On this page, we'll answer the question about whether you should learn Spanish. And then we'll review several of the language schools and private teachers here in Cuenca.
Cuenca has enough Cuencanos who speak English, and enough expats, that you can probably get along without learning this wonderful language.
But life will be so much easier for you if you do. Even if you never get past the beginner stage, with rudimentary grammar and pronunciation and a small selection of verbs and nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
The fact that you make an attempt to speak their language makes many people here much more willing to help you. We've seen surprise on the faces of more than a few Cuencanos and other Ecuadorians when we've spoken to them in English (Lulie does most of the talking, as she's much more advanced than Jeff).
We've also seen marked improvements in their service levels when they know we speak Español. So if you've had problems getting what you want from the locals, it may be time to pick up some of their language.
Another good reason to learn Spanish? You'll likely save some money. Whether it's haggling with vendors in the mercados, or asking for a deal in a store, if you can get your point across, you're much more likely to see some savings.
We've read that Cuenca has the purest spoken Spanish outside of Spain. So you've come to the right place to learn it.
There are many language schools here. Some teach only Spanish, while others teach English to Cuencanos. Some, like the University of Cuenca's program, teach several languages.
Below is our list of schools. You'll also find private teachers/tutors, who will work with you one to one wherever you'd like to learn Spanish.
This list will grow as we investigate and review more of Cuenca's language schools.
Carolina Language School is recommended by the iTur tourism office to anyone asking for Spanish language training.
Four experienced bilingual teachers offer Spanish classes at $10 per hour for private lessons. For 2-4 students (the maximum number in any class), the cost is $5 per student per hour. Classes are an hour long and are scheduled for Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Tuesday-Thursday. Special schedules can be arranged.
Contact Dr. Lee Dubs at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 09-7794057. You can also reach him at Carolina's book store at Hermano Miguel 4-46, just up from Calle Larga.
CEDEI Language School, the largest Spanish training center in Cuenca.
Most private teachers charge less than the schools, because they don't have the overhead costs that the schools have. If you're looking for less structured classes, or you need to learn Spanish on a budget, a private teacher may be what you want.
Marielena Andrade, a private Spanish teacher who is also a salsa dance teacher, and a cooking teacher!
If you're heading to the coast for a week or two, why not study there? Montañita Spanish School is a great place to learn, with a lot of fun activities available. We definitely recommend it for any family members in their late teens or early twenties.
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!