Escuela Runawasi

Escuela Runawasi Logo

Basic Information

Address: Calle Maurice Lefebvre N-0470, Villa Juan XXIII, Av. Blanco Galindo km 4.5, Rotonda Imba, 300 m to the north on Av. Juan Pablo II, Bus Micro E Seminario
Phone Number: 00591-4-424 89 23
Fax Number: 00591-4-424 89 23
Director: Joaquin Hinojosa
Duration: the minimum duration is 2 weeks

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Escuela Runawasi
Escuela Runawasi
Escuela Runawasi
Escuela Runawasi

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Additional Information

School Information:

Learn Spanish, Quechua and Aymara in Cochabamba, Bolivia
RUNAWASI is a Quechua word meaning “house of the people”; it refers to our school as a meeting place between people and cultures. Learning Spanish, Quechua and Aymara in Bolivia, will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of the economic, political, social and cultural reality in Bolivia and Latin America. For more advanced students, we incorporate materials according to individuals interests and goals.


Standard classes, 1 week, USD 170. Intensive classes, 1 week, USD 212.50, homestay, 1 week, USD 70

Curriculum Highlights:

Classes for all ages and levels. Advanced students may specialize on Bolivian and Latinamerican literature or any subject of their choice.
Courses for children with special didactic material, games and toys.

School Setting:

The Escuela Runawasi is located in the neighborhood of Juan XXIII, 4,5 km (10-15 minutes by public transportation) from the center of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Villa Juan XXIII was founded by a miner´s cooperative in the mining center of Catavi (North of Potosi) more than 40 years ago. It is well organized and most of the achievements of the neighborhood are fruit of community work.

Program Information: The program starts any day of the week, from Monday to Friday, Saturday classes are possible, too. The classes are one on one, one teacher works with one student. We teach utilizing a communicative method. Homestay near the school, optional. We give a certificate at the end of the program.

We have experience working with students, travelers, professionals, executives, embassies, development agencies, volunteering and religious organizations.

Three are the pillars of the Runawasi school:
-          A philosophy of service with high professional quality and human warmth
-          The communicative method
-          The material
Our philosophy is of service with high professional quality and human warmth.
We teach utilizing a communicative method,which we have been developing and putting into practice for more than 20 years at the Runawasi school   
This method allows us to use grammar lessons, dialogs, lectures, exercises, conversations, pictures – didactic or artistic -, radio, television and other resources to make communication possible from the moment a student enters his or her first class. With this method the classes are direct, active, intense and completely participatory.
Most of the material we use is developed by the director of the school, a linguist who studied in Zurich, Switzerland, and has more than 30 years of experience teaching Spanish and Quechua in both Switzerland and Bolivia, The material reflects life within the neighborhood in which the students live and attend school, as well as the daily reality of Cochabamba, Bolivia and Latin America. Teaching materials are drawn from official history books, oral traditions, Bolivian and Latin American literature, ethnographies, and various other publications. We believe that the learning process is more comprehensive, interesting, and rapid by incorporating all of the senses as well as by focusing on reading, speaking, and writing. In order for this to happen, however, the learning material must fit the context, be up-to-date and representative of the surrounding reality.
The material is frequently revised, corrected, implemented and brought up to date because it must fit the specific needs of each student, and because the process of teaching and learning is an exchange of information, an iterative process which needs continued actualization.
The classes
The classes are one on one, that is one teacher works with one student;however, small groups can be formed circumstantially, with topics of common interest such as grammar, literature, history, social concerns, economics, etc. These group sessions are intended for intensive discussion and practice of the language. Beginning students have, at least for the first week, a teacher who speaks their own language or another language common to both. After the third week, or before, if a student has reached the required level, he/she can integrate specific themes of interest and associated materials. These materials can include texts, articles, essays etc.,. that are taken from books, magazines, newspapers and other sources and serve to complement the school’s basic lessons. . 
We do not know if our method is better than others, nor are we interested in making comparisons. We aspire to be better and suspect that our method is indeed different. We operate according to a philosophy of quality service and use a method that meets the interests, needs and expectations of our students. Our material is dynamic and undergoes frequent additions and revisions. We have no definitive text, since we believe that time and experience enrich the quality and quantity of our material.
We must also mention that our practice of changing teachers every day has yielded very positive results. Each of our teachers brings his/her own experience into the classroom, and these vary according to the contexts in which each has lived and worked . Often the teacher-student interaction blossoms into friendship.
We are convinced that our school experiences and offers continuous growth due to its philosophy, its method and its material.
Living with a host family is a perfect way to practice language skills, complementing the learning process. Equally important, sharing with the family allows you to assimilate aspects of Bolivian culture in a friendly and safe place.
At Runawasi we emphasize that the process of learning a language is enhanced by living with a local family and by the cultural experience resulting from it. In the neighborhood of Juan XXIII, many families host students. Talking with the host family members, you will use and practice what you have learned in classes. You can choose among families of various generations, families with children or adolescents or rooms with private or shared bathroom. The school supervises constantly the quality of the homestay, including the food served and the relationships between guests and hosts.
You will be the only guest (or with your partner, friend or family) and will get to know the joys, pains, fiestas, customs, traditions and yearnings of a low middle class Bolivian family living in the outskirts of the city. These families have strong ties with mining centers and, in many cases, with the countryside, too.
You will share three meals a day with them: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are hygienically and carefully prepared. You can also enjoy a great variety of seasonal fruits and delicious home-made drinks. Full meals are provided every day of the week. There also are families who can prepare vegetarian food or according to special diets.

It is not the only option

Students who wish to stay at a hotel or hostel or want to rent a flat or a small house (for longer stays), should tell us ahead of time so we can make reservations. We can also help students find the right place once they are here.