ChiCeLaCu! was founded by Maureen Santamaria in 2007 and was the first immersion center in Northern Virginia specializing solely in Spanish. ChiCeLaCu! began operation with its Saturday Program at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Vienna. Soon the program expanded to include the After School and Preschool. In 2009 and after providing services from the Vienna Community Center, ChiCeLaCu! opened its own location near Tysons Corner-Vienna while simultaneously offering its preschool program from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax located near Great Falls and Reston. The program Spanish at Your School began in 2009 and expanded the Center’s reach to several public and private schools in Northern Virginia, including Forestville Elementary, Great Falls Elementary, and Chesterbrook Elementary.
In 2019 ChiCeLaCu! moved to the City of Fairfax and in 2020 opened a second location in the Tysons Vienna / Falls Church area in partnership with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. ChiCeLaCu! offers a safe and secure Spanish immersion in-person preschool for families in the Vienna-Tysons, Oakton, Dunn Loring, Merrifield, Falls Church, Pimmit Hills, McLean, Fairfax City, Fairfax Station, Reston and Great Falls.
In response to COVID-19, all ChiCeLaCu! programs moved online to rave reviews. Due to its successful implementation, Spanish online classes for Spanish Speakers and Spanish language learners are now a ChiCeLaCu! staple along with its established programs that include Bilingual and Spanish Immersion Preschool, Care During Distance Learning, Spanish After School, Spanish At Your School, Summer Camps. We proudly estimated that over 3000 children have joined ChiCeLaCu! over the past decade.