We believe that learning the Spanish language should include learning about the people who speak the language. Our activities are a key part of helping you to learn more about the history, crafts, and current situation of people at all income levels. We also offer special programs at holidays and during the summer.
Rural Studies Program
We offer a Rural Studies program in Buenavista de Cuéllar, a small community nestled in the mountains of the Sierra Madre del Sur in the neighboring state of Guerrero. Find out more.
Current Events Class
Every Wednesday evening we hold a current events class with Charlie Goff to discuss the week’s events as covered by the news media or seen and experienced by participants. This class draws Mexican and foreign residents of Cuernavaca as well as Cemanahuac students. Topics are suggested by participants.
Visit an Orphanage
Students can visit Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos y Hermanas in Miacatlan, about an hour’s drive away. This orphanage and school, which started in Cuernavaca in the 1950s, now has branches throughout Latin America.
We learned some Mexican crafts like how to make intricate “papel picado” and learned more in-depth details about other Mexican holidays such as The Day of the Dead and Mexican Independence.
– Isabel del Moral
Since I teach so many subjects, I plan to use this entire experience as a teaching tool. There are so many connections from this trip that will cross over into any of the subjects I teach. Mexico is such a lively and colorful place that has inspired me!
– Susan Balbin
Learn about the foods of Mexico before the conquest — the basis of Mexican cuisine of today. Participants use metates and charcoal braziers and other traditional methods of preparation. Start with fresh ingredients and follow through the full process of preparing a Mexican dinner and then eating it.
Volunteer at Cuernavaca Children’s Mission
Help children with math, writing, penmanship, English and other homework.
Practice your Spanish and learn more about Mexico through an intercambio. We partner you with a Mexican learning English. Prepare your side of the conversation with a theme, vocabulary, and specific questions at your language level. You meet at agreed upon times and spend half the time talking in Spanish and the other half in English.
Learn the fun and fast weaving technique in which one end of the loom is tied around the weaver’s waist and the other around a tree or pole. As the weaving progresses the weaver gets closer to the tree or pole. Weaving expert and indigenous Guatemalan Macario Pocop teaches this prehispanic weaving technique. The loom is portable and easily transportable and is the student’s to keep.
Amate bark-paper painting
Learn bark-paper painting from indigenous artists from the state of Guerrero who share their knowledge, techniques, and distinctive sense of perspective. The bark of the Amate tree (a yellow-barked ficus), once pounded into wooden frames and then put out in the sun to dry, changes from yellow to dark brown. It was the paper on which books were written before the conquest. Today painting intricate landscapes in bright colors on amate paper has become an indigenous art form.
Latin American Literature in a Cultural Context
The short story is a wonderful way to learn historical and cultural information and improve your language skills. Using works by noted Latin American authors, this literature class focuses on comprehension, pronunciation and background information while exploring the subtleties in the story which a student from another culture might not be aware of.