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.
Before coming to Cusco to study Spanish in Peru and do my internship, I was concerned that it would be difficult to find good and affordable vegetarian meals in Peru. After two months of learning Spanish and living in Cusco, I already have a list of go-to places for my favorite vegetarian dishes at the best vegetarian restaurants in Cusco.
And – this is also important – the prices suitable for both students or travelers in Peru. Find below my favorite vegetarian meals in Cusco (in no particular order) and where you can find them.
Are you learning Spanish in Cusco, or traveling in Peru? Do you have a favorite vegetarian restaurant in Cusco, or elsewhere in Peru?
Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
1. Jack’s Café
A restaurant in classic American-style serving until late hours a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals in big portions.
Cusco is full of Inca ruins – but there is so much more! And if you live in Cusco for a while to learn Spanish in Peru or for your volunteer work in Cusco, you definitely want more. Continue to read this blog and learn about 8 Fun Things to Do in Cusco while learning Spanish in Cusco. Do you know more? Please post at the end of this blog.
AMAUTA’s Student Guide to Inti Raymi Cusco
AMAUTA students in Peru have already experienced a large part of the “Fiestas de Cusco” during this month of June. However, the biggest and most important celebration of Cusco is still to come. Only a few days after Qoyllur Rit’i and Corpus Christi, on June 24th – the day that the sun is farthest away from the earth – Inti Raymi will be celebrated in Cusco. It is a traditional Inca festival when the people worship the sun and plead for its return. Below you will find some tips and tricks, be prepared to make the most out of this special day in Cusco.
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.
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…)
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…)
The Fun Festivities of Christmas in Cusco
Spending Christmas in Peru during the Christmas holidays while learning Spanish in Cusco is a unique and unforgettable experience. Are you curious to know what to do and how Christmas will be celebrated in Peru? There are various events and activities throughout Cusco during the Christmas season that will provide all travelers and our Spanish students in Peru with fun, cultural memories!
Santurantikuy Christmas Fair
The Santurantikuy Christmas Fair is one of the main events in the city of Cusco during the Christmas holidays in Peru, and it is the perfect way to experience the Peruvian culture while getting in the Christmas spirit. (more…)
Studying Spanish in Peru during Day of the Dead
The “Day of the Dead” is a Latin American holiday, celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, though the official holiday is November 2nd. It originated in Mexico, but is celebrated throughout Latin America and the United States.
Studying Spanish in Peru during this time of year is a special experience. Students will experience and live the rich Peruvian culture directly. There is typical Peruvian food, music and many cultural traditions! Most of the cemeteries throughout the country fill with color, vendors, street musicians, flowers, food and fun in lively celebrations.
Halloween and Cancion Criolla: celebrating October 31 in Peru!
So, do you celebrate Halloween in Peru? Yes and No! On the 31st of October, our students learning Spanish in Peru, can take part in two different kinds of celebrations in Peru: the typical Halloween celebration, as we know it from North America, and the ¨Día de la Canción Criolla¨.
Halloween, as it is celebrated in the US, is becoming more and more popular in Peru. We call it “Noche de Brujas”. It has not yet risen to this special kind of enthusiasm, where people plan out their night and even more importantly their costumes for weeks and decorate their houses with all kinds of creepy creatures – but we celebrate two crucial elements of US Halloween in Peru: Trick or Treating and of course: parties!