Studying Spanish in Sucre

After our stay in Potosi and our visit to the mines, our group, now numbering seven, decided to travel to Sucre. We travelled the three hours in two local taxis, as this was the cheapest option for our group. With Claire’s suitcase tied with twine to the top of the smallest taxi in the world and a few hairpin bends along the way, where we all feared the suitcase would end up at the bottom of the cliff, we were relieved to make it to Sucre in one piece.

Determined to improve our Spanish and learn a few more phrases than the overused “dos cervezas por favour”, when we arrived in Sucre we signed up for a week of Spanish lessons. Opting for one-to-one sessions at the Bolivian Spanish School, we spent our mornings studying and the majority of our afternoons doing homework and relaxing in many of the lovely cafes Sucre has to offer. So taken with our studies and thanks to another blockade we ended up staying for two weeks of lessons.

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia. Although La Paz remains to official capital many Bolivians have campaigned for Sucre to take its place. With beautiful architecture, museums, cafes and friendly people it’s easy to see why we were more than happy to be stuck in Sucre for two weeks.

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They even have handy Zebras to help you cross the road too…

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So what else did we get up to during our stay? With an array of Musuems on offer in Sucre we opted to visit the Museo Universitario Charcas in our first few days in the city. Although much of the information was in Spanish (but hey we needed the practice!), it was worth a visit even if just to see the fascinating collection of mummies.

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After a while though some of us got a bit bored…

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On another of our afternoons we hiked up to the Recoleta Mirador and enjoyed a few glasses of wine in the sun…

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On the weekend we dodged the cars racing through the city in Sucre’s annual rally. Only in Bolivia would they host an event where the cars speed through the city without any barriers to keep the pedestrians out of the road!

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Taking our lives into our own hands we made our way to the city’s Cemetery. Walking around was a very different experience to the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires – the graves were brightly decorated with photos, flowers and often singing cards.

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On the Sunday in Sucre and after a brief visit to the Para Ti chocolate factory for a chocolate breakfast and tour (photos were forbidden sorry!), we made our way to Parque Cretacico to see the fossilised dinosaur footprints. We looked very fetching in our hard hats…

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It was a bit of a hike up and down, but was worth a look.

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You are not allowed too close to the fossils for their protection and for fear of falling rocks and this was aptly demonstrated by the security guard, who made sure we knew were the line was…

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And of course we didn’t miss out on the chance to pose with the many dinosaur models…

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But sadly the dinosaur play park was reserved for children only…

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During one of my Spanish lessons I was treated to a trip to La Glorieta Castle. Not really a castle but more of a palace, it grounds were home to an old orphanage that now forms part of the city’s military barracks.

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My tour of the castle was in Spanish, and my teacher tested my understanding after, but tours are also available in English. Although not recommended in my guidebook, it’s certainly worth a visit even if just to study the weird mishmash of architecture.

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And finally with the world cup in full swing and despite never watching football in the UK, it was easy to get behind Bolivia’s enthusiasm for the sport and spend many an afternoon with a few beers in hand!

Still not fluent in Spanish but greatly improved, Sucre was certainly a pleasant and worthwhile place to hold up for a few weeks of study.

We took 4 hours of one-to-one lessons each day Monday-Friday at the Bolivian Spanish School and at US$130 a week we would highly recommend it to any one who wants to improve their Spanish! The teachers are happy to adapt the lessons to your needs and with a few field trips thrown in, and a Friday night cookery lesson, we were sad to leave!

3 thoughts on “Studying Spanish in Sucre”

    1. They are supporting a mix if teams out here! I think a lot are supporting the Argentinians today though, I think they would be over moon if a South American team won! Might as well go with the crowd as their enthusiasm is infectious!

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