Christmas is coming…. to Cusco, Peru!
Take part of our Christmas Spanish Course at AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco! This course does not only include Spanish classes but also cultural activities, all about living the Peruvian culture in the Christmas period.
Besides learning Spanish, you will experience the special Christmas time in Cusco, even more if you decide to live with a local Peruvian host family. But also the AMAUTA School Student Residence will be full of Christmas decorations and activities.
The AMAUTA Christmas Spanish course includes Spanish classes in small groups as well as:
- Free participation in AMAUTA activities such as cooking class, salsa dance class, lectures and others
- Free airport pickup when you have booked your accommodation through AMAUTA
- Free placement test, evaluation, final text and certificate of completion
- a visit to a special event in the churches of Cusco,
- a visit to the Santurantikuy Christmas market in Cusc,
- a Christmas dinner with a Peruvian host family,
- Participation in a solidarity event, called Chocolatada.
What is a Chocolatada?
Chocolatadas in Peru are a very special tradition. It’s a social event of solidarity; the people of Cusco and a some well-established organizations in Cusco, such as AMAUTA, make a gesture to poor kids by bringing them a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of paneton (a Peruvian Christmas cake) and a toy for Christmas. During the days before Christmas you will see many poor kids lining up to receive their present. Usually the kids and their families head down from the mountains a day prior to the Chocolatada.
Many will sleep under the arches of the Plaza de Armas during the cold night. This is when people who are better off give them the hot chocolate. When the day starts the poor families head to the Santurantikuy market to sell their Christmas items. But since many years chocolatadas are also organized at social projects, schools, and local communities. As an AMAUTA student participating in a Spanish course during the Christmas days, you will be handing out hot chocolate and be interacting with the kids – if you like. A good deed to end the year with and a very interesting experience.
What is the Santurantikuy Christmas Market in Cusco?
Another great thing to do in Cusco is to visit the Santurantikuy Christmas market in Cusco. For more than 500 years this market has been a Christmas Eve tradition. In 2009 it was declared a National Heritage of Peru. The fair will be held on the Plaza de Armas so it is hard to miss.
It starts at 4 am on December 24th. Early in the morning the first sellers arrive and the market slowly gets busy from then on. Sellers come from as far as Bolivia to attend this event. Most things for sale have to do with religion; many handmade ceramics on which the craftsman have been working a great part of the year.
Also a traditional Peruvian drink will be sold. This drink, called “ponche” is a sweet, warm typical Peruvian drink based on milk, egg, cinnamon, gloves and airampo (the fruit of a native Andean plant, a kind of cactus). There is a alcoholic (with a few drops of pisco) and a non-alcoholic version of the pisco, for the children and young adults. Both are really nice and it will help you keep warm while shopping. Apart from the traditional stuff you will also find commercial Christmas gifts. The market ends again on the same day, late in the evening. This is when people go home, to celebrate Christmas Eve with their friends and relatives.
Afraid you will miss the Christmas scene from home? Don’t worry; here in Cusco you will find plenty of Christmas trees and Santa Claus! The only thing you have to do to experience Christmas in Cusco is book your Spanish course now and head your way down here!