Here at the AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco our Spanish students in Peru and our volunteers are about to experience Easter or Holy Week in a whole new way. “Semana Santa” is approaching quickly and it is made obvious by the growing excitement of both locals and foreigners. Many Peruvians are planning their trips to travel and be close to family during this important time. Most schools and most businesses in Cusco will be closed on Holy Thursday and Holy Friday. The Semana Santa is significant as it observes the week leading up to Jesus´ death, burial, and resurrection. For our students a unique way to learn about and live the Peruvian culture.
On Monday, our students learning Spanish in Peru will have the opportunity to take part in one of the most significant days of Holy Week in Cusco. This day celebrates the city´s patron, Señor de los Temblores or Lord of the Earthquakes. This observance only takes place in Cusco, for it is said that this shrine calmed an earthquake as it was being taken out of the Cathedral in the year 1650.
On holy Monday, a big procession takes place in the city center of Cusco as people follow the shrine all around the main city streets and throw “ñucchu” flowers at it, representing the blood of Christ. Locals and tourists alike can participate in this communal event, a unique cultural experience.
Thursday will also be an important day as students living with a host family, will be able to savor the 12 Peruvian platos of the holy week. Why 12? There are twelve in order to remember the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. Students will taste scrumptious dishes made from Andean grains, plants, vegetables, and sometimes fish or shrimp.
AMAUTA students will get the chance to really enjoy the local customs on holy Friday or viernes Santo. There are no Spanish classes in Cusco and AMAUTA will be closed. Peru as a country takes this day off as Christians everywhere remember the death of Christ. Instead of Spanish classes, there will be an informative chat and interactive presentation about Holy Week in the school by one of the Spanish teachers.
Later the students will go on an outing to the local San Pedro Market and San Francisco Plaza. Many people come here from the Peruvian countryside to sell their herbs and medicinal plants, which are said to be blessed by the Lord. There the students will get a taste of the Peruvian customs that take place in Cusco. You will be able to see the fish and herbs that are being sold and take a bite of some of the typical, delicious desserts eaten during this time.
It will be an experience you will take with you forever. You will not only be learning Spanish in Peru and learn about the Peruvian culture during this important holiday in Peru, but you will also be living it! You wil be Experiencing Semana Santa in Cusco, Peru.
Find out more!
Find out more!