2 Week Christmas Program

December 5 to December 16
December 19 to December 30

Christmas & New Year's

Spanish Language Program

Christmas and New Year’s eve in Oaxaca

December is an ideal time to visit Mexico and observe December’s celebrations and cultural expressions.

On December 16, Mexico begins a nine-day celebration known as “Las Posadas,” an important tradition for many Catholic Mexicans. This celebration reenacts the trials Mary and Joseph endured before finding a place for Jesus to be born. Families take turns holding the Posada in their home while the remaining adults and children act as pilgrims, walking from house to house carrying candles and singing, looking for somewhere to stay. At each house, the resident rejects the pilgrims through song. The weary pilgrims continue from house to house until they reach the pre-designated place where the Posada is being held. Mary and Joseph are finally recognized and allowed to enter. And the celebration begins!

Among other fun things to experience in Oaxaca in December is “La noche de los Rabanos” or “Night of the Radishes,” a collection of altars around the Zocalo representing the traditions of Oaxaca and nativity scenes created with a fascinating range of vegetables, including radishes of different sizes, dried flowers, and husk. 

Christmas Spanish Language Program

During December, from the 5th to the 30th, the Institute offers two specialized Christmas programs.  

Christmas Program: December 5 to December 16

New Year’s Program: December 19 to December 30.

The Christmas and New year’s Spanish programs and  are offered in 40 hours and includes:

  • Twenty hours of one designated Spanish course per level. (Language and Tradition)
  • Twenty hours of one of two courses to choose from: practical (tertulia cultural) or thematic course about Christmas and  December’s cultural celebrations.  
Like the Main Spanish Language Program, Spanish classes occur from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and after the lunch hour, students can participate in Christmas-related workshops in the afternoon from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. 
Christmas Spanish Language Program

Spanish Courses

All students enrolled in the Christmas and New Year’s programs will take the Spanish Language Course and Traditions, which is 20 hours over two weeks (10 hours each week). Every student will be studying in class according to her level.

Then for the following session, students can choose between 2 options to practice Spanish with content about Christmas and Mexican Traditions. Please note that the Art and Literature Course is only for intermediate and advanced students. Students with basic level can only participate in the “Tertulia Cultural”

Spanish language course (20 hours)

This is a course to learn Spanish within the cultural context of the Christmas. The course is distributed by level. Participants take a short diagnostic test and are assigned to one of the following classes:

Language and tradition – basic level.

Language and tradition – intermediate level

Language and tradition – advanced level

The course takes place during the two weeks of the program, 2 hours each day, Monday through Friday (20 hours). It is not an elective course, all students will take this course at one of its levels.

The schedule of this course will depend on the availability and level of each student. It is offered in two schedules:

Group A: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 11:00.

Group B: Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Practice course (20 hours)

The “tertulia cultural” is a course to develop skills and consolidate knowledge through activities with specific cultural and linguistic contexts. This course is the perfect option to complement the Language and Tradition course.

In Spanish, the term “tertulia” means a reunion of people who meet regularly to talk about or discuss a particular subject or current affairs, usually in a café or, publicly, on a television or radio program.

During the Christmas and New Year’s Special programs, the “tertulia cultural” focuses on the Christmas and Cultural Celebrations such as the Night of the radishes.  content.

It is available for all levels, but there are only two options:

  • Tertulia cultural – basic level
  • Tertulia cultural – intermediate and advanced level

The course runs for the two weeks of the program, 2 hours each Day, Monday through Friday (20 hours). For basic level students, this is an assigned course, but it is one of two courses to choose from for intermediate and advanced level students.

The art and literature is a course to practice Spanish and increase knowledge of Mexican art and literature . This course is an option for those who wish to have more intensive work.

The art and literature course is an exclusive offer for intermediate and advanced level students.

The course runs for the two weeks of the program, 2 hours each day, Monday through Friday. The first week is the Art course (10 hours) and the second week is the Literature course

An excellent complement for the Christmas and New Year’s Spanish Language Programs, the cultural workshops available during these two weeks are the Traditional Mexican Christmas cooking workshop and Piñata Making Workshop (Only offered for the Christmas program)

Piñata Making Workshop: During this workshop, students learn the history of the piñatas and build and design their own, which will be broken at the Posada. Apart from designing and creating piñatas, students at this workshop will help set up the nativity scene in the ICO

Cooking Workshop: This class differs from the normal cooking class offered at the Instituto because students will learn to make traditional dishes specific to the winter holiday. Dishes typical to this holiday are Romeritos and Fruit Punch. Discover what food is oaxaca known for during the Christmas holidays

These workshops are available for  all levels.

The Christmas program is from December 5 to December 16, 2022 and the New Year’s Spanish Language Program is From December 19 to December 30.

This program has a limited availability since all classes are limited to a maximum of 6 students per class.

To participate in this course is necessary to pay for 50% of the course at the time of booking and the balance is due upon arrival. *No registration fee is required for this course)

The prices for this program:


El Instituto Cultural Oaxaca will host a Posada on December 16 where students, intercambios, homestay families, and friends of the ICO celebrate, sing songs, drink punch, and break the piñatas created by students earlier that week in the piñata making workshop

During our Christmas program, Students will work together to set up their own Nativity scene , which will be central point during ICO’s Posada .