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.
Present students at AMAUTA learning Spanish in Cusco, Peru are looking forward to experience one of the biggest native Indian festivals in the Americas . It’s called Qoyllur Rit´i, meaning “Star Snow”. This is an annual celebration that has indigenous and Catholic influences, a unique experience for travelers and students visiting Peru.
Before the Spaniards brought Christianity, the Andean people considered the Ausangate mountain to be sacred. They believed the gods (Apus) of the Andes had the power to control the weather and the prosperity of their crops. Thus it was very important for them to worship in that place. Later whenever Christianity came, there appeared a picture of Jesus on a boulder in 1780. Now the devout Catholics come from all over to ask for this Lord´s blessings and grace.
You cannot come to Cusco, Peru to learn Spanish and not dance salsa! Salsa dancing in Peru is amazing! But although salsa is a must, it may be best to take a couple of days of rest before dancing the night away. Cusco is located at almost 3.500 m. and this is extremely high. When you arrive in Cusco you have to get used to the altitude. Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. When you go too high and fast, your body cannot get as much oxygen as it needs. Your body then starts to breathe faster causing symptoms such as headaches. As your body gets used to the altitude, the symptoms go away. Just give yourself a few days to adjust and before you know it, you are ready to explore the nightlife.
Two weeks after my arrival in Peru and the start of my Spanish classes in Cusco, I discovered the nightlife in Cusco. Most bars and discos in Cusco are near the “Plaza de Armas”.
The Plaza de Armas or main square is the center of the historic section in Cusco, accessible from all directions. It is a great meeting place. The Plaza de Armas was called ‘Huacaypata’ after the construction during the Inca Empire. It functioned as the cultural center, or “heart”. The Plaza is often used for special events like festivals, concerts, and gatherings.
If you have some time to travel in Argentina after your Spanish Classes in Buenos Aires, one of your options out of many, is to travel to northern Argentina. It’s an option I can certainly recommend.
In the first place because here, in the province of Salta, you can experience one of the most idyllic train rides in the world. The ride takes you up to 4,200 meters and you will literally ride through the clouds. The trip departs from the city of Salta and takes 217 km (135 miles). Travelling through the Andes at 35 km an hour you will slowly see the impressive scenery change.
The one minute you see rock formations the other minute snow-capped mountains. The horizon seems endlessly far away and the train will often be the only moving thing around.
The journey lasts a good 16 hours and passes through many tunnels, bridges and viaducts. The railway overpasses itself to make up for the terrain’s unevenness. The views are amazing and you will often find fellow passenger pressing their noses against the window to gaze outside. (more…)
Before coming to Peru, I didn’t know much about Cusco and Peru other than Machu Picchu and a few other famous tourist destinations such as Lima, Nazca, Cusco…But I definitely hadn’t heard of the booming Peruvian cuisine and of the incredible tasteful Peruvian desserts. To me, Peruvian kitchen was just rice, chicken and beans. Shame on me. Now, after a few weeks in Peru learning Spanish in Cusco and living with a host family, I know better. Peruvian cuisine is amazing and the country is full of great ‘postres’: Picarones, Mazamorra Morada with Arroz con Leche, and Champú de Guanabana, just to name a few.
My personal favorite (at the moment) are the picarones.This sweet ring-shaped dessert (kind of doughnut-like but crispy) is made of wheat flour mixed with squash and sweet potato. The dough is fried and sprinkled with a sweet syrup made of chancaca (a concentrate form of light molasses). (more…)
Of course the main reason is the character and the experiences of the cosmopoliitan city itself. Buenos Aires is one of the most amazing and lively cities of South America, full of culture, temperament, tango, arquitecture and so on. That’s why the Argentine capital is also called “the vibrant city that never sleeps”, full of museums, cafes, bars and history.
Wander the bustling streets and grand avenues of Buenos Aires – all just a stone throw from our school building, located in the amazing Barolo Palace downtown Buenos Aires.
Besides that, the friendly people from Buenos Aires have a unique Spanish accent, however, you will be prepared to speak Spanish all over the world. Buenos Aires is a perfect location to live and learn the Spanish language, immersed in the amazing city life of Buenos Aires.
Mother´s Day in Cusco, Peru
Mother´s Day s a holiday celebrated all around the world. When travelling in Cusco, Peru it is apparent that it is a very special day here too. At the end of April, advertisements begin appearing about what to get your mother on this significant day. As in most places of the world, the bigger companies use it as a marketing technique to bring in more money. However, the real significance of “El Día de la Madre” is for everyone to show their appreciation towards the mothers who have worked very hard to make a good life for their children. In order to get a closer look at how Mother´s Day is celebrated in Peru, I asked around our Dos Manos and AMAUTA Spanish school administration here in Cusco, Peru.
About Tasty Fresh Peruvian Fruit Juices
One of the things our students always love about Peru during the time they are learning Spanish in Peru, is the great variety of vegetables and fruits, and the high quality of food in general. No wonder, as Peru is one of the booming cuisines worldwide for several years now.
Since the country has so many different landscapes and climates, there is a great variety of vegetation. The fruit stalls in the markets in Cusco are, therefore, a beautiful and colorful exposition.
Aguaymanto, Chiromoya, Tumbo and Tuna
Some of the beautiful Peruvian fruits, will not easily be found elsewhere. Typical Peruvian fruits are, for instance: aguaymanto (goldenberry), chirimoya, tumbo, and tuna (or cactus fruit). (more…)