Teach to Teach: Training Women to Teach Spanish

by Awamaki

Dear donors, 

This year at Awamaki, we are thankful for you. You provide us the funds to give women the skills and opportunity to earn an income and lift their families out of poverty. You believe in us and you invest in our women and their potential. Thanks to you, this year we have:

  • Connected the Spanish teachers to 163 volunteers and tourists, to whom they have provided nearly 1300 hours of language instruction--earning a fair wage for every hour. 
  • Made improvements to the Spanish classrooms, including tables and chairs and whiteboards for each room
  • Offered ongoing teacher support from a local experienced Spanish teacher, who has taught the women new and different exercises and teaching methods. 
  • Inititiated training to teach the women to teach Quechua, their native language, starting next year.
  • Sent teams of staff and volunteers into the field to conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups with all the women with whom we work so that we can better understand their household economies, serve their needs, and help them meet their financial goals.
  • Hired one of the Spanish teachers to be on our staff, where she coordinates spanish classes and other activities, like homestays. Silvia is 19 and has a 3-year-old daughter. She performed so well as a teacher and a leader in the cooperative that we offered her the opportunity to train as an administrator for Awamaki. Silvia manages the classes and now helps other women improve their skills and market access!

We couldn't do this without you, and that's why we made this thank you video

Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season!


Spanish class language exchange
Spanish class language exchange

Awamaki’s Spanish teacher cooperative has been up to awesome things! The Spanish classes taught by the women at the Awamaki office here in Ollantaytambo have been running smoothly. Recent volunteers and tourists have been enjoying their lessons, while the women are becoming adept teachers and earning a greater income to support their families. Many of the students have expressed satisfaction with the conversational-style classes. Yesterday, Sonya Beatriz, an Awamaki volunteer, made a Peruvian fusion pizza with her Spanish teacher, Jenny, giving her the chance to practice her newly learned conversational skills in a casual, real world setting!

A handful of women from the cooperative are also currently training to teach Quechua lessons. Not all of the women in our teaching cooperative know how to speak Quechua, but those that do have offered to teach classes to interested tourists and volunteers. Quechua is an eloquent indigenous language that, like indigenous languages across the world, is disappearing. While many of the communities that Awamaki works with still speak Quechua, they are converting more rapidly each year to speaking Spanish, so that they can communicate with a larger audience and have access to increased economic opportunities. By offering Quechua classes, Awamaki and the teachers cooperative hope to help keep the language alive and encourage speakers to place a higher value on speaking the language. Teaching foreign visitors the language helps preserve it and allows visitors to the Andes the opportunity to communicate at a basic level to the women of our cooperatives and other indigenous communities. 

Quechua is a language that has only recently standardized its orthography, and therefore there are not sufficient teaching materials or teaching aids to assist teachers. Awamaki’s Community Education team, comprising of staff and volunteers, got together to create their own course structure, as well as other teaching supplements such as worksheets and homework handouts. The women who will be teaching Quechua have been spending time with other members of the Ollantaytambo community who teach language classes, collecting ideas on how to better formalize the course. Classes will aim to teach only the basics of the language. Awamaki is currently seeking funding to further develop the course and invest in the teachers’ skills. For now, the teachers will start with a trial run of the basic course so that any revisions and improvements can be made.

The opportunity to teach Quechua opens up new customer markets for the teachers, giving them the chance to to teach more hours each week and earn more money for themselves and their families. The women are also extremely excited about the chance to help preserve their native language! Through teaching Quechua, they will get to connect visitors to their heritage in a way that is meaningful and lasting.

Your support makes it possible for Awamaki to provide ongoing training to the teachers and connect them to greater global markets so that they can earn an income to support their families and transform their communities. Thank you for your generosity in supporting this project. The women of Awamaki’s Spanish teachers cooperative are extremely grateful of your donations. We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of the Quechua classes.

Teachers from Awamaki's Spanish Teacher Cooperative have been working hard, leading Spanish lessons for all of Awamaki's new volunteers and a good number of the tourists who pass through Ollantaytambo. Pictured above is Eunhae and Ruth. Eunhae, from South Korea and currently studying at Bryn Mawr College is one of Awamaki's newest volunteers in the Community Education program, and Ruth is her Spanish teacher. Eunhae and Ruth have been hitting the road in Peru lately, exploring the Sacred Valley and speaking Spanish as they go!

Like Ruth, all of Awamaki’s Spanish teachers are dedicated and passionate about teaching Spanish, and have been able to make their classes fun and unique because of all the support their project has received from donors like you! The more captivating the classes, the more people are interested in taking them, which leads to increased economic opportunities for the women.

Are you interested in continuing to support Awamaki's "Teach to Teach: Training Women to Teach Spanish" project? Donate this Wednesday, June 12th and take advantage of Global Giving's Donor Matching Day! All donations made on June 12th will be matched by Global Giving by 30%, but only until matching funds run out... so make sure to make your donation early in the morning!

And if we have the highest number of unique donors on Wednesday, we have the chance to win a $1,000 bonus from Global Giving, so even the smallest donations can make a huge difference to Spanish teachers like Ruth!

Thank you for your continued support. The wonderful work at Awamaki would not be possible without the generous donations from supporters like you! Keep track of our donation succes this Wednesday with us as we post updates to Facebook.

Spanish Teachers
Spanish Teachers

Since our last update, the women of Awamaki’s Spanish teachers cooperative have continued to improve their teaching skills, and are constantly looking for ways to expand the success of their cooperative.  In the past few months, the women have opened new lines of communication between themselves and their students in an effort to identify gaps in both their teaching style and their curriculum.  Together, the women have decided to create evaluations to distribute to their students through which the women hope to learn new ways they can improve their classes. A tight knit group, the women of the Spanish teacher’s cooperative work very well together, and because of this they have been able to come up with some really effective ideas and plans of action over the past few months.

Alongside of their teaching commitments, the women of the cooperative have also been participating in computer and English classes held here at the Awamaki office in Ollantaytambo every week.  As the women themselves work to improve their technical and idiomatic skills, they can continue to become qualified teachers with the appropriate knowledge needed to educate others.  With your support, capacity building and skills training will remain successful and thriving, and the women of the cooperative can keep on building blocks of success for the future.

Goals for the women are always adding up, and at last week’s meeting the teachers expressed their interest in learning to teach Quechua so that they can teach others interested in learning their native language.  The cooperative also hopes to gain some basic marketing skills so that they can begin to promote their own classes and programs.  Most of the women in the cooperative agreed that what they need right now is support from the staff and volunteers at Awamaki; support that will allow them to develop their own outreach strategies and expand their teaching efforts into niche markets in Ollantaytambo, such as Quechua.  Skills, like those of marketing, will put power in the hands of the women, allowing them to make their own decisions and eventually assume complete responsibility of the cooperative.

The considerable successes for Awamaki’s Spanish teachers cooperative would not be possible without the kind and continued support of the organization’s donors.  Awamaki’s GlobalGiving donors have aided the development of the cooperative, and now with continued giving will be supporting improvements and advanced skills training amongst the women involved.  Each dollar donated positively impacts the women’s lives in a profound way, and allows them to develop expertise of their own that will help them continue to support themselves, their family and their community!



Dear GlobalGiving donors,

Thank you for supporting Awamaki this year.It was a big year for the Spanish teachers' cooperative. Since January, our 11 teachers have finished their initial training and started teaching classes. As of 1 December 2012, the anniversary of their first six months of teaching, the 11 teachers had earned a collective $3350. To assist the school's start-up, Awamaki has invested in classroom facilities, including painting, varnishing, furniture and materials. We have also provided an intensive boost of 6 teacher-training workshops to provide support in what students and the teachers identified as the most pressing areas of teacher training, including how to communicate to students who speak no Spanish, and tactics for explaining simple word definitions if the teacher does not know the English word.

This year, thanks to their months of hard work, market access provided by Awamaki and the support of our GlobalGiving donors, the Awamaki Spanish teachers have the skills and tools they need to earn an improved income so they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. We'd like to share the story of one teacher, Ruth Roque, and how the project is helping her support herself and her son.

Ruth Fransisca Roque Huaman is a 32-year-old single mom. She has a 12-year-old son, from whose father she is divorced. Programs Coordinator Yovanna Candela sat down with Ruth to ask her about the most significant changes in her life since she started with Awamaki.

“As a person, I have improved my self-esteem and my quality of life” since starting with Awamaki, Ruth said. “As a woman, my value” has improved. When asked what she has done with the money she has earned teaching with Awamaki since June, she tells us that she took her son out of public school to put him in a private school. “Practically all of the money that I earn teaching is for the education of my son,” says Ruth.

We at Awamaki would like to extend our sincerest thanks to you, our GlobalGiving supporters, for supporting Ruth and her ten fellow teachers this year. With your support, they are earning an income that empowers them to change their lives and the lives of their children.


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Organization Information


Location: Ollantaytambo, Cusco - Peru
Website: http:/​/​www.awamaki.org/​
Project Leader:
Mary Kennedy Leavens
Ollantaytambo, Cusco Peru
$14,214 raised of $16,500 goal
203 donations
$2,286 to go
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