About The School

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About Cusco

Cusco (less preferred spelling Cuzco), the capital of the ancient Inca Empire, is the cultural heart of the Peruvian Andes.  The city is situated at 3,300 meters above sea level, and is surrounded by dramatic mountains and valleys. It has a population of 300,000 inhabitants - most of them indigenous - and makes the perfect base for exploring the grandeur of the Andes, a wealth of famous Inca ruins and the famed “Lost City” of Machu Picchu.

The city was founded around 1100 AD. According to one of the Inca creation myths, the Sun sent his son, Manco Capac, and the Moon her daughter, Mama Occlo, to spread culture throughout the barbaric lands. They emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca and began their journey in search of the place where they would found their kingdom. When they reached the site of present day Cusco, Manco plunged his golden staff into the ground in order to test its suitability and it sank deep into the fertile soil. This was the sign they were looking for. They named this place Cusco, meaning “the navel of the world”. After the conquest, the Spanish built their colonial churches and houses on top of the Inca foundations, and this fascinating mix of architectural styles is still much in evidence. The city, the former capital of the Inca Empire, has a fascinating range of sites to visit: the convents, the churches, the museums, the Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, to name a few.

Cusco is a UNESCO designated World Heritage City.  It is fascinating to explore the narrow cobbled colonial alleyways, and almost every street has remains of Inca walls, arches and doorways. Within a few blocks of the Plaza de Armas, Cusco remains very much a city of indigenous people.  The markets are filled with the bright colors of mantas (blankets) that either carry beautiful babies or a variety of goods.

Imagine eating a meal on a balcony overlooking the picturesque Plaza de Armas or you can eat with the locals in the markets or at typical small restaurants where cuy (guinea pig) is the local specialty.   Explore and discover the magic of Cusco, all the while practicing your Spanish.

TRAVEL – Fly into Cusco where airport pickup is available.  All flights connect through Lima and may require an overnight stay in Lima.  The school can arrange an airport transfer and overnight hotel package in Lima.

About The School

ECELA - Español y Cultura en LatinoAmérica.  As the name implies, it is dedicated to teaching Spanish and helping you experience the cultures of Latin America.  It was started in 2000 and now operates in three countries.  It is easy to combine your study in Chile, Argentina and Peru, all the while staying with the same system and picking up in classes just where you left off.  It may be only slightly more expensive than other language schools, as the manner of teaching (communicative conversation rather than grammar intensive) simply requires more human resources, but it produces the results you want!

ECELA (Escuela y Centro de Español en Latino América) was founded in 2000. The school is in a historic location, just one block from the Inca monument Coricancha (Sun Temple) as well as the many restaurants and cafes surrounding the Plaza de Armas.

Style of teaching – Communicative method of instruction.  ECELA is the only Spanish language school in Peru  to receive the IALC membership (International Association of Language Centres), which ensures an internationally qualified education. All instructors are university educated and have experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

Calendar – You can start classes any Monday year round for any number of weeks.

2019 School Holidays:  School will be closed on these dates and with no makeups or discounted tuition: January 1;  April 18, April 19; May 1; June 20, June 24; Jul 29; Aug 30; Oct 8; Nov 1;    Dec 25

There are conversation clubs held on the following 2019 School Holidays in place of regularly scheduled classes: April 18; June 20, June 24; July 29; August 30; October 8; November 1.

Levels offered – All levels accommodated. If there are no other students at your level, you will be upgraded to private lessons for half the number of group lessons.

Class size and hours – Maximum group size 7

M – F Hours 9:00am to 6:00pm

Materials – Provided by the school and included in your course fees.

Students - Minimum age for independent study 16 or completion of high school. Younger students may study if they are accompanied by a family member, but they must be in private classes.

Activities – One free activity per week is included. Most popular activities are:

  • Cooking class  - Learn to prepare and enjoy some of the most typical dishes and drinks of Peru.
  • Costumbres Cusqueñas -  Learn of the important customs and family traditions of Cusco. 
  • Traditional Music  - Experiment with traditional Andean musical instruments as you learn of the unique sounds Andean music. 
  • Qosqo –   An evening show of colorful regional dance and music.

Weekend excursions are provided by the school and include:

  • Maras and Moray’s ancient agricultural terraces. 
  • Cabalgata  -  Horseback riding through the mountains surrounding Cusco and visiting the mythic temple of Luna. 
  • Rappel and rock climbing in the Andes Mountains.

The school can also help you with arranging your Machu Picchu trip.

Academic Credit – Available for this program.

If you prefer to study in a larger city, ECELA has another location in Lima, the capital city of Peru.  Please request information.