Deidre and Kateri Aragon, a mother-daughter team, conceived Live the Language (LTL) in 2005 to offer a Spanish program to the Austin community to not only speak and attain fluency in Spanish, but also learn Spanish within a cultural context. Deidre and Kateri were inspired by their love for languages and Mexican culture as well as by the legacy of their ancestors, especially Mayan Princess Nicte-há Che Xiu de Aragón, a polyglot educator and Mexico’s cultural ambassador in the mid-twentieth century, and Agustín Aragón Leiva, a polyglot educator, composer, writer, gastronome, and founder of La Academia Mexicana de Gastronomía y Bromatología, Mexico’s first academy of gastronomy. Since the inception of Live the Language, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Deidre’s husband, has played a key role in the creative aspects of LTL’s programs, ranging from catered classes and culinary retreats to bilingual plays for children.
Deidre Kateri Aragón, Instructor and Director of Programs in Austin, TexaS
Deidre Kateri Aragon was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Mexico City. In Mexico City she attended French bilingual school from Kindergarten through 12th grade. She is fluent in five languages (Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese), holds a B.A. in French from the University of Texas at Austin and completed teaching certification courses at Le Tourneau University for secondary foreign language education. Deidre has taught Spanish to children and adults since 1997. Deidre has also worked with children as a social researcher, volunteer caregiver, and French/Spanish instructor. Besides devoting her time to teaching languages and her family, Deidre loves practicing yoga, taking nature hikes, and learning new languages.
Kateri Aragón, Director of Programs in Latin America
Kateri Aragón was born in Mexico City, where she attended Escuela Superior de Intérpretes Traductores e Idiomas and pursued her career in journalism, becoming one of the founders of the newspaper Uno más Uno and political columnist for la revista Siempre. She has also held government posts such as adviser to Mexico’s Secretary of Transportation and acted as spokeswoman for Mexico City’s Public Transportation System, Mexico’s National Lottery, and Mexico’s National University as well as press attaché at the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Texas. Kateri retired from journalism and public service to create and implement the programs of Live the Language and to work on literary writing.
Marshall Ryan Maresca, Culinary and Creative Director
Marshall Ryan Maresca was born in Syracuse, NY, and received a BA in Communications at Penn State. He spent much of his early life in kitchens, both personal and professional. He has trained and consulted with cooking professionals at every level, from short-order cooks to world-renowned chefs. His culinary interests have led him on several excursions to Mexico, where he extensively studied the traditional ingredients and techniques of regional cuisines. Marshall has been immersing in the Spanish language since 1999. Marshall is also a playwright and a novelist. His first novel, The Thorn of Dentonhill, was released by DAW in February 2015, and he's had several more come out since. You can read more about his writing work at his website.
Deidre and Marshall are the proud parents of Nicholas Aragon-Maresca, a bilingual young artist.