Cuernavaca Sample Trip

An Exciting Sample Two Week Educational Trip to
CUERNAVACA, Mexico

30 hours of small group Spanish classes at all levels plus additional 30 hours conversation and culture, living with a Mexican host family, and exploring the rich culture of the central mountains of Mexico in a safe and stimulating environment.  Three weeks minimum is recommended for academic credit programs, and there will be more in depth language study or visits and lectures related to specific fields such as medicine, education, social work or business.

Week One
Sunday You will arrive into the Mexico City terminal, where you will be picked up by private transport from the school. In the hour and a half ride to Cuernavaca, you will pass by twin volcanos and enter the city known as Eternal Spring for its famous climate. Your host families will be waiting to meet you, and you will have a shared room with the roommate of your choice and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with your warm and caring family, some of the best homestays anywhere!
Monday
After breakfast with your family you will be taken to the Spanish Language Institute and its charming colonial campus. This school has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and contented students, plus lots of individual attention. You will have placement testing and an orientation meeting followed by your first classes.  Grouped according to level in groups no larger than five, you will daily have 3 hours of structured Spanish classes.  At noon you will have a class in Mayan Weaving, followed by a conversation class until 3:00. You will return to your family for the large main meal of the day in Mexico, called comida. After comida you will have a Walking Tour of Downtown Cuernavaca. You will return to your host family for cena, a light evening supper.
Tuesday
Classes from 9 to 12. 12:00 – Picture presentation of the History of Mexico. Following this you will participate in a photo rally (bring your digital camera) at Cortés’ Palace, getting a chance to see an outstanding mural by Diego Rivera, which depicts the conquest of Cuernavaca. Also visit one of the first cathedrals in all of Mexico. Return to your family for comida. From 4:30 to 6:00pm you will do some community service through a visit to a local program for Cuernavaca’s street children.
Wednesday
Classes from 9 to 12. Your family will send you with a packed lunch, and leave at noon for a full afternoon trip to Taxco. This is the oldest silver mining site in the Americas. Full of charm, it features red-tiled roofs, cobblestoned winding streets and a towering 240 year old Santa Prisca Church. You will also make a stop at Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, one of the largest cavern systems on the continent. You will be back in time for cena with your family.
Thursday
Classes from 9 to 12pm followed by an afternoon visit to the Papalote Museum of Cuernavaca, a hands on, activity oriented museum.  (For older students another museum will be substituted.)
Friday
Classes from 9 to 12. At noon you will have a Mexican Art Class, using papel amate, made from the bark of a tree. Following you will have a conversation class recapping all the events of the week until 3:00.
Saturday
You will have a 9:00 am departure for an exciting all day trip to see the immense pyramids at the “place where men became gods”, Teotihuácan. Your family will send you with a packed lunch. You’ll have a guided tour and the chance to climb the Pyramid of the Sun in this magnificent place built by the Teotihuacanos and later reclaimed by the Aztecs.

Week Two
Sunday
In the morning depart for Tepoztlán, a nearby mountain village which has kept its ancient traditions. Visit the 16th century convent and the large central market. It’s a great place for souvenir shopping. Tepoztlán is also known as a mystical center, and its surround mountains are full of magnetic qualities. Return to your family for comida and have a free afternoon.
Monday
Classes from 9 to 12. At noon you’ll learn the art of intricate Mexican paper cutting known as papel picado. Following will be two hours of conversation class. After lunch with your family you can see a movie at the very upscale Galerías Mall…there’s even a VIP section with recliner seats!
Tuesday
Classes from 9 to 12. Conversation Class until 2, followed by a lively salsa class. After comida with your family you’ll return for another visit to a social project from 4:30 to 6:00, as these great kids will have captured your heart.
Wednesday
Classes from 9 to 12. Then with a packed lunch from your family and your swimsuit, you will depart for a full afternoon excursion to Las Estacas, a water park fed by natural springs and where Tarzan movies were filmed. You can rent large rings to float down the river with its crystal clear waters. Return to Cuernavaca by 6:00 pm.
Thursday
Classes from 9 to 12. 12 to 1 an illustrated talk on two great Mexican artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. 1 to 3 conversation class, followed by an all school fiesta with live mariachi.
Friday
Classes from 9 to 12. 12 to 2 for a wrap up conversation class having you discuss your favorite activity of the trip. From 2 to 3 you’ll have your heart pumping with a lively salsa class.
Saturday
Today you will depart Cuernavaca at 9:00 am with a packed lunch to head for the Bazar Sábado, a wonderful indoor and outdoor market in the charming San Angel/Coyoacán area of Mexico City. It’s a super place to buy souvenirs and spend your last pesos, as there are handmade products here from all parts of Mexico and a wide range of prices. Later you’ll go on a boat ride through the famous and ancient canals of Xochimilco. This is the canal system of ancient Mexico City where crops were grown on floating reed islands.
Sunday
Preparing to say farewell to your Mexican family, you will depart with luggage by private transport to the Mexico City airport for your flight home.