Issue 1 Amauta Spanish School Newsletter December 2004
 Versión en Español
  in this issue
  Welcome Message
  New Schoolbuilding and Residence
  Student Flats
  Volunteer Project News
  Volunteers of the Month
  Coming soon... AMAUTA Miles Program
  New Sections on the Website
  Student of the Month
  Christmas in Peru
  Winner of the Contest
Welcome Message: ¡Hola a todos!

Thanks for your interest in receiving our newsletter *, which we send four times a year to inform you about the latest news here at AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco, Peru.

In this newsletter you will read about our new school building, the Student of the Month, Christmas in Peru, and much more ...

Our staff is as exited as always to keep the good work going and we are proud that, thanks to you, AMAUTA is growing every day.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!!

¡Hasta pronto!

César Rondón
Jose Berendse
General Directors
New School Building will be here
The new building should be done by June
We are very proud and happy to announce the beginning of the construction of our new AMAUTA school building and Student Residence. AMAUTA just bought a piece of land in the heart of the city center of Cusco, in the Calle Suecia, right in front of the actual school building! The new building is going to incorporate both the school and the AMAUTA Students Residence in a more luxurious and beautiful setting. All the rooms in the Student Residence will include private toilets and there will be a big common kitchen / living room. The classrooms are going to be bigger in size and there will be a library, a study room and one big auditory for all the complementary courses, film presentations and parties.

The new building should be finished by June, right before high season 2005! Don not miss this opportunity!
Amauta Student Flats
Amauta Students Flat
In 2004, AMAUTA successfully launched the AMAUTA STUDENT FLAT accommodation option. Several students stayed a couple of very comfortable weeks in one of our flats and evaluated this alternative very positively. All the flats are located in residential neighborhoods in Cusco with good public transport connections to the school and the city center. All of them are fully furnished and the kitchens are fully equipped. It is an excellent opportunity to live in an independent and luxurious environment, while being immersed in Peruvian daily life. A great alternative for those with a minimum stay of 10 weeks in Cusco.

Volunteer in San Nicolas
Children at 'San Nicolas'
Thanks to our volunteers, many projects in Cusco and Arequipa receive the extra help they need. Although some volunteers might feel they cannot really do as much as they would like to within four weeks, every volunteer changes many children's life!

Therefore, AMAUTA would like to present to everyone the progress all the volunteers together managed to make in the past few months in one of our projects, in the Asociación 'San Nicolás de Urraca'. This project doesn't receive any funds and therefore totally depends on donations and volunteers.

Volunteer in San Nicolas
Volunteers and children
Only one month and a half ago 60 children still had to be accommodated in a very small room of about 25m² without electricity. Thanks to the donations of the different volunteers and AMAUTA, and thanks to the selling of hand made products of the children themselves, ‘San Nicolás' was able to move into a new building with more space, bright colors painted on the walls and electricity. Thanks to one of the volunteers, Marieke Kolstee, from Holland , there is still some money left to finish the bathroom, put grass in the backyard and buy books and shelves for the library.

There is still a lot to be done, but fortunately there are always volunteers that keep coming up with good ideas! At this moment for example, the volunteers are selling handmade postcards to sell to tourists in order to collect enough money for a Christmas dinner for the children.

Not only financially have the volunteers been of great help; without them the children wouldn't be able to play, do creative activities and go to the park. As there are only two teachers that run the project, they really need the assistance of the volunteers to keep 60 children under control. Therefore all the children start running to you immediately once they see new ‘profes' arriving!


1. Natasja & Judith

AMAUTA is proud to present the three “volunteers of the month” in this newsletter!

The first are Natasja and Judith, the first volunteers participating in our 30+ program. The “plus” behind the name would suggest that they are a couple of the oldest volunteers, but in fact they turned out to be the most positive, energetic and enthusiastic ones!

Natasja and Judith are both physiotherapists and have been working in a special education center, ‘Don José de San Martín'. They assist the physiotherapist, or actually they kind of have taken over the whole practice. As they felt they couldn't do enough during the first few days, they decided to make their own working schedule. Now they work independently with the children, while Imelda, who is actually responsible, can dedicate to other things and is happy to take notes about new exercises she learns from them.

They also made a huge change to the physiotherapy room: there is a new bike to practice on, the mattresses look brand new and some of the children have a new look thanks to the new shoes, socks and underwear in bright colors they bought for them.

This all started with an e-mail message to all of their friends and family back home asking for a small contribution to buy some small things for the school. People were so enthusiastic that they kept sending money. With only one week and a half to go, now Natasja and Judith are “worried” about how to spend so much money! They now decided to see if there are other projects from AMAUTA that might need some financial support.

Both AMAUTA and many children will remember these volunteers, not only because of her donations, but especially because of their motivation to work very hard, to take initiative, their positive attitude and their enthusiasm!

2. Lea Wanek

Lea Wanek. Student of the month
Lea Wanek
This month we have another volunteer for whom we have a lot of respect. She is really managing certain activities within the project all herself: Lea. Every afternoon together with another volunteer she works with up to 40 children, just the two of them. The woman who is responsible for the project, even gave her the keys of the door, so if Lea arrives early she opens the door, organizes the games, talks to the children, and in between, stops noses from bleeding and solves any other problem. With her only 19 years, she is the volunteer with the biggest responsibilities and we leave the children with all confidence in her hands.

 COMING SOON…… AMAUTA Miles Program!
Students at Amauta
Our Students
AMAUTA proudly presents a unique program where (ex) students can save point ("miles") at their personal account, which can be exchanged for discounts at AMAUTA or Dos Manos. Interested in coming back to Cusco for the second time to participate in one of our programs! You will get a discount! Do you want to send us one of your pictures and, possibly, have them published on our website or in our new brochure? Do you want to publish (part of your) diary on our website? You want to recommend us to a friend? Read about the different possibilities on our website! (coming soon).

Our Website
Our Internet Team
Our webmaster and his team are constantly working and developing new sections for our website.  This time we want to ask your special attention for:

- SPANISH RESOURCES : Learn spanish free with this set of Spanish Language Resources. Spanish Lyrics, Peruvian & Latin American recipes.

- VOLUNTEER & TRAINEESHIP VACANCIES : Volunteer in Peru and Work in Amauta Spanish School.

Our Website
Our Photo Tour

- FAQ's : Frequently Asked Questions about our Programs and Peru.

- PHOTO TOUR OF PERU : Photos of Cusco, Puno, Machupicchu, Sacred Valley, Festivals in Cusco...

- LATIN AMERICAN CULTURE : Learn about Latin American Culture and Society. Latin American Cinema, Latin American Literature and Latin American Music.

Every newsletter, we want to introduce you to one of our students that, for some reason, became our Student of the Month. He or she could be the student with the most outstanding results but probably - and more likely - he or she will be Student of the Month for another reason. E.g. because he studied with us for a really long time and became "part of the furniture". Or because he came back to Cusco , to participate in our programs, for the third or even fourth time! Or he or she did something different, special, unique............ This month we would like to introduce you to ...............

Tom Van der Ven

"Student of the month? Mmmmmm, sure. Just joking?" That is what Tom said when we approached him to say congratulations. "Why me? Because I had some bad luck but I was still happy, enthusiastic and easy going. Okay….. So, because I am that smart to jump from a wall, hurt my foot, can´t walk for three weeks and am still enthusiastic, I am chosen as the student of the month! Okay…. But look around! Everywhere you see great people here at school, in Cusco, an incredible landscape, a nice city, very cute kids at the project where I work, all the teachers here at AMAUTA, the whole staff (Tatiana, Katelijn, Liesbeth)…,why should I be sad?? Just because of my foot? Come on! I´d like to enjoy everything what I like and to live with the things I like something less. I hope everybody does. So, thanks AMAUTA, and to all of you, have fun and enjoy!!"

Merry Christmas from Amauta Spanish School
"Nacimiento" or nativity scene.
Christmas in Peru is a mixture of Indian and Spanish traditions. People travel for many miles to set up areas in the city to sell their wares and the markets become very crowded. The native merchants spread their toys, trinkets and delicacies on mats on the ground while shoppers look for small gifts for family members or perhaps a new piece for their "nacimiento", or nativity scene. On Christmas Eve the city streets are also filled with strolling musicians wearing masks. There is much merrymaking, with large parties and dancing intermixed with beautiful religious processions. Then at the stroke of Midnight, the celebration becomes solemn as most people attend Midnight Mass ("La Misa del Gallo"). Following the church service, celebrations may continue in the streets with carolers going from house to house singing to the accompaniment of guitars and castanets.

Christmas trees and greenery are found in the mountain areas of Peru so if they are to be used during the holiday season, they must be transported from the mountains to the more populated areas. Christmas tree ornaments may show the country's ethnic and cultural diversity with brightly colored parrots, llamas, and even seals mingled with traditional European decorations. On Christmas Day, Peruvians living near Lima might choose to attend the biggest bull fight of the year or some families may use the day to go to the mountains or the beach to escape the midsummer heat.

The most important festivity is actually Noche Buena, which literally means "Good Night" in Spanish and is the 24th at night. Late in the evening, all the family gets together to celebrate Christmas. This is really what many of us refer to as Christmas for children. Most homes will cook a whole pavo (turkey), or at least those who can afford it. Apple sauce is also a must in the supper. Also Panetón and hot chocolate are part of the traditional Christmas dinner.

Kids will find gifts under the tree, which supposedly have been brought by Santa Claus.

Most parents will buy fireworks and will fire them by midnight. A couple of hours after midnight, children are supposed to go to bed. This is when the Christmas for the grown-ups begins. Many families have big parties in their own homes. These parties may last until 5:00 AM or even 6:00 AM. That's why most people wake up very late on the 25th. Nothing really happens on the 25th.

The AMAUTA Staff came together last Saturday Dec 19 to celebrate Christmas and to play a little bit of football. We wish you a Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas from Amauta Spanish School

Jan Telnekes
Finally, we have our first winner of the contest on our website “Win a Free Spanish Course”: JAN TELNEKES from Holland . As it states on
"After Cusco, Urubamba and Manu, AMAUTA is going to expand!
In 2005 we want to cross the Peruvian borders and open a new school in South-America. Where would YOU like for us to open our new school? In what country? Big city or country side? A sunny relaxing beach, or chilly, impressive Andes ? When recommending us, please consider your personal preferences. But if you have any additional comments that can help us (e.g. countries that have a real bad/good image in your country, bad/good experiences that you or your friends had in a certain country, etc.) please do not hesitate to write.

In Jan´s opinion, we should open our new school in Argentina , mainly because he is a fan of the Argentinean football team! We are not sure if that is a good reason for us …… but……. About 35% of our voters actually do mention Argentina (either beach, Buenos Aires or a small town) as their preferred option. After Argentina our voters mention Venezuela , Chile and Bolviia. So……. Who knows! We will keep you posted!

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