Spanish Study & Cultural Tour (family friendly)

At the completion of every program Viva Tours Abroad allocates monies to be donated to community activism projects and non-profit organizations in need in Oaxaca. The participants of each tour collectively decides what cause or project will be the benefactor of the donation. We will facilitate follow-up progress reports to the cause/project that the participants choose to aid.

Where: Oaxaca, Mexico
When: July 1st- 9th
Duration: 10 days
Group Size: Min 10 – Max 16
Price per Adult: $2285
Price per child: $1995 (children 9 & under)

Overview

A Creative Combination of Language Study and Touring
That Appeals to All Ages!

This all-inclusive program has been specifically designed to accommodate all ages and Spanish language abilities. It offers a beautiful balance between structured off-the-beaten-path Excursions and activities, and free time to explore the lovely city of Oaxaca on your own. You will visit the awe-inspiring pyramids, explore the ancient indigenous customs, and participate in artistic and cultural traditions of Oaxaca. Many of the activities are unavailable to the casual tourist. Dawn Feuerberg, Cuesta College Instructor and founder of Aurora Adventures, has 20 years of experience traveling and living in Oaxaca and has successfully cultivated an exceptional local network of both large and small businesses, language schools, restaurants, artisans and other service providers. The entire experience is personal, intimate and one-of-a-kind.

 

Itinerary

Excursions are an essential part of your study abroad experience.

We have carefully selected the following excursions to help you discover the beauty and diversity of Oaxaca. No trip to Oaxaca would be complete without some time spent exploring a few of the region’s fascinating villages, and wandering through several of the area’s exotic native markets. Within a 50 kilometer (30 miles) radius of Oaxaca City are dozens of small towns, many of which specialize in a particular art tradition that has been passed down for generations.

Excursions List & Descriptions

All excursions are included in the cost of your tuition.
Click on each item below for a full description of each Excursion.

First we will visit Monte Alban, a massive complex of pyramids, terraces and crumbling temples that was founded in 500 A.D. This ancient ceremonial site is considered to be one of the most important examples of pre-Columbian culture in all of México.

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55On our return from Monte Alban, we will visit a small village known for it’s sculptured pottery that many of its citizens produce. The muñecas, or figures, are fanciful and intricate. This type of pottery has become a unique and very collectible art form as well as a beautiful addition to any decor. You will be given a demonstration by world famous ceramist Irma Blanco.

38The first stop on this tour is the huge Mexican cypress tree at Santa María del Tule, a village about 14 kilometers east of Oaxaca. The Arbol del Tule is over 2,000 years old and measures 165 feet in circumference, and is about 15 stories tall. Some say that El Tule may be the largest tree in all of Latin America.

234The tour continues with a stop at an ancient indigenous market
founded around 1250 A.D. This pueblo’s Sunday market is one of Oaxaca’s biggest, oldest and most diverse. We also visit the main town church.

36The ruins at Mitla consist of
five “ruin clusters.”
Archaeologists speculate that some of the ruins were used for ceremonial and religious purposes while others were palaces for the elite. Unique to Mitla are the greca (fret) decorations found on ruin walls.

233On this excursion we will first visit a small Zapotec indigenous village known for it’s production of world famous colorful rugs. (tapetes).

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Nearly every home is filled with family members who card, spin and color wool, often using hand-gathered natural dyes.
59We will spend the afternoon visiting the homes of these Zapotec weavers and walking the cobblestone streets of this village nestled in the mountains of the central valley of Oaxaca. You will be treated to a traditional Zapotec meal before departing.

82This all day excursion first begins with a visit to a market town just south of Oaxaca City in the Central Valley. The town’s artisans are world famous for their black pottery (barro negro). You will then be treated to a beautiful lunch featuring one of the most famous dishes in Mexico, Chile en Nogada.64

65The last stop of the day will be at a small village known for its artisans that produce the fanciful wood carvings called Alebrijes. Participants of the program will have the opportunity to do an alebrije workshop and paint a wood “animalito”70

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Recently restored, the 1883 textile hacienda founded by Jose Zorrila Trapaga was converted into the most beautiful Centre for the Arts of San Agustin (CASA). This is an outstanding contribution led by Maestro Francisco Toledo, to open a cultural opportunity for all interested in the many art workshops the center offers. Also, it brings extraordinary temporary exhibitions for all to marvel at. We will spend a beautiful afternoon visiting this cultural art center and the town of Etla.  It is a very picturesque town, the perfect place to pull out your easel and paint in the peaceful rolling hills.

The old hacienda’s main access connected to the former hydroelectric power plant which was converted into Arte Papel as Maestro Toledo adapted old water pipes and a power plant to make this handmade paper workshop. Tree bark, plant fibers, natural-colored cotton and other natural dyes are made into first class paper products

84403d53852d76b67374cbc7fc379f82_f45Spend one full beautiful day in the lush Oaxacan mountains volunteering with a small Zapotec village cooperative. At the moment, they need help with reforesting their land.

Breakfast & lunch will be included and you will get a tour of the surrounding area and visit a local family farm.

Activities & Classes

  • Oaxaca City Walking Tour
  • Ecstatic Dance Class with Live Drumming
  • Art Galleries
  • Local Yoga classes
  • El Pochote Organic Farmer’s Market
  • La Mezcaleria ( Mezcal Tasting)
  • Shopping in local markets
  • Salsa Dancing
  • cooking classes

Location:

Oaxaca, Mexico
The city of Oaxaca (altitude 5070 ft.) is located in the heart of two verdant valleys and has an ideal Spring-like climate. Folk art, festivals and fascinating indigenous cultures make Oaxaca one of the most magical of Mexico’s many colonial cities. Zapotec and Mixtec ruins and traditional rural villages lie just a few miles from the beautifully preserved city center. Streets around the Plaza Principal, one of the prettiest public parks in all Mexico, have been closed to traffic and transformed into pedestrian malls. Colonial haciendas house excellent restaurants featuring world famous Oaxacan regional cuisine; some offer live music at nigh ranging from jazz to tropical. Oaxaca city with its hip cafés, art galleries, and live music scene, has a bohemian feel while maintaining its colonial charm and links to its pre-Hispanic past.

Highlights

Spanish Classes: Intensive Language Program

Class size is small with a maximum 6 to 1 student/teacher ratio. Cuesta College Spanish Instructor and Founder of Aurora Adventures, Dawn Feuerberg, supervises all language classes during the program. No prior Spanish language experience is needed. The program can accommodate complete beginners as well as advanced levels, and we even offer Spanish for Spanish Speakers.

Beginning, intermediate and advanced classes are taught by local instructors who hold university degrees or an SSL certificate and have years of experience teaching Spanish to foreign students.

Methodology

The teaching techniques are based on the communicative approach to language learning, with motivational materials and community excursions that encourage students to function in in real-life situations using the native Spanish language. Classes will be held Monday – Friday, 9 am – 12 pm. There will be approximately 5 students per instructor.

Children’s Spanish Classes

For children ages 4 years and up we offer a special and entertaining educational program that is specifically created for young learners. Children must be accompanied by one parent or designated guardian studying at the school.

Children’s classes are divided as follows:

90 minutes in the classroom doing Spanish conversation, grammar in action, games and songs.
90 minutes doing workshops, mask making, painting, etc.

The groups are divided by language ability and ages as follows:

4 – 5 years old
6 – 8 years old
9 – 12 years old

Accommodations

Home-Stay

All of the host families have been hand picked by the director and all live within 20 minutes walking distance from the school. An integral part of this program is living with a Mexican family. The home-stay experience provides opportunities to appreciate Mexican culture and use the Spanish language in a natural setting. For many, this is the most enriching part of the program! The family will provide the participants with 2 meals a day: breakfast and “la comida”, the mid-day main meal.


Inclusions

What’s Included

(This is an all-inclusive tour with no hidden costs.)

  • Carefully selected Home-stay with a beautiful Oaxacan family
  • Accommodations for 10 nights
  • 2 homemade meals daily (breakfast and the main meal)
  • Semi-private Spanish Classes for children and adults
  • All Instructional materials
  • Dynamic onsite Director & staff
  • 5 behind-the-scenes excursions with fully insured luxury transportation
  • Professional Salsa dancing and cooking classes
  • Traditional Art workshops
  • 3 one-of-a-kind walking tours
  • A unique volunteer day in the highlands of Oaxaca
  • Pre-departure and on-site orientations & advising
  • Airport transfer from Oaxaca City Airport to home-stay family
  • Reception Party
  • Language Assessment Exam
  • Free wireless internet and computer access>
  • Access to photos taken during program via the Web

What’s not included:

Airfare to and from Oaxaca, 5 light meals, Guide gratuities, Excess baggage charges, Alcoholic beverages, Airport taxes and items of a personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry fees, immunizations or insurance of any kind.

Payment Info & Fees

SPANISH STUDY & CULTURAL TOUR:
(Airfare not included)

Program Cost for Adults

$2,285
Program Cost for Children (9 years and under)
$1,995

Registration Deadline. March 30th

IMPORTANT NOTES

This program is based on a minimum of 12 participants. In the event that the program does not fill, the trip will be cancelled and any deposits and payments fees will be returned to the participants.


AIRFARE
We will be organizing a group flight from LAX to Oaxaca. If you are planning to travel with the group, contact us immediately to find out the specifics of the group flight. The sooner you make your reservation, the more likely you will be able to travel with the group. Otherwise you may make other travel arrangements.

HOME-STAY
If you require a private room please contact the director, Dawn Feuerberg at dawn@auroraadventures.us to make arrangements. Additional fees will apply.

HOTEL OPTION
If you would prefer to stay in a charming boutique style hotel during your stay in Oaxaca. Please contact Dawn Feuerberg at dawn@auroraadventures.us Additional fees do apply.

CANCELLATION POLICY
Should you need to cancel or postpone your trip, fees do apply, so please read our Cancellation Policy. We strongly recommend travel cancellation insurance for unexpected changes in your plans. Please contact us for a list of insurers.

Cost

All-inclusive Program Cost

$2,285 – Adult

$1,995 – Children 9 & under

Register Now

Space Limited to 20. Reserve your space now.
Click here to view our Cancellation Policy

Reviews

I loved this program! I am so grateful for the experiences and the people I met, for the rich culture I was exposed to. I now have a very special place in my heart for Oaxaca! I came to Oaxaca on my own and I would not have known where to begin if it weren’t for Dawn. Without her tireless effort and organizational skills, I would not have had such a rich experience.

Kyle Wong, New York, 2015 participant

It is an adventure I’ll remember for the rest of my life. You can read testimonials for days, but until you pack your bags and experience a home-stay in Mexico for yourself, you won’t get it. From the culture, to the food and the wonderful people you meet along the way.

Anthony Araujo, San Luis Obispo, 2015 participant

I am so glad I decided to join the group with my 2 daughters. It has been an incredible vacation. It gave us the opportunity to learn Spanish, And to Experience the local culture without the “Turista” feeling. The Many excursions offered are great; organized in a way that everybody feels relaxed, is not rushed, and has a lot of fun- Great, Great Program!!!”

Giovanna Pegolo, Pasadena, Ca. 2010 participant

About Your Guides

Dawn Feuerberg (AKA Aurora in Spanish)

Owner and founder of Aurora Adventures, LLC.

Traveling for me is all about the connections. My ability to subtly bridge cross cultural connections between my travelers and the locals abroad is what sets me apart. At a very young age I began to travel on my own seeking out and connecting with the aboriginal, the indigenous and the authentic local life abroad. Often times finding myself being the only non-native in the region. My longstanding relationships abroad give my clients access into an enriching, in depth local experience. I am both well connected and extremely enthusiastic about sharing my access with others.

 

I value the genuine art of discovery travel for all ages. I create flexible itineraries within my tours that provide individuals the opportunity to make new discoveries. This tone of flexibility and openness in my approach to travel is equally matched with my attention to detail, my ability to multi-task and basically get the job done in a coherent, safe, comfortable and if desired, luxurious manner.

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