Welcome to Cuenca
The Spanish Institute invites you to be part of a fun project of photography and Spanish lessons.
This is our schedule showing the amount of lessons to be taken at each level to learn Spanish properly.
Local life support
Cuenca has the highest index of foreigners living in the region (8 thousand). Therefore, we offer personal attention to each one, involving them on ordinary activities and additional classes at home ($15 hour).
Help with all different business needs, such as going to the hospital, market ($15 hour)
- Special Spanish courses for professionals
- Business Spanish, Medical Spanish
- Courses for professionals who visit the city for business, education, volunteering or internships.
- Volunteer opportunities
Share with communities in various projects such as:
- Projects in reforestation and protection of water sources: Volunteers will be working in conjunction with the local people and engineers, planting flora in order to improve and preserve the ecosystem and water sources.
- Projects production of clean products: Learn about the cultivation of fruits, vegetables and other goods without the use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Projects in the breeding of guinea pigs: Learn and participate in the breeding of Ecuador’s most famous delicacy, guinea pig.
- Projects in livestock and lactates: Learn about various livestock and production of milk and cheese.
- Forest fire prevention campaign in local schools: teach children about forest fire prevention and safety.
Projects in these small communities vary depending on the time of year. Volunteers will discover the importance of nature and its preservation in rural communities. They will better understand the reality of life outside of the city of Cuenca and the hardships the Ecuadorian people face working and living in the countryside. Volunteers are encouraged to share their knowledge and ideas.
*Requires 4 weeks minimum commitment
Work with women and children who have experienced violence
- Be a mentor for children with violent pasts: Participate in activities such as art and music classes.
- Teach English to children with violent pasts.
- Work in child therapy and psychology. Professionals who have experience in these fields can help support the healing process for both, women and children with violent pasts.
- 24 hours emergency hotline: All volunteers take turns working the emergency hotline
*Requires 3 months minimum commitment
Volunteer teaching English to young Ecuadorians in the Spanish Institute of Cuenca:
Due to the lack of funding, those who attend public schools have a great disadvantage in learning English.
- Help with the devolvement of English skills for those who do not have access to good English programs in their schools.
- Learn to prepare classes that are interesting and engaging.
*Requires 3 weeks minimum commitment
Volunteer at shelters
Shelters in Cuenca providing free meals and accommodation to those in need such elderly, disabled and out of town families of lower economic resources who have family members in the hospital and cannot pay for accommodation. Training is also provided for these people so they can do their part at the Posada and give back to the community that supports them.
- Help in the dining room providing meals to those in need.
- Teach English to children.
- Develop an afterschool program for children in your field of interest (art, music, etc.)
*Requires 1-week minimum commitment in the dining room, 4 weeks minimum for classes
Volunteer (Amazon Region)
Learning in the Cloud Forest of the Llanganates – Sangay National Park, helping to protect it. Volunteer choose theme, project and days. Sumak accommodation has capacity at least 6 volunteers and maximum 20 volunteers. $30 US dollars per day. It includes meal, accommodation and services.
*Requires 1-week minimum commitment in volunteering, 6 months minimum for researching activities.
Free for students taking 1 week or more of classes (10 hours of classes per week).
$20 US dollars registration fee for non-students
Any day of the week, 9am – 2pm
Includes: entrances fees, transportation, lunch.
Ingapirca Ruins: Located about 17 km from Cañar. These are the historical ruins of Ingapirca (meaning Wall of the Inca). Originally, it was constructed as an inn for Incan couriers and other travelers, later fortified under the control of the Cañaris of Huayna Capac. $50
Cajas National Park: One of the most beautiful National Parks in Ecuador. It is made of high moorlands splashed by 270 lakes and lagoons. Flora and Fauna strive here and there are interesting varieties. Highland birds, mammals, like the spectacled bear, the fox or moorland wolf, deer, etc.
Spanish Institute invites you to visit El Cajas National Park.
We have trips to LLaviuco lagoon on Saturdays from 8 in the morning.
Cost: $ 30 dollars per person
– Welcome Canelazo
– Tour to the lagoon
Waterfalls of Girón: see the beautiful waterfall “El Chorro” of Girón. Walk next to the waterfalls, along paths full of vegetation and rest in the grass around. In the area is possible to know native people and eat traditional Ecuadorian cook. $40
Gualaceo and Chordeleg: Known for their handicrafts, orchids and beautiful river. Discover a different pace of Ecuadorian life outside of Cuenca in these small towns. The most tradicional products are “macanas” (shawl) in Gualaceo and “candongas” (earrings) and beautiful jewelry in Chordeleg. $40
Guagualzhumi: It means the shape of a child’s navel for being like a round protuberance. There are many myths of burials and hidden gold. The height allows a complete view of the city of Cuenca and nearby regions. Ideal for camping. A traditional product here is bread made in a wood-fired oven. $40
Culebrillas: It is an enigmatic place that invites reflection due to the imposing and whimsical nature. It has many options to walk around it. The generally cloudy environment and the lagoons with snake shapes attract the attention of visitors. $80.
Walking inside Cuenca
- Pumapungo museum: colonial art and archeology of Spanish and Incan cultures.
- Las Cabañas Yanuncay: learn to make organic yogurt and granola.
- Museo de Arte Moderno: the artist show changes every month exhibiting contemporary art from all over the world.
- Mercado 10 de Agosto: learn the vocabulary of food in a fast-paced, exciting environment.
- Catedral y Parque de las Flores: Cuenca’s most beautiful arquitecture and flowermarket
- Museo Cañari: museum dedicated to the Cañari culture.
- Parque del Paraiso: Cuenca’s biggest park.
- Casa de la Mujer: market of arts and crafts made by women.
- House of Hat “Casa del Sombrero” Municipal museum.
- Puente Roto: the “broken bridge”, a landmark of Cuenca.
- Turi tourist lookout
- Rotary artisan platform
- Herrerias street and fire arts museum
- Uyaguari guitar workshop: known artist who made guitars. These guitars are knowing by international artists.