Our free extra curricular activities include:
Language and cultural exchange group at ITTO.
For those interested in practicing their Spanish, a language and cultural exchange group has also been formed. It is made up of trainee-teachers, and students studying English or Spanish. Students take turns practicing language and sharing about their culture. With over 2000 Mexican learners of English as a foreign language, you are sure to obtain a real cultural and linguistic interchange. This walking tour activity takes place every Saturday at the main building of the EFL school.
Some exciting activities during the summer months are the walking and bus tours. These are open to all people, so our students join with other vacationers. The tour visits many places and sites of interest around the city. Since Guadalajara sports a wealth of beautiful architecture and historical buildings, these tours are very worthwhile. Most of the sites visited are located in the downtown area, as are we. There are also tours to other parts of the city and some little known, but very important sites. The tour guide informs the participants about the significance and cultural points of the different sites. The great thing about these tours is that they are completely FREE. They are conducted on various days of the week. During your stay, we update our students on the different tour options so that they can take advantage of them.
Mexican cooking (homestay program):
We encourage our families to have the students learn to prepare a traditional Mexican meal for lunch while in their home on Mondays. We know of NO OTHER program that promotes this. Once you choose the dish you want to make from our Mexican recipe guide, your host family will provide you with the ingredients, support, encouragement and warmth to help you make a traditional feast.
Salsa reflects the joy and abandon of the tropical days. Major reasons why this social activity is so popular among our students are:
- Mingling of ITTO Trainee-Teachers, local English as a foreign language and foreign students learning Spanish.
- The way this activity combines flexibility with progression.
Since all skill levels run in parallel during the class, you do not have to attend consecutive lessons. Practice the Spanish language and join in the fun every Friday at 6:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.
Guitar lessons (free of charge)
At ITTO, we offer our students free guitar lessons. These lessons are conducted at our facilities in the evenings on Saturday. Students must either bring their own guitar or rent one in the city. Lessons will consist of many of the most traditional Mexican ballads and songs.
One of the most valuable aspects of gaining your TEFL Certification and/or Teaching in Mexico is the opportunity to really live the culture of this beautiful land. An important part of our TEFL program is that we provide our students with just such an opportunity. In addition to the wide variety of cultural events that take place here in the historical downtown area, which are absolutely free of charge, we organize field trips to certain areas of special interest. Flexibility is a key feature in our program.
Years of experience have taught us that not all students enjoy the same activities outside the classroom. There is a small additional charge for these excursions to cover the cost of transportation and the tour guide. ITTO does not receive any part of this fee. Though the arrangements for the excursions are made by us, students are asked to pay all fees directly to the service provider. Excursions are organized in and out of the city, enabling students to compare the enthusiasm and bustle of modern Mexico with the most provincial countryside. Students are responsible for their own meals on the excursions.
Guadalajara City Tour
Relax and enjoy the magnificence of a tourist journey through the most beautiful areas that Guadalajara, Zapopan and Tlaquepaque have to offer. Ride through some of the cities most traditionally, historically significant and culturally transcending landmarks as well as the progressive new areas of the city that are ushering Guadalajara into the new era. The tour bus is 2 floors, similar to those striding through the streets of London and, of course, fully equipped with audio tracks for the tour in various languages.
The price is $110.00 Mexican pesos for adults and $65.00 Mexican pesos for children from Monday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays: $120.00 Mexican pesos for adults and $70.00 Mexican pesos for children. Tours run throughout the day and your ticket grants you service to get on and off the bus as you please throughout the entire day of your purchase to allow you to actually walk around the sites you visit and then take the next bus to move on.
Lake Chapala and Ajijíc
Lake Chapala, the largest lake in the country, is located 30 miles Southeast of Guadalajara. A visit to its towns and villages along the shore is a truly memorable experience. The town of Chapala boasts a beautiful church and pier. Chulavista is a beautiful American residential colony. Ajijic is an old rustic town with craft shops, hand made rugs, clothing, leather goods, and silver jewelry. The tour takes approximately 6 hours and is available for Monday Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday. US $30: Departure at 9:30 a.m.
We will take you to the land of Tequila which is 30 miles West of Guadalajara. Learn the History of Mexico´s national drink; its planting, harvest, distillation, aging process, and its taste. We visit the ranch “El Indio” where you can see the cultivation of the plant that is used to make tequila, the blue agave. After experiencing the Mexican ranch, we will then take you to to the processing plant where the distilling process will be explained. You will also see the aging warehouses. Souvenirs and samples are available. Do not miss this unique experience. The tour takes approximately 6 hours and is available for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. US $30: Departure at 9:30 a.m
The Chamber of Commerce of Guadalajara, Ferrocarril Mexicano and the Jalisco State Goverment have organized a unique train tour on weekends. Such tour has been named: “Tequila Express”.
The trip begins at 10:30 AM at the train station, located at Av. Washington and Calz. Independencia. Once there, passengers are received with live mariachi music, once they check in, they are assigned a wagon. They board the train at 11:00. During the trip to the town of Amatitán (1h, 30′), snacks and complimentary drinks are offered while the mariachi bands play Mexican music. A tour guide, meanwhile, explains the history of Hacienda San José del Refugio (home place of “Tequila Herradura”).
The stewardesses and security guards make the trip more enjoyable, the train features Red Cross paramedics and private security. The staff will gladly listen to any complaints, suggestions or comments from the passengers, doing a follow up to such observations.
Once the train arrives at its destination, passengers board a bus that takes them to Hacienda San José del Refugio. A tour guide shows the premises. After that, the guests visit the tequila production area, passing by the steam ovens, where the agave pines are cooked, then they go to the old distillery (circa 1800), where people can see all the tools and instruments of the time that were used to produce tequila, included a device pulled by a mule.
The tour includes a visit to the museum where a video is shown; the video depicts everyday work at the hacienda. At the end of the tour, people have a buffet lunch made up with Mexican dishes; at the same time, a live show of folk dances, charro tricks, and impersonators is presented to the guests. Live mariachi music is playing all the time and there is even a dance contest where the couple who wins gets a free gift from the host.
People can sing and dance in a real Mexican atmosphere, surrounded by gardens, trees, plants and live animals.
The tour costs $100.00 USD (aprox.) for adults, and $65.00 USD (aprox.) for children under 12. Kids under 5 travel free of charge.
ITTO will be happy to order your prepaid tickets or they can be purchased at the Historic Downtown Chamber of Commerce, only a few blocks from our school.
Historic Downtown Chamber of Commerce Office hours: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:00p.m. For further Chamber of Commerce information, call: (52) 33 3880-9099 and/or (52)33 3122-7920