Learn Spanish in Shuar Community
Once famous for practicing head shrinking on their dead enemies, today the Shuar community of the Amazon kindly invites you to stay a while – you’ll even get to keep your head! Discover how you can learn Spanish in a Shuar community today, with our Amazon Jungle Indigenous Community program!
First class facilities
Let’s be realistic! The chance to learn Spanish in a Shuar community, deep within the Amazon jungle, won’t be the same as learning Spanish in a 5-star resort by the beach, or a at modern language school in the city. Nonetheless, the Shuar community we work with in the Amazon guarantees an authentic and warm stay, with all you need to survive in the jungle. This includes:
- Accommodation in a wood house within the Shuar community, which is comprised of 7 families
- A pristine jungle location in a 2710-hectare reserve
- No need to take materials with you, just bring a pocketsize dictionary, and our teacher will take everything else you need to study Spanish in the Shuar community
Much of the Amazon’s charm has to do with its isolation. Which is why – to make things simpler for you – we’ll send your teacher along for the ride. Together you’ll travel to Paztaza province in Ecuador’s Oriente or Amazon region, where the host Shuar community awaits you. How?
- Pick-up in Quito. We’ll pass by your accommodation in Quito in private taxi, collect you, and head to Terminal del Sur where we’ll catch our bus to Puyo.
- Arrive to the Amazon. After a 4-5 hour bus ride, a member of the Shuar community will be waiting for us at Puyo bus terminal.
- Head deep into the jungle. After travelling a couple of hours into the jungle. we’ll then arrive to the Shuar community at around 5pm.
School fact sheet
- Founded in: 2004, the year we began working with the Shuar community near Puyo
- Distance to Quito: 8 hours approximately
- Telephone signal: Yes!
- Maximum class size: 6 students
- Low season: December and May
- Volunteering opportunities: Yes, click here to learn more!
- Conversation sessions: Yes, and they're free!
Top-5 things to see and do
During the time in which you learn Spanish in the Shuar community in the Amazon, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a number of traditional survival and lifestyle experiences. These include:
- Jungle journeys – After you study Spanish in the Shaur community in the mornings, you’ll have the chance to venture deep into the Amazon jungle, where a local guide will share survival secrets and a whole lot about Shuar history! You’ll pick fruits, spot animals and take in the Amazon’s unparalleled fresh air, even venturing out at night on a 90-minute nocturnal tour of the jungle.
- Visit the nearby waterfall – Not too far from your new home in jungle, a special waterfall awaits you. It’s here where members of the local community come to draw energy from Mother Nature, a practice that forms part of their traditional belief system.
- Learn about traditional medicine and tobacco use – On your outings to the forest, you’ll have a chance to plant medicinal plant species and learn more about local forms of medicine, including the use of wild tobacco, which is native to many parts of South America and commonly used in many Amerindian communities.
- Optional volunteering experiences – While our Shuar community program is ultimately a Spanish language program, students should feel free to participate in local volunteer opportunities if they want to. Current projects include a bilingual school, a community clinic, a botanic garden, a women’s association, and a community store, as well as house construction/deconstruction, a traditional Shuar custom.
- Experience local dance and music – On your final night in the Shuar community, the locals will light a bonfire and introduce you to traditional dance and music customs. What better way to end your experience in the Amazon jungle?