Picking a school in Cusco

IMG_7091 When we arrived in Cusco in July, it became clear that putting Ryder in school would be the best thing to do. It’s a relatively small town, and with long days and no neighbor kid friends, I wanted Ryder to have some amigos.

We lived in Los Andenes, which is a neighborhood across the street from the university and a fifteen minute walk from the mall and the biggest grocery store in town. It’s not in the touristy area at all, but it was actually a perfect location for us: we could walk to the park, the mall, the grocery store, and eventually, to Ryder’s school.

First I looked into the Montessori. It’s a big property, but completely locked up and not possible to walk inside to witness any goings on. Montessori has a great reputation, of course, and I have no doubt it would be a great option. I decided against it, however, because the initial entry cost was so high and because Ryder’s only three, so I felt any school would be beneficial to him. Furthermore, they required a day or two of “testing” to see how he handled the environment, and if he failed, he couldn’t join the school and fees would be lost. Since he’d never been at school, I felt that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. However—if we knew that we would be here for an unlimited amount of time, maybe I would have thought it was worth it.


Administrative offices: Av de Los Incas 704/ Av. Micaela Bastidas 309

51 (84) 249109

Email: adminstracion@colegiomontessori.edu.pe

Cost: Registration fee: 180 soles ($53)

Initial sign up fee: 1500 soles ($444)

Monthly fee: 415 soles ($122)


Instead, I chose Growing Up located in Urb. Mariscal Gamarra.


Pasaje Las Orquideas 21- N Primera Etapa, Cusco

084 244429


Cost: Registration is normally 200 soles, but fortunately Leonora was with me and she convinced them that since I was only coming for a few months, the annual registration fee wasn’t necessary.

Monthly fee: 400 soles

It comes with snacks, but they said Ryder always wanted to eat more, so I paid an additional 40 soles for a full lunch every day.

It’s interesting to note that the monthly cost is almost the same for both schools-it’s just the upfront costs that are so much more with Montessori. From 8:30 to 1:30 every day, $120 each month was a great way for me to have some free time in my day again.

The school was fine and suited our needs. It was a little hectic every time I came in, but I have no idea what other preschools are like since this was the first one. Every day for a week after I didn’t stay with him, Ryder cried. I would ask him why, and he would say, “Cause I want my mama.” For the rest of the time, when I would pick him up from school he would say the exact same thing, with the same inflection: “I won’t cry at school! I stopped crying.”

He actually loved it, especially his three friends Liam, Raphaela, and Nico-LAS.  Of course everything was completely in Spanish. I was very proud of him for diving into a foreign language school like that. His Spanish appears once in a while: pollo, platano, vamos, que es eso? a mi, and yo quiero. I think Jacob was hoping that he would be fluent by this point but I think that would require more out of me and we still speak English at home.

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Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 371 awesome articles for us.

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