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Ideal for family vacations or school partnerships.

Los Colibríes (the hummingbirds) Children’s Program: for 6 – 12 year olds

Los Venados (the deer) Youth Program:for 13 – 17 year olds

3 two-week sessions in 2008:

  • June 23 - July 4
  • July 7 - July 18
  • July 21 - August 1

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00 to 11:00 – Spanish Classes at UNIVERSAL (focus on art and ecology)

11:00 – 1:10 – Outing (walking to nearby sites, parks, museums, etc.)

1:10 – 4:00 – Lunch with families and free time

4:00 – 6:00 – Culture, Sports and Arts Activities (3 days a week – afternoons are free on Fridays)

Wednesdays: 8:00 to 11:00 – Spanish Classes at UNIVERSAL (focus on art and ecology) 11:00 – 7:00 – Outing to a nearby mountain community (Huitzilac – half an hour north of UNIVERSAL) where Loraine does environmental work. There they will participate in an environmental program with local children and youth, coordinated by Loraine, including visits to productive projects, hikes, and reforestation. Students will learn about local environmental problems, discuss them with people from the town (with translation if necessary) and contribute to making improvements through reforestation and other activities that might emerge from the groups’ observations and discussions. They will bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bonfire at the end. Parents are invited to join us on these Wednesday outings.

Los Colibríes Children’s Program: Children will participate in classes together with Mexican children from the neighborhood of similar ages. Themes will include composting, planting vegetables, cooking with local ingredients, paper maché and other traditional local crafts, swimming pool games, racquetball, relays, ping pong tournaments, soccer games, preparing and presenting a puppet show on ecological concerns (all in Spanish, of course).

Los Venados Youth Program:
Students will leave Universal some afternoons to participate with local youth in soccer practices, art and dance classes, swimming tournaments, etc. (Students will be transported and accompanied by Universal teachers). Other afternoons, local youth will be invited to Universal to participate in activities offered on site for this program, making use of Universal’s recreational facilities.


Program Overview:
Day 1 - Saturday - Participants arrive and settle in with homestay family
Day 2 - Sunday - Orientation at Universal and city walk in downtown Cuernavaca
Day 3 - 12 - Program as described above, with optional weekend trips or the weekend is on your own.
Day 15 - Saturday – Bid farewell to new friends and leave for the airport

Cost and Conditions: : The cost for these programs (either Los Colibríes or Los Venados) is $400.00 per session (registration fee of $100 will be waived for these two programs if parents are also taking classes at Universal). Fee includes:

- All language instruction

- All materials for classes and activities

- Transportation and admission fees,

Wednesday trip included Price does not include airfare, room or board, transportation to and from airport, optional weekend trips, which range from $20 - $40 US for most day trips. Please ask about what specific trips are planned for the dates you are considering. We recommend that the families do a Universal-sponsored homestay together.

Children must be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Cuernavaca, who will be responsible for the minor/s outside of the program's scheduled activities.

FORMS OF PAYMENT You may pay for registration, tuition or housing with traveler's checks, cash or credit card. An extra fee of 2.5 % will be applied if a credit card is used.


Program Description: Children and youth will improve their Spanish through classwork and many dynamic activities and outings. The students will spend part of each day with their Mexican peers, engaged in activities related to art and ecology, which will include reforestation and visiting family farms. The goal of this program is for children from other countries to learn and practice Spanish while making real, human connections with their Mexican counterparts. This will help them to understand cultural differences, gain an awareness of local environmental and social problems and do some volunteer work that will contribute to help solve these problems.

The program is set up so parents can take classes at UNIVERSAL while their children participate in this program, if desired. We recommend that the family do a Universal-sponsored homestay with a Mexican family together. Three levels will be offered and classes will include activities related to art and ecology, featuring art projects, experiments, etc. Books on these themes will also be used for reading and writing practice. All four skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing, will be taught at all levels. Students will make marked improvements in their oral conversational skills due to the wealth of oral Spanish they will be exposed to during the two weeks of the program.

Each session will run as scheduled if a minimum of five participants sign up.

Optional Weekend Trips: (for an extra charge) vary and are offered every weekend during the summer for Universal students. They may include:

One day trips:

Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa –Incredibly large and impressive underground caverns. Guided tours are offered. Ecotourism – river rafting, rappel, biking, hiking.

Las Estacas – a lush, ecological swimming park with a spring and river with crystalline waters. Rafts or inner tubes can be rented to float down the river.

Tepoztlan – A beautiful indigenous town tucked in a valley, with a popular hike to see pyramid ruins on a mountaintop.

Taxco – A quaint, colonial town with many artisans that work with silver from the local mines.

Mexico City – Its many attractions include the Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo Museum, National Palace and the Zócalo (main square)

Pyramids at Teotihuacan and Xochicalco

Two or Three Day Trips may include Oaxaca, Michoacan, Acapulco, San Miguel de Allende, and others.

Program Coordinator: Loraine Woodard. Loraine is a middle school teacher from San Francisco, CA, and has a Master of Arts in Teaching Global and Environmental Literacy. She has lived in Mexico for ten years, just outside of Cuernavaca in the beautiful mountainous protected area called Huitzilac, where she works on environmental popular education projects. She coordinates Universal’s children and youth programs, provides appropriate materials and feedback to the Spanish teachers (all native Spanish speakers and trained Universal teachers who have experience working with children) and accompanies the children on outings and activities.

School Partnerships
We encourage school partnerships and can accommodate student groups who come accompanied with their teachers. If you have particular interests, let us know and we can arrange activities accordingly.