Hola! Welcome to the AMAUTA Spanish Schools blog!
At our Spanish Schools in Cusco and Buenos Aires, we provide the best Spanish courses and cultural immersion experiences for our students. We encourage our students to step outside of the Spanish classroom, to enjoy the local culture, make Spanish-speaking friends, and travel in Peru and Argentina. During or after finishing your Spanish course, we greatly encourage participation in our volunteer program in Cusco or Buenos Aires, where you will really get the chance to practice and improve your Spanish language skills and give back to local community.
Here at our AMAUTA blog, we aim to keep you posted about what is happening out our Spanish schools, as well as what´s going on in and around the cities of Cusco and Buenos Aires. We´ll also post fun articles about Peruvian and Argentinian culture, cuisine, local fiestas, what to see in Cusco, & where to go in Buenos Aires, etc.
We´ll include advice about which weekend excursions to sign up for and which free cultural activities are available. And after reading our section of student reports, you´ll know exactly why you want to study Spanish at AMAUTA in Cusco and Buenos Aires.
The days before All Saints ’Day and All Souls’ Day (November 1st and November 2nd) are full of traditions and travelers to Peru. Our Spanish students attending AMAUTA these days, will feel a magic atmoshere in Peru, especially in Cusco and the surrounding Andean communities.
The celebrations are all rooted in the belief that the souls of deceased relatives come back to visit earth these days. The colorful traditions, mixed with the celebrations of the Anglo-American Halloween, make it a week full of celebrations to live and to experience. On top of that, in Peru October 31st is also the Day of the Cancion Criolla.
Both All Saints’ Day (Todos los Santos) and All Souls’ Day (Dia de los Muertos), are dedicated to the memory of the dead. The worship of the dead was a common and respected custom during pre-Hispanic times in Peru. The Incas had a strong connection with their deceased so when the Spaniards arrived, the Inca traditions combined easily with the Christian elements brought by the Spaniards. And that’s why still today, those days of honor to the death full of traditions are still very lively in Peru and other Latinamerican countries.
“Helping people and making a difference in their lives is something that’s very important and inspiring to me which is why I participate in the AMAUTA Volunteer Program in Buenos Aires.” – says volunteer Cassandra Lord
Most people are motivated by the same reasons when asked why they come to volunteer and learn Spanish in Argentina. The beautiful city of Buenos Aires offers different options for people who are interested in spending time volunteering, from social to cultural, to ecological or educational projects.
First of all there is the motivation to give something back to society, to make a difference in the lives of people that need you at that particular moment. They have a need to make the world a better place, even on a small scale. Doing volunteer work in Argentina is also a great opportunity to immerse in the culture by living and working in Buenos Aires; also a great way to practice your Spanish while socializing simultaneously. Last but not least, you can gain important working experience abroad and add value to your Curricula Vitae.
Scientist believe the potato began it’s career in food culture between 2000 and 3000 BC and continues today with many different colors, flavors, sizes and textures. Scientists also think all potatoes have originated from the Andes in Peru; well over 100 cultivators can be found in just one valley. Some of the oldest archeological finds were located around Lake Titicaca.
The Papa Perricholi (white potato) is now one of the more popular potatoes sold in Peruvian markets. As this particular potato doesn’t turn brown after peeling, it’s ideal uses are for commercial kitchens and restaurants. If you choose Peru for your Spanish immersion program, you’ll learn more about and try lovely recipes based on the Peruvian potato.
Argentina is a fascinating destination to take a Spanish course. It’s a large and beautiful country; unique in many ways. If you are about to travel to Argentina for your study abroad trip, we have prepared this checklist for you. We hope it will help you planning en packing for your trip to get the most out of your Spanish studies in Buenos Aires and your Argentina experience!
When to go: the climate in Argentina
Argentina is a big, long country so the weather in the north is completely different from the weather in the south. In Argentina you can find it all: from steamy rainforest climates to arid deserts, to mild climates, to the perfect location for skiing!
The city of Buenos Aires has a friendly climate with the mild fall (April) and spring (October) and relatively hot summer (January and February)). The south of Argentina is way colder then the north. Overall the nicest time to visit the country is between the months of November and March. This is also high season, so the prices for tours and hotels will be a bit higher than during mid and low season; the prices for Spanish courses in Buenos Aires will remain the same during one calendar year.
Cusco in Peru is a big city still connected to the village root; not far from Machu Picchu it’s also a huge attraction for tourists traveling and a perfect destination for Spanish studies in Peru.
There are several nice places to eat at in Cusco, Peru; International cuisine, food for the meat lovers and vegetarians or vegans along with the sweets coinsurer. During my first week of Spanish studies at AMAUTA Cusco, I have put together a list of 3 of the best places in town all of which are a short stroll from AMAUTA at Calle San Agustin and the Plaza de Armas, which is the heart of the city.
Some may think football (soccer) is a sport, but for the residents of Buenos Aires (Argentina), it is so much more than just a sport: it’s more of a religion!
Coming from a different country and just having arrived to Buenos Aires to start my Spanish courses at AMAUTA, I was taken to football game. All on a sudden I found myself in the middle of the die hard fans, being the only guy in the whole stadium not wearing the T-shirt of the Club! I have seen many football matches in my life, in different countries, but this experience was totally new. In Argentina the die-hard fans – called the Barra Brava – sang and partied for the entire 90 minutes of the game!
Of course not all people attend the games in the stadiums; many people watch from the television with the entire family. Throughout the week you can always find football games running on many channels.
Especially on Sundays millions of people enjoy the games happening. My local friends here told me that if a family member switches teams, this can cause rifts in the family, possibly even leading to divorce! And be careful not to make jokes about a team in front of a supporter; this could land you in some serious trouble as it’s likely to be taken seriously.
Before arriving to Buenos Aires for your Spanish course in Argentina, you might not even have realized how BIG Buenos Aires actually is. So here we come with a helping hand: our updated public transportation guide!
Our first tip for all students in Buenos Aires is to get a SUBE card. This makes travelling around Buenos Aires much easier and cheaper. Your SUBE card will give you access to the bus, train, and subway systems.
There are two ways you can buy a SUBE card: the official way, or the non-official way: on the friendly called “blue market” in Argentina. If you do it the official way, go to the post office (correo Argentino) with your passport, so this will be your personal card. You will be asked to fill in a form and then you will receive a SUBE card, which is registered in your name. The second way to buy a SUBE card is by going to one of the many kiosks around the city, where you will be able to purchase a SUBE card without filling in a form.