Cemanahuac offers special trips and programs throughout the year. Check back here for upcoming programs.
Days of the Dead
Saturday October 28 to November 4, 2017
Whenever I mention the Days of the Dead in Mexico, someone always says, “I’ve always wanted to be there for this celebration.”
This is your year!! Come to Mexico at the end of October to study Spanish and celebrate the Days of the Dead in Mexico with us! This is one of the most poignant and culturally-significant times of the year to be in Mexico, and
Cemanahuac will make the most of it, starting with visits to local markets to see the huge stalls of special flowers (cempasúchil in Nahuatl) and sugar
skulls for sale, along with all types of special foods for the home altars.
We’ll go to Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and small villages to visit cemeteries and see public and private ofrendas (altars), dedicated to those who have died, but whose spirits will return on October 31 and November 1 to spend a few hours with their loved ones. It’s impossible to describe the reverence the living demonstrate to the returning spirits…you really have to be here to sense the anticipation and to share it with our families. Much Mexican art, literature, and popular art revolves around the duality of life and death, and the Days of the Dead represent this very well.
We’ll learn about and enjoy the special foods that families prepare for the Days of the Dead, and we’ll prepare our own altar at the school, so we invite you to bring photos of your own fam
ily member you’d like to remember. It’s a special way to honor those who have gone before you.
It’s a truly bittersweet time for everyone, and a most Mexican celebration of both life and death.
We’ll have ample printed material about this memorable holiday, and you’ll return home with a lifetime of memories, and perhaps in future years you’ll want celebrate the Days of the Dead in your own homes, remembering your own loved ones in this very special Mexican way.
Contact us for more information and to enroll.
Poinsettias, posadas and piñatas…Christmas at Cemanahuac!
Christmas is a most colorful time in Mexico! You’ll enjoy the posadas, the special foods and drinks, and the best of other holiday customs in Cuernavaca during the days before and after Christmas. The Three Kings will be out right after Christmas to hear the petitions of the children…and maybe even listen to yours!
Cemanahuac will have Spanish language and Mexican culture classes throughout the holidays. Our families will welcome you into the warmth of their homes at this special time. You’ll go home with much better Spanish, a far better understanding of the culture of Mexico, and a holiday spirit that will last far into 2018!!!
Cemanahuac will offer you a special reduction in registration and tuition to make it possible for you to enjoy the sunshine, the festivities, and all the fun of the holidays in Mexico. Your entire family can relax in the color and unique festive atmosphere that IS Mexico in December.
Reduced holiday fees, per week, from December 16 through December 30, will include:
Holiday registration fee: $75.00
Special holiday tuition, $225.00
Housing with a Mexican family, double room
with all meals, $217.00 per week per person
Housing with a Mexican family, single room
with all meals, $287.00 per week per person
Our small two-room guesthouses (across the street from the school) are available at this holiday period for $270 per week, two people
Study at Cemanahuac during Holy Week
March 25 to April 1, 2018
In Mexico, Easter is a nationwide spectacle of pageantry, reverence and celebration lasting throughout Holy Week. Planning for Holy Week starts with months of anticipation and festivities including passion plays, fervent processions, and altar displays taking place all over the country.
Since the mass conversion of the indigenous peoples to Catholicism in the 16th century, Semana Santa (Holy Week) – a reverent observance of the last days of Jesus, and Pascua – a celebration of the resurrection – have become the most important religious holidays in Mexico next to Christmas. As with most Mexican celebrations, Semana Santa combines the country’s strong Spanish heritage with elements of its Prehispanic past. For generations, pilgrims and tourists alike have journeyed to Mexico to witness the festive yet reverent Semana Santa.
The solemn festivities usually begin on Palm Sunday (April 9) commemorating the day that Jesus arrived to Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion. As the biblical passage goes, palm branches and clothing were spread in his path, and today, reenactments often include these elements. Holy Thursday (April 13) commemorates the day of the Last Supper, marked by nationwide visits to seven temples, designated churches in each town or city. Good Friday (April 14) marks the day that Jesus was crucified on the cross, with most Christians fasting on this day and reenactments of the crucifixion taking place all over the country. Easter Sunday (April 16) is a day for celebration, commemorating the day of Jesus’ resurrection, featuring music, dance, and cultural activities.
Continuing Cemanahuac’s dedication to introducing our students to the fascinating and rich culture of Mexico, our students will participate in several of the most interesting and unique Holy Week activities in our area of Cuernavaca.
— Earlier in the week, we’ll go to the public markets to see the palms, the special foods, and the statues which mark this religious time of the year. Churches will hold extra services.
On Holy Thursday, Cemanahuac will lead a field study trip to the silver city of Taxco to one of the most moving religious ceremonies in the country, as we observe the solemn procession of the penetentes, the men and women who show their faith and penitence by inflicting pain on themselves during this most holy week — an ancient tradition dating to the middle ages and introduced to Mexico from Spain almost 500 years ago. Many other processions with the faithful of all ages are going on in the city in the early evening.
Good Friday is a national holiday, and no Spanish classes will be held, but there is much to see of a cultural nature. The school will lead a field study trip to the village of Buenavista, where our Rural Studies program takes place. In Buenavista, the entire village, men, women, children and the smallest babies will begin a procession at the village church and wind their way, by candlelight, through the cobblestone streets. Some will carry crosses, some will carry statues, and some will merely walk together with their families and friends in the quiet evening procession.
It is impossible to sum up the feelings of our students as they participate in these events. Each of these observances are among the most memorable religious events our students have experienced over the years, and each reflects the rich culture and religious heritage of Mexico.
Cultural Competency in the Spanish Language Classroom
July 7-28, 2018
Cemanahuac offers a special two-week program for teachers emphasizing the development of cultural competence among students in Spanish language classes, including the following innovative elements:
— Language training for teachers in small classes at each teacher’s level of Spanish proficiency, honing in on specific concerns and problems in the classroom. These teacher programs are designed for non-native speakers to maintain and improve their communicative skills (vocabulary, pronunciation, language level, etc.), with 20 hours per week of Spanish classes and workshops in the afternoon. It is also appropriate for ESOL teachers, with language classes at each person’s ability level.
— Afternoon workshops to produce culturally-available realia, with ample opportunities to create digital and video moments for use in teaching Spanish
— Guided visits to educational and artistic sites, presenting information on the fascinating history and culture of Mexico, with discussion about inclusion of this information in the classroom and ample time for hands- on crafts and games.
— A family living experience, all meals included, extending the Spanish language learning into the afternoon and evening.
The seminar runs from July 7 to 21, 2018. The fee is $1150.00, which includes registration, tuition, family housing with all meals (double occupancy), one full-day field study trip, two half-day field study trips, a walking tour of Cuernavaca, printed materials, and a certificate of attendance.
Contact us for more information and to enroll.