The small co-op Guatemaya Spanish School is located in the heart of San Pedro La Laguna, a mid-sized town on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The school is committed to improving the social and economic situations of the impoverished peoples of Guatemala, especially the marginalized Mayan community. To this end, Guatemaya Spanish School has three goals:
- To provide affordable, quality Spanish instruction to foreigners so that they are able to learn about Guatemalan culture and the problems facing the people here.
- To use the school’s resources to promote ecological and social projects, which currently include a reforestation project and an educational initiative called Trek for Kids.
- To employ local residents at a fair wage and offer resources and volunteer opportunities to foreigners who are interested in helping to improve the lives of the Guatemalan people.
Guatemaya provides a comfortable, unique, and distraction-free learning environment. All of our classes are one-on-one and take place in a top-floor, open-air classroom overlooking the town center and Lake Atitlan. Guatemaya is the only Spanish school located in San Pedro’s town center, although it is just one minute’s walk from the central park and a 5-10 minute walk from the lakeside “tourist area” and most hotels. It’s just far enough from the tourist area to allow students to experience local culture and practice Spanish in a full immersion environment. Please note that the school can be difficult to find independently, so it is recommended that you call beforehand to arrange for a representative to meet you at the central park (5691-3810) or (4192-1108).
During class we offer complimentary snacks (usually bread, fruit and other local specialties), tea, and freshly picked and brewed Guatemalan coffee straight from one of the instructor’s fields.
Study materials are provided and we are constantly updating and improving our curriculum.
Classes, Instructors, and Homestays
All of our instructors are local residents of Mayan Tz’utujil descent. Our instructors speak English well, which is not the case at many local Spanish schools. This allows our instructors to properly teach the Spanish language to beginners.
All classes are taught one-on-one so that our instructors can give students their full attention and tailor their classes to each student’s individual needs.
Homestays with local families are also available. We highly recommend that our students spend some of their time living with a local Mayan Tz’utujil family, not only because immersion is the fastest and most effective way to learn Spanish, but also because it allows students to learn about local Mayan culture.
Our homestay options are located in the same neighborhood as the school, and they are much cheaper than living in a hotel and eating in restaurants. These homestay programs help to supplement the incomes of the local families, many of whom live on less than $2USD per day per person.
The family package includes seven days accommodation with three meals per day, except Sunday. and five days of classes. Lessons are provide five days a week, normally from Monday to Friday, but we can be flexible to suit your needs.
All families offer WiFi.