A long list of satisfied clients attests to the competence of the language instruction of the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca (at the north-side corner of Niños Héroes/Hwy. 190 and Juárez, tel. 951/515-3404, fax 951/515-3728, info [at] icomexico [dot] com, www.icomexico.com ), in a lovely garden campus.
Also very highly recommended is the Becari Language School (N. Bravo 210, tel./fax 951/514-6076, becarioax [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, becari [at] becari [dot] com [dot] mx, www.becari.com.mx ). Offerings include small-group Spanish instruction, as well as cooking and dancing classes. If you desire, the school can arrange homestays with local families.
Similarly experienced is the Vinigulaza Language and Tradition (Vinigulaza Idioma y Tradición) school (Abasolo 503, corner of Los Libres, about six blocks east, four blocks north of the plaza, tel. 951/513-2763, info [at] vinigulaza [dot] com, www.vinigulaza.com ), associated with the local English-language Cambridge Academy. Offerings include informative (and even fun) small-group Spanish instruction. Schedules are flexible, and prices are reasonable.
Alternatively, for more lightweight instruction, try Español Interactivo (Interactive Spanish, Armenta y López 311B, tel./fax 951/514-6062, spanishmaestra [at] yahoo [dot] com, www.studyspanishinoaxaca.com ), one block east and half a block south of the zócalo, by Iglesia de San Agustín . The school offers several levels that provide, respectively, 15–40 instructional hours per week. Classes have a maximum of five students.
All the language schools also arrange homestays with Oaxaca families and often offer classes in folkloric and salsa dancing, weaving, and painting on clay and wood.
Inexpensive Spanish instruction is customarily available from volunteers at the Oaxaca Lending Library (Pino Suárez 519, tel. 951/518-7077, library [at] oaxlibrary [dot] com, www.oaxlibrary.com ), about five blocks north of the zócalo on the east side of El Llano park.