Testimonials

Read the positive reviews below from satisfied Spanish Institute students over the past three years:

Antonio O, Denver, Colorado, USA:

My experiences studying and living in Cuenca, Ecuador were truly unforgettable. I took classes with Mariana and other teachers at the Spanish Institute in the historic, colonial city center. Mariana and the other teachers were so kind and flexible; they tailored the lessons to fit my needs as a learner. We would have class for two hours (usually one-on-one), have a break for tea and fresh bread, and then either continue class or go out into the city to practice conversations in different contexts. If I ever had a request (such as to visit a museum or famous cathedral), the teachers would always agree and take me where I wanted to go. Mariana and her staff of teachers made learning Spanish enjoyable and rewarding.

In addition to my time at the Spanish Institute on weekday mornings, I lived with relatives of Mariana as a homestay. This experience was very new for me, but completely eye-opening. Staying with the family was one of my favorite parts of my time in Ecuador. I was immersed in their culture and their customs, and I learned even more Spanish just by spending time with the family and challenging myself to converse. The house was always buzzing with company: family members, friends, and neighbors would stop by daily. I felt very welcome in the home and eventually as part of their family. They took me on many trips to different towns, cities, historical or cultural sites, and more. I became very attached to the whole family, including aunts, uncles, cousins young and old, and grandparents. Everyone I met in Cuenca was warm and welcoming. I would love to visit the family again in the future.

I would give the entire experience 10 stars out of 10. I completely and fully recommend studying Spanish in Cuenca with Mariana Valdez. It’s a life-changing experience.

Shahbaz K, Maryland, USA:

I have been attending the Spanish Institute in Cuenca for over a year now and I am extremely satisfied with what I have achieved. Mariana Valdez and her team of teachers are great at one on one instruction at all levels.

I go to them three times a week for conversation practice. We talk about our daily lives, Ecuadorian culture, International events and whatever topic comes up. Often we go on walks or hikes—Mariana know the Cajas like no one else—and continue with our “class”. Often students come to the school for intensive daily instruction and are conversation ready within a few weeks.

Others attend to brush up on their skills they have acquired elsewhere. I highly recommend Spanish Institute as a place where you can learn Spanish at any level at your own pace.

Dana G, Boulder,Colorado, USA

“The Spanish Institute of Cuenca is a warm and welcoming place. Not only are the classes affordable with great one on one attention, but the staff goes the extra mile to integrate you into the local culture.

Not only do you get to meet people from all over the world at the Institute but you get to meet locals, getting the inside scoop on cultural activities, bars, hostels, and more. You won’t feel like a tourist but part of a vibrant community that will give you the tools and confidence to improve your Spanish in one of the most beautiful places in Ecuador!”

Laurie L, Oregon, USA

Mariana Valdez Serpa is a phenomenal teacher. My husband and I took lessons with her for many months. She made our learning fun and engaging, tailoring each lesson to our specific levels. Her lively field trips around town taught us much more about Ecuadorian culture than we could have learned on our own, and gave us practical opportunities to practice our Spanish. There is a strong sense of community within the school. The group dinners with teachers, students, friends and family were a highlight of our time in Cuenca.

Happy learning with Mariana!

Fred K, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Taking Spanish lessons at the Spanish Institute of Cuenca has been one of the high points of my travel experiences in South America. I highly recommend this school to anyone who wants to improve their ability to speak the language and learn something about the culture of the people’s you are coming in contact with in this part of the world. I have enjoyed this school so much that I have returned a couple of times on different trips and have never been disappointed. It is a small school which emphasizes close personal contact. The teachers may well become some of your best friends as mine did. On a scale from one to ten I would give this place a solid 10.