Spanish Language Schools in Guatemala

 

Michael with teacher Luis.

All language schools are not equal, nor is finding the best place for you as simple as reviewing a few schools online and then picking one. I’ve been there and there’s a lot of info out there, but making a decision of where my wife and I were to spend our next six months or so as we studied Spanish was kind of like diving into a river after talking to others who swam there before. We hoped to hit the right spot and not drown or hit any rocks in the process.

When you’re looking for a place to learn Spanish there are many elements to take in to account: Location, Cost, Perks, Experience and more.

First of all there is the consideration of countries. There are lots of Spanish Language schools in Spain, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and probably every Latin American country on the map. Here’s a list of 90 schools in 14 countries. We wanted to learn Latin America’s version of Spanish and we have plans to be in Guatemala for a while so we chose to study in the beautiful highlands of Guatemala. Once the country was settled, it became a matter of what city: the main choices are: Antigua, Xela / Quetzaltenango, or Panajchel but about 10 cities offer language studies in Guatemala. Private tutors can be found in other places, but you’ll need some sort of contact to connect with them since there’s no central way to find them.

Getting the right teacher is very important. One thing we learned is that in one-on-one teaching sessions, the individual teacher really makes a difference. Don’t be afraid to change teachers if one doesn’t work for you. Usually within one week you can know whether or not you and your “maestro/a” are a good match. If you’re not, change so you can get a better fit and learn all that you can.

Santa Maria Volcano above Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango / Xela

The second largest city in the nation, Quetzaltenango (or Xela as it is known by it’s native name) is a small version of Guatemala City with a flair for Greek architecture and a slower pace of life while still offering many amenities of a larger town (American restaurants, mall, cafes, shopping, vegetable markets, theater, cinema, Soccer stadium, chicken bus hub, etc.) This city is also within easy access to Santa Maria a volcano that provides great hikes and views. A big plus for language learners is that most of the people you’ll encounter in Quetzaltenango don’t speak English and you’ll be forced to use what you’ve learned in class. Even without your own vehicle, getting around town is easy and cheap (1.25 Quetzales / US$0.20) for a microbus ride all the way around the city. A taxi across town costs about 20 – 30 Quetzales.

Centro Bilingüe Amerindia (CBA)

CBA was our school of choice. We liked the price, the location, and the opportunity to study the Mayan language of Quiche as well as Spanish. The directors and instructors were very accommodating and helpful even beyond the regular school classes.

CBA Spanish School building

Location:

  • 12 Avenida 10-27,zona 1, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (only about 3 blocks from the central park)

Cost:

  • Registration: $30
  • Host family (including meals 6 days per week) $40
  • 4 hours of instruction daily: $92 – $102*
  • 5 hours of instruction daily: $110 – $125*
  • 6 hours of instruction daily: $135 – $145*

* Rates depend on the season.

Perks:

  • One-on-one student/teacher “total immersion”
  • Native family housing
  • Activities and volunteer opportunities
  • Very good school family environment with teacher/student activities

Suggestions:

After having studied at CBA for several months, we have some recommendations:

Chrisi with Blanca and Felipa at our host home.

Host family — Ask for the house of Doña Blanca y Frederico. This delightful family lives about 18 minutes walk from the school, but the walk is worth it. Blanca is an amazing cook and really makes a great effort to please her students. She often asked us what we’d like for breakfast and even let us teach her how to make French Toast. Her Pepian Chicken and vegetables and meat are excellent.  Blanca and Frederico have room for a married couple and their student housing area includes a private bathroom and shower just outside the student’s bedroom. Their house is near a lavanderia (laundry service) and provides easy access to bus lines and markets.

Teachers — We had great experiences with Byron Calderon and Luis Orozco. We also recommend Byron Americo, and Jorge Orozco. We also really liked that CBA offered a Quiche teacher. This Mayan language will be extremely helpful if you plan to spend any time in Chichicastenango or the Chichi area where many Mayans don’t speak Spanish, but only their native tongue of Quiche.

Playing soccer (futbol) with the guys.

Activities —  Good activities available including tours, museums, market trips, etc. Soccer with the teachers, etc. The volunteer opportunities are great too. Let the directors know what you’re looking for and they can help you find something that will be a good fit for you.

Antigua

Many options are available in this beautiful city that was the captial of Spanish-ruled Central America. Still retaining the old European charm, this city hosts many extranjeros and many people speak English. Located less than an hour outside of Guatemala City, Antigua provides easy access to the Aurora International Airport. Laid out on a nice grid pattern, Antigua is pretty easy to get around in once you get your bearings.

While some of the top schools in the nation (and most costly) are available in Antigua. Some former students I spoke with who studied here were frustrated with the abundance of English speakers in the community. They felt they could have learned more had they been somewhere with fewer opportunities to speak English and more Spanish-only options.

Some of the top language schools in Antigua:

 

 

 

Spanish Academy Antigüeña
Location:

  • 1a Calle Poniente # 10, Antigua

Cost:

  • Registration: $50
  • 20 hours of instruction /week $180 including host family housing

Perks:

  • One-on-one student/teacher “total immersion”
  • Online studying options are available.
  • Activities included
  • Native family housing

Christian Spanish Academy

Considered one of the best schools in the country and very popular among missionaries and other language learners, CSA has lots of experience and some great teachers. They’re also the most expensive school we found in the country, sometimes costing more than twice as much as other schools.

Location:

  • 6 Avenida Norte N. 15, Antigua

Cost:

  • Registration: $30
  • Room & Board: $125/week
  • 4 hours of instruction daily: $185
  • 5 hours of instruction daily: $200
  • 6 hours of instruction daily: $215
  • 7 hours of instruction daily: $245
  • 8 hours of instruction daily: $275

Perks:

  • One-on-one student/teacher “total immersion”
  • Online studying options are available.
  • Weekly planning
  • Systematic testing
  • Textbooks and workbooks — not many schools offer these tools
  • Native family housing

Panajachel / Lake Atitlan

A beautiful location right on one of the most picturesque lakes in Central America. Many of these lakeside locations are known for their party scenes and a distracting extranjero population of English-speaking Americans and Europeans. The lake towns are also well known for their illegal drugs and alcohol. This is not to say that the schools in these areas are not top notch, but the environment around the schools will impact the students.

Located about three to four hours from Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan is a beautiful freshwater lake with a backdrop of volcanoes. What a place to learn Spanish!

Several schools available in the Lake Atitlan area:

Jabel Tinamit Logo

 

 

 

Jabel Tinamet

I don’t know much about this school, but it looks like they offer a variety of class settings and have decent pricing. Teachers

Location:

  • Callejon Las Armonias, off Avenida de los Arboles, Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala

Cost:

  • Registration: $30
  • Room & Board: $80/week
  • 4 hours of instruction daily: $100
  • 5 hours of instruction daily: $120
  • 6 hours of instruction daily: $140

Perks:

  • One-on-one student/teacher “total immersion”
  • Online studying options are available.
  • 1-1, 1-2, or 1-3 teacher/student options
  • 7 day/week instruction options
  • Activities
  • Native family housing

 

 

 

 

Jardin de America

Location:

  • Panajachel, Guatemala

Cost:

  • Deposit: $40
  • Room & Board: $85/week
  • 4 hours of instruction daily: $110
  • 5 hours of instruction daily: $138
  • 6 hours of instruction daily: $165

Perks:

  • One-on-one student/teacher “total immersion”
  • Online studying options are available.
  • 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, or 1-4 teacher/student options
  • Airport pickup
  • Activities
  • Native family housing

There are many options out there when it comes to language school and we have only listed a few. Check out a site like Guatemala365 for a more extensive list of Guatemalan language schools that you can search by location.

Tiene un buen tiempo en la escuela de espanol que te gusta!

 

 


3 thoughts on “Spanish Language Schools in Guatemala

  1. Pingback: Schools Spanish Language - LANGUAGE LEARNİNG – LANGUAGE LEARNİNG

  2. Pingback: Language Schools Language Spanish Courses - LANGUAGE LEARNİNG – LANGUAGE LEARNİNG

  3. Pingback: Birthing and natural child birth with a midwife in a Guatemala | Dry Pixel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *