Our History – The School
When we opened our doors, all we had was only few teachers, one cook, 16 local children, barely enough money to feed and to educate our flock, and no guarantee of a future. But we had our faith, we had our dedication, and we had our dream. And so, against the odds, Amigos was born. We began with an initial donation from a private company in Holland, but it was only sufficient to cover the initial months of the Youth Program.
Amigos Our first foreign students were two people from Germany, Simon and Anne. On the first day of class, they were very enthusiastic and excited about their lessons. They felt very happy that their Spanish lessons were supporting the education and food of our 16 local boys and girls. They also saw that we were giving our children something that they sorely missed at home: love. After six weeks of intensive Spanish lessons, living with a Peruvian family, sharing the school with our children, they left with a good working knowledge of Spanish to continue in their Latin American travels. When they left, they said something unforgettable: “Amigos es realmente Amigos” (“Amigos truly is Amigos”). After a while, the amount of students started growing little by little, even though there were few times during which the school was full. Our students were not only happy with the noticeable improvement of their Spanish, they were also very satisfied that they were helping the community in Cusco. Today, we have an enviable reputation in Cusco, and people the world over have spread many good sentiments about Amigos.
Now, the Amigos Spanish School has many Spanish teachers and employees, working to help our children and young people.We are an amazing team that believes in the school, we all give our best to the foreigners who attend our school, and we all care deeply about the welfare and the future of our children and young people. Our children and young people are very motivated, and they have said many times that this school is the best thing in their lives.
The Amigos Spanish School itself has been financing 100% of the youth program, and we are very proud of this achievement. We believe that this year will also be a great year.
Our School has always been both a professional and friendly place. In the classroom, are teachers are qualified, professional and dynamic, and can systematically and effectively meet the needs of any student who walks through our doors. We are first and foremost a Spanish school with strict standards of excellence when it comes to language learning. All lessons are taught in a communicative method, most favoured by second-language professionals the world over – reflecting the needs of students in their everyday usage, and finding the best way for them to identify, understand, and reproduce language in real-life situations. This sometimes means listening to music in the classroom, or roleplaying common situations, or even learning useful chunks of language that can be used in situation-specific environments, among many other learning tools. Communicative classroom activities and games are integral to this; we do not need or want students to be merely passive actors in the classroom, no more active than the desk or the chair; we want our students to engage with the language, and use it as much as they can. The curriculum we have prepared is tailored to each student’s level, and we encourage students to challenge both our teachers and themselves, in order to make the most of this learning relationship.
With these high levels of professionalism, we are unique in allowing a calm, friendly, and welcoming environment to coexist within the school. Our ethos has always called for a familiar and casual relationship, where students can feel comfortable grabbing a cup of tea and relaxing with staff between classes, or hanging around after to watch a movie, or just organising to enjoy the city and everything it offers in the company of good friends. While we’re not playing around in the classroom, Amigos won’t feel like a business, or a cold, clinical institute, or the school your remember from your childhood. The best environment for learning is a comfortable one. We want you to feel at home, to make the most of your time with us, and to enjoy yourself.
An integral factor in implementing our philosophy is that: our foreign Spanish-language students and our local English-language students are together, learning in the same physical location. The two groups fuel each other with energy, inspiration, admiration, and mutual respect. By being at Amigos, our foreign students are gaining much more than a mere improvement in their Spanish ability. Learning a language is the gateway to understanding different people and different cultures, and for our students we want to open that gateway as wide as we can.
Our core philosophy, which will go with us as we evolve and change, remains the same. Many of today’s global problems stem from mutual ignorance and intolerance of different people and their cultures. At Amigos, we believe strongly that one way to further communication and understanding in our world is to learn about each other, in a deeper and more profound way. Learning a language of another culture is the first step to do this.