If you’re like me, you’ve learned Spanish in high school and a few other places along the way so you can get away with casual conversations and asking just about any question you need. However, when it comes to having a meaningful chat, you fall short with having enough words or the exact words you want to say. I’ve been thinking of moving to a Spanish speaking country in order to gain enough experience speaking all day every day but until I visited Guatemala, I wasn’t sure where to start. After my first day in Antigua, I asked the locals why they were SO easy to understand, and they said that THIS is why is why you should learn Spanish in Guatemala.
1. It’s the easiest Spanish in the World
Guatemala is famous for having the most neutral accent in Central America. They speak slowly, they are really patient with tourists and they don’t have too many slang words. I’ve been to several Spanish speaking countries all over the world and sometimes I wasn’t even sure they were speaking Spanish! However, in Guate, it was almost like they’re trying to help you learn every second of every day!
2. The price is right
Antiguena Language School is by far the most affordable school in Antigua, making it one of the most affordable Spanish School’s in the world. It costs just over $28 USD per day for 4 hours of private classes, accommodation and three meals.
3. Everything else is inexpensive too
Eating in Guatemala costs about $10 a day. The average price of a hotel in Guatemala for a couple is $24 however with a local homestay or hostel you can stay for way less than that. Needless to say, it’s cheap. You can live like the locals, eat local food, and spend less than $50 a week.
4. Guatemala is SO cool
A lot of the Spanish schools offer after school activities. From cooking classes, to walking tours, to visiting the chocolate museum, it’s great way to unwind post class and make new friends. You can hike a volcano, take a weekend trip to Lake Atitlan, or find your way to the beach!
5. Mayan Culture
Even though the Spanish started settling Guatemala and spreading the Spanish language almost 500 years ago, they were never able to extinguish the robust Mayan culture in Guatemala (although they certainly did try). Approximately 40% of the Guatemalan population is indigenous.
Many indigenous groups wear distinct clothing with their own colors and patterns tied to their culture and history. When you’re learning Spanish in Guatemala, it makes some great practice to learn more about the indigenous cultures and their long, often tragic history.
Plus, you can visit the massive Mayan temple complex of Tikal in the north of Guatemala when you have a few days off from Guatemala Spanish school. Tikal is really a wonder to behold, which was the most important Mayan city until it was mysteriously abandoned around 900 CE. A trip to Guatemala practically isn’t complete without visiting it.
If you’re interested in visiting Guatemala, check out our group trip next fall, or contact us for a custom itinerary any day of the week!