn on the Christmas songs in October or you prefer to wait for December, there’s nothing to bring on Navidad nostalgia like music. I grew up listening to classic English carols and the likes of Frank Sinatra, but I’ve expanded the repertoire since marrying my Peruvian husband. Now there’s twice as much festivity, with a little more cha-cha-cha thrown in. 

 

Latin Christmas Songs Playlist

 

This list is a mix of original Spanish songs, villancicos, and ones that are familiar to English speakers as well. Some are religious and some aren’t; some are old classics and some are recent covers. (If you’re a teacher and are looking for a non-Christmas song, skip to the end for a great Latin Hanukkah song.)

So, grab a mug a of chocolate and curl up for some Christmas cheer!

 

 

1. Mi burrito sabanero (Juanes)

 

It’s really not a Latin playlist without this classic. And Juanes nails it!

 

 

2. Los peces en el río (Pandora)

 

This is an original Spanish song that you’ll hear again and again during the Christmas season. 

 

 

3. Feliz Navidad (Michael Bublé y Thalia)

 

Obviously, Feliz Navidad. Thanks to this song, basically everybody knows how to say Christmas in Spanish. I adore the version by Michael Bublé and Thalia!

 

 

4. El niño de tambor/ El tamborilero (Pandora)

 

There are tons of great options for this songs (Don Omar has a good cover), but this version is classic. 

 

 

5. Blanca Navidad (Matisse ft. Arthur Hanlon)

 

Here’s a fresh cover of Blanca Navidad that will get your toes tapping. Try the version by Andrea Bocelli if you love a more classic sound. 

 

 

6. Campanas de Navidad (Celia Cruz)

 

Throwback to older days of salsa-inspired music with this song by Celia Cruz. 

 

 

7. Noche de paz (Laura Pausini)

 

Beautiful, of course, from Laura Pausini (I like the Matisse cover as well). 

 

 

8. Campana sobre campana (Pandora)

 

It’s hard to beat Pandora’s version of Campana sobre campana. 

 

 

9. Ven a mi casa esta Navidad (Luis Aguile)

 

Luis Aguile’s Ven a mi casa esta Navidad is a must-listen-to and sure to bring back memories. 

 

 

10. Allá en el pesebre (Aliento ft. Majo Solis)

 

Beautiful, reverent cover of the traditional carol Away in a Manger. (villancico– religious). Listen to this one on Christmas eve. 

 

 

11. Adestes fideles (Andrea Bocellia)

 

To end on a more majestic note, O Come Let Us Adore Him in Spanish is a beautiful song. 

 

12. Canción para la Navidad (José Luis Perales)

 

 

13. Ocho Kandelikas – Latin Hanukkah Remix

 

To round out the holidays, here’s a great version of Ocho Kandelikas, in honor of Hanukkah.

 

Hope you enjoyed my picks for essential Latin Christmas Songs! What did I miss on your playlist? Let me know in the comments below.

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Spanish Christmas Songs

Image Credits:

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Free Printable Christmas and Holiday Cards in Spanish

Free Printable Christmas and Holiday Cards in Spanish

Inside: Free printable Holiday, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas cards in Spanish.

Who’s up for some holiday freebies? I’ve been busy putting together some cards that you can use at home or in the classroom for the winter holidays.

spanish christmas cards

 

Holiday & Christmas Cards in Spanish

I styled them a bit minimalist to save on printing, and tried to include a variety of winter holidays to accommodate all my readers. (If I missed something, let me know!)

If you’re here looking for ways to express holiday greetings, here are a few options:

Feliz navidad (Merry Christmas)

Felices fiestas (Happy Holidays)

Feliz Janucá (Happy Hanukkah– though I’ve also seen Feliz Januka, Hanukkah, and Jánuca!)

Feliz Kwanzaa (Happy Kwanzaa)

If you’d like to have a set of black and white cards to color, you can purchase them here!

Also check out my posts on Holiday and Spanish Christmas Activities, Christmas across the Spanish-speaking world,  and Spanish Christmas Songs for Kids.

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free printable Christmas cards in Spanish

Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Inside: A round-up of classroom ideas for Spanish Christmas activities. 

The week before winter holidays can be a bit crazy right? You might be at the end of your rope and out of ideas, but no worries! I’ve scoured the internet for the best Christmas and winter-themed ideas, and gathered them here for you. 

Obviously, the guidelines on Christmas-themed plans will vary from school-to-school. Some of you at religious schools can celebrate it; others will need to present more neutral lessons. Because it’s entrenched in largely-Catholic Hispanic culture, you might present it as culture. 

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to gather a variety so there’s something for everyone. If it’s not already obvious, I’ve also tried to note whether certain resources are religious or not. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Spanish Christmas Activities

merry christmas in spanish

 Easy & Fun Ideas

 

  • Ask or tell a funny Christmas/winter story: mishaps of Santa, a kid who discovers Santa isn’t real, or build a story around a familiar character like the Grinch.

 

  • Choose a song and just focus on a few keywords (like Navidad). Do a really easy listening activity like Draw, Listen, Check

 

  • Use authentic holiday commercials in Spanish and do a voting tournament to choose the class favorite. You can find a ton of great resources to do this here.

 

  • Introduce Hispanic traditions like Las posadas, Los tres reyes, or traditional foods. 

 

  • Retell the original Christmas story. Use a picture book, draw as you go (a la Story Listening), or use a video from below as your visual

#authres

There are lots of infographics, songs, and video clips you can throw in during the winter holidays. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.


Credit: Easy Spanish 


Credit: Azteca Noticias

Visit my Christmas in Spanish page on Pinterest to find lots more Navidad realia!

 

Songs

 

If you have a younger crowd, I’ve got a great list of Christmas songs in Spanish for kids. Below, you can find my   top picks for a variety of ages, both religious and non-religious. 

Feliz navidad from Michael Bublé and Thalia
I love, love, love this version! Non-religious except for the word “Navidad.” His accent isn’t perfect but Thalia makes up for that. 🙂

 

Mi burrito sabanero 
This is a great dose of culture, comprehensible language, and Christmas that will be new for most of your students. Definitely religious, with religious images.

 

Noche de paz – If you’d like a familiar Christmas carol in Spanish, this is a good pick.

 

Báte, báte chocolate Perfect in case you need a highly comprehensible winter-themed non-religious song (hot chocolate, anyone?)

 

Ocho candalias Great song for including Hanukkah in your winter plans. 

 

 Ideas for Older Students

 

Lotería de Justino 
Movietalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos (INCREDIBLE and free resources based on a MovieTalk on the Spanish lottery short film)

Los pingüinos de Madagascar
MovieTalk resources from Aprendemos Juntos (another CI-packed resource)

El tío de Nadal 
from La maestra loca (Hilarious, + authentic culture.)

Navidad Stations
from Mary Overton 

Volver a casa MovieTalk Resources
from Aprendemos Juntos

navidad inesperada
 MovieTalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos 

Juego de navidad
from Aprendemos Juntos

Rosca de reyes
from Cynthia Hitz

Podcast for Beginners: ¡Feliz navidad!

Podcast for Intermediate Students: ¡Lotería!

Navidad mini-unit
(IPA-style) from Get Your Learning On

General Spanish Christmas Resources

 

Freebie Christmas Card Printable in Spanish from Mommy Maleta

Spanish Christmas Cards from Mommy Maestra

Bilingual Gift Tags in Spanish from Mommy Maestra

A Spanglish Christmas Poem from Family Life in Spain

“Ojo de Dios” Craft from Bilingual Eyes

 

MovieTalks

 

There are some amazing short films that make for great MovieTalks– this is one of those times you can get the best of #authres and CI.

If you’re new to MovieTalks, read about them here. Basically, you narrate a short film in language the students understand, discuss, and possibly type up a reading.

Commercial from Spain for the 2015 Christmas Lottery  (There are tons of activities to go along with this! Lotería de Justino  Activities from Elena Lopez)

 

Commercial from Spain for the 2016 Christmas Lottery

 

Los tres reyes

 

Commercial for Christmas with llamas!

 

 

 

Christmas Stories

 

Narrate these videos in simple Spanish, or using the original versions with more advanced students. 

Re-telling of the Original Christmas Story (audio and subtitles in Spanish)

 

Santa Story: Very clear Spanish and story (audio and subtitles in Spanish).

 

 

#authres Movies

 

IKEA Commercial: Kids writing letters to Los tres reyes. 

 

Peruvian Navidad Commercial:

Lotería de España:

 

 

Christmas Spanish Activities 

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Spanish Christmas Activities

 

 

 

 

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