“I’m working like a dog...and never so happy in my life. […] my confidence has taken a right turn.” --Kelly Turner, Spanish Teacher, Hidden Valley HS (OR), Quetzaltenango 2007

Dates (arrival and departure): June 14 - July 9, 2012

Documents for Guatemala

  • A passport valid for six months after the end of the program
  • Evidence of health insurance coverage valid overseas.
  • Participation in pre-departure orientation.
  • No immunizations are required. However, the Center for Disease Control highly recommends the following:
    -Hepatitis A
    -Hepatitis B


Program Costs for Guatemala

Scholarship application deadline (stage one): Initial-stage materials must be postmarked by March 20, 2012.

Basic Information

Where will I be going?

Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in Guatemala. Commonly known as Xela, it is located about 250 kilometers west of Guatemala City. It is by no means a large metropolis, boasting cobblestone streets and a population of about 150,000. Want more information on Xela? Go to: http://centromayaxela.org/xela.html

What will I be doing?

You will be studying the Spanish language and Mayan culture at the Centro Maya de Idiomas. With its unique one-on-one teaching style, the program will be adapted to your own specific needs. You will take a language assessment in order to determine the language class that you will take. Advanced speakers will have language lessons that include Latin American and Spanish literature. 

Optional courses include: Weaving, Spirituality, Mayan Languages, Natural Medicine, and Midwifery. If you are interested in any of these, you must notify Language in Motion of your choice by April 15. Each course costs an additional $20 per week (plus the regular program fee).

You will attend afternoon and evening lectures on topics ranging from Mayan culture to Guatemalan politics. You will also be able to volunteer in a local school and speak with local teachers.

How much time is devoted to classes?

Approximately 5 hours of one-on-one language instruction daily from Monday to Friday plus

How much practice outside of school will I have with my Spanish?

This program is a real immersion experience, so you will have a lot of language practice outside of the classroom. Xela does not get a lot of tourists; therefore, most shopkeepers and street vendors do NOT speak English. You will need to use Spanish in order to go about all your basic daily activities.

Will I be able to see more of Guatemala?

Yes! You will participate in a variety of cultural excursions. These trips will showcase Guatemala's dynamic landscape and cultural and historical sites. At your own expense, you may arrange additional travel at the end of the program. Trips will be organized through Adrenalina Tours (http://www.adrenalinatours.com/) and include Tikal, Lake Atitlán, and Antigua.

Where Will I Stay?

You will be staying in carefully selected homestays. These homestays include warm bathing water, sterilized drinking water, a private room, and 3 meals a day. All homestays are within walking distance of the Centro Maya.

Am I allowed to bring my family?

Yes. Many of the homestay families specialize in keeping families. However, you also have the option of splitting apart and staying with different families in order to avoid speaking English. Your family’s costs are not included.

May I stay at the Centro Maya beyond the end of the program?

Yes. You will need to pay the standard per person weekly fee of $170 plus any additional expenses you incur. Notification of extension must be made to the school no later than the week before the scheduled departure time.