Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Learning Spanish in Guatemala

   The only remotely excusable reason as to why this is the representative photo of this blogpost is that I was honestly really in this town just to learn Spanish. Also, my teacher kept reiterating it was dangerous to keep pulling out my big dslr in public. The bottom half of this lady you see in this photo was my homestay host. A tiny lady, she could not be more than five feet tall. Always wearing her traditional Mayan dresses. I want to say her name was Esmeralda but it's been a while since I've thought about it and my memory is a bit foggy. But more importantly, she was so sweet, she fed me three times a day and helped me practise my Spanish each day after school.

   Planning my Guatemala trip, I knew that I wanted to dedicate a good portion of my time there learning some proper Spanish. After some research, I decided to go to Quetzaltenango and attend a school called El Portal Spanish School. Many foreigners go to Quetzaltenango to learn Spanish because well first, it's a lot cheaper than say Antigua (a bigger city) and because it's more common to be taught one-on-one. Also, if you are staying with a homestay family, they are likely to host less students at once. I would highly recommend staying with a homestay family if you are considering it, it was the ultimate cultural experience for me.

   The reason I chose to attend El Portal Spanish school in particular was because they support poor single mothers to help provide their children with education. I thought that was special. This is their website:

   As for pricing, I believe it fluctuates depending on the season but I went in August and it was 900Q for a week of school (5 hours of class per day) and 300Q for home and board so 1200Q together. I just googled the conversion and it comes to $205.25 Canadian. Also after class, there are different daily activities such as going chocolate tasting, textile shopping, taking the chicken bus to the next village, or my favourite - going to the market for local ingredients and making nachos.

   My week in Quetzaltenango learning Spanish was nothing short of awesome. I left having learned a lot and with so much more confidence than when I arrived. Gracias!




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