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.
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.
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!
Meet this group of amazing volunteers here at AMAUTA Cusco, Peru. Hailey, Alex, Allison, Bill, Cayla, Chloe, Dan, Emily, Kelsey, Madalyn, all came from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States to participate in the AMAUTA Volunteer Program in Peru. This group of young college students spent two weeks with us here here in Cusco and made a big impact on our local after-school project that is located in the outskirts of the city in the mountains.
On the photos of this volunteer project in Cusco, you can see inside the local after-school project and what it looked like before the group of volunteers did their magic.
AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco recently received a small group of 10 volunteers in Peru between the ages of 18 and 29 from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. They have been travelling throughout South America and they came to do a week of volunteer work in Peru. The volunteers helped out at two of our after-school programs in Cusco that needed help with both physical labor and activities for the kids. They also helped build a wall out of recycled tires and to paint a water reservoir.
All volunteers had to take a bus for about thirty minutes and then walk twenty minutes or more to get to their volunteer project. Every day they worked from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at their designated project. For lunch the students travelled back to their Peruvian host families in Cusco then went back to one of the projects in the afternoon to work with the kids from the projects.
Debbie Smets was only with us at AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco, Peru for 3 weeks, but she accomplished a lot within her short time here. Debbie begin her time with us taking Spanish classes for one week along with some private, Peruvian music classes, and continued to take private Spanish lessons during her two weeks of volunteer work in Cusco to improve her speaking abilities. Debbie is from Belgium and before coming to Peru she collected a large amount of money from friends and family to give to her volunteer project. With this money she was able to buy a lot of much needed materials for this small after-school program, including: paper and books for origami, fun games like Twister and Jenga, puzzles, and wooden blocks.
The volunteer project was so grateful and they showed their appreciation by giving Debbie a cute bracelet and a very nice book about Peru. Debbie said the teacher and kids were so thankful. “The professor really appreciated my donations and also the kids are so happy because now they can play some other games.”
Brandon from NYC tells us his story
Brandon Sloan is a 29-year-old volunteer from New York City who has come to Cusco to make something meaningful of his travels to Peru. His volunteer experience at AMAUTA Spanish School has been fun, enjoyable and interesting as he works with kids at an after-school program. Each day from 2:00 to 4:30 he helps the Peruvian children with their homework, plays with them, and answers their many questions about how to say Spanish words in English.
The volunteer work of Lawrence Goun (United States) is almost coming to an end. Lawrence – a student of Labor Relations back home – has been doing volunteer work in Peru for a total duration of 8 weeks, at a clinic in Cusco. This clinic – run by a religious order – offers free treatment to mentally and/or physically disabled children.
Before arriving to Peru Lawrence (21 years) already knew he wanted to work with disabled children. He used to volunteer with those children at home and he was interested on getting a chance to work in a totally different culture. At first hesitating between Peru and Vietnam, he finally chose Peru because the project would be attending volunteers over Christmas and New Year. It is always sad and hard for kids to be separated from their families, but even more at Christmas time. For this reason, it was very important for Lawrence to be able to volunteer during that time of the year. Moreover, Lawrence has been learning Spanish since the age of 8. Coming to Peru was the perfect opportunity to practice his Spanish skills!