Cuenca is the capital city of the Azuay Province and is the 3rd largest city in Ecuador. This amazing southern Andean city is steeped in rich history and architecture. The Cuenca historic city center is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site! Over 700,000 people call Cuenca home. It has a lively culture – a thriving arts scene, plenty of restaurants, live music and dance, and a beautiful countryside to explore.
Ecuador is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse countries in the world. The country is divided into four distinct regions (Amazon jungle, coast, Andes Mountains, Galapagos Islands), each with a unique climate, history, culture, and environment. Ecuador recognizes 13 different languages, though the most wide-spoken languages are Spanish, Kichwa, and Shuar.
Mild and warm during the day and cool at night, Cuenca is one of the “cities of eternal spring.”
achachai = how cold!
chuta = an interjection similar to “darn!”
no más = go ahead
Your day might look like this: coffee and breakfast with your host family before heading to your internship, sharing a typical lunch at home with host family, helping with English class in the afternoon, going to salsa or a local yoga studio in the evening.
You’ll attend classes tailored to your Spanish level at Amauta Spanish School. For the entire month of September, you’ll take intensive classes: 3 hours of language instruction in the mornings and dynamic activities such as cooking, salsa lessons, scavenger hunts, etc. in Spanish in the afternoons. You will then receive a minimum of one hour of private tutoring for the rest of the semester (October-December).
*Dates subject to change.
Late August – Pre-departure training in Houston and in-country briefing in Ecuador.
September – Daily: morning Spanish classes, afternoon Spanish activities. First group workshop takes place.
October – Internship begins. Second group workshop takes place. First excursion with your group. Begin planning your community service project.
November – Internship daily. Third group workshop takes place. Continue working on community service project. Thanksgiving dinner with your group.
December – Internship daily. Second group excursion.
End of December – Gap semester volunteers depart. Gap Year students start winter vacation.