Quetzaltenango (aka Xela, pronounced "shay-la"), Guatemala is the ideal place to learn Spanish! The Spanish is clearly spoken, and universally accepted as ideal Latin American Spanish.
Most tourists don't venture past Antigua, so in Xela you'll get a true full immersion experience, as everyone around you speaks only Spanish. The warm, friendly people of Guatemala are very welcoming of visitors. Xela is a breathtaking setting high in the mountains, a city that combines the new with old colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. In Guatemala you'll receive intensive one-on-one instruction by expert teachers - either not available, or not as affordable anywhere else in the world!
Guatemala is the northernmost country in Central America, located just south of Mexico. About 60% of the population is Ladino (of mixed Mayan and European ancestry), and about 40% is Mayan. Much of the country is mountainous, except for the tropical southern Pacific coastal area and the northern Peten region, where the spectacular Mayan pyramids of Tikal are located. Major exports include coffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits, and vegetables.
Quetzaltenango (or Xela "shay-la," as the locals call it, short for its original Mayan name Xelaju) is a beautiful city located in a mountain valley at an elevation of about 7,500 feet (2,300 meters). Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the views are breathtaking! The city itself is a blend of the new alongside the old - there's still many colonial buildings, some of adobe mud construction, and cobblestone streets. From the central bus terminal, there are numerous buses departing to virtually every other part of Guatemala. As a center of commerce and culture, Xela is ideal both for learning Spanish and for the possibilities it offers for students who wish to work on volunteer projects.
Miguel Angel Asturias Spanish School was founded in 1995 by three highly experienced Spanish teachers, who continue to own and operate the school today. Our core philosophy is to provide the highest quality Spanish instruction possible, along with a strong commitment towards improving the social, economic, educational, and health care situation in our country. As part of our program, we provide numerous volunteer opportunities to our students to truly make a difference!
"I was surrounded with people who cared about my experience and the quality of the school. I can't wait to go back."
"MAA was one of the best and more rewarding experiences of my life."
"I found the program at Miguel Angel Asturias an amazing experience."
"I learned very quickly and deeply."
"I loved the one-on-one experience. I really enjoyed my teacher ... and felt that I was able to work exactly at my level."