Marelvy Peña-Hall is completely fluent in English, French and Spanish. In her work as a tour guide she combines the intimate knowledge of a native of Cartagena who is steeped in the city’s centuries-old traditions with an easy familiarity with North American and European people, society and culture, having traveled and lived in both the U.S. and France.
After completing her studies in languages at the Colegio Mayor de Bolívar, Marelvy polished her skills in French by working and studying in France for a period of two years. Marelvy’s chief interests along with the study of languages are in the arts – in particular, dance – and in education. At the age of 13 she began a career spanning two decades of performing the folkloric dances of Colombia, especially those of the Caribbean coast. Upon returning to Cartagena from France she began teaching French at the university level and at this time married the North American-born painter, John Timothy Hall, so that for the past twenty years her study of English has been constant as well. They and their two children, Sheila and Theo, live by the sea just outside of the Old Walled City.
After ten years Marelvy retired from teaching and went into guidework while at the same time dedicating herself to the homeschooling of her bilingual children and, in collaboration with her husband, to the writing of an extensive and innovative bilingual dictionary. A look at the preliminary edition of this recently completed work will be coming soon here. The final edition will be published later this year.