How to Homestay with a Guatemalan Family
While learning a new language online is an excellent idea, a virtual class isn’t as effective as immersion via a homestay in Guatemala.
Homestay is a popular form of hospitality where you share a house with a local family. It provides a full immersion into the culture, traditions, and language!
Are you trying to take your Spanish skills to the next level? Why not go on a homestay and have a life-changing experience in a Spanish-speaking country?
Ready to start your search for a homestay family? Read this blog post for all you need to know about how to homestay in Guatemala.
What’s a Homestay?
“Homestay” directly translates to el hospedaje in Spanish, which means “lodging”—but it’s not the same as booking a hotel room or a hostel.
Homestay is a way to experience firsthand how people in other countries live. You’ll be part of the community rather than just a tourist or visitor.
Homestaying is great for learning traditions, trying local foods, and connecting with locals. You’re immersing yourself in Spanish and improving every day.
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What to Expect on a Homestay In Guatemala
Before heading abroad to learn Spanish on a Guatemala homestay, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Some Guatemala homestay families work with Spanish schools and academies
- The most popular homestay locations are in Xela, Antigua, San Pedro La Laguna, and Panajachel
- A homestay isn’t usually a luxurious experience
- Most homestay families offer guests three meals a day, lodging in an extra bedroom, and an internet connection
- Guatemalans are incredibly hospitable and friendly, so they will try to make your stay as comfortable as possible
- Guatemala is one of the cheapest places to learn Spanish, with affordable classes, food, and lodging
5 Tips for Your Homestay in Guatemala
Homestaying is different from being in a hotel or a hostel. Most likely, when you come to homestay in Guatemala, you’ll end up feeling like part of the family you stay with.
Here’s some advice on what to do (and what not to do) to make your homestay the best:
1. Tell Your Host Family What You Need
Communication is key in any situation. Telling your host family what you need to be comfortable is important. At the same time, don’t expect all the conveniences of home.
2. Be Respectful and Kind
Living in a different country causes culture shock. Respect people’s cultures, traditions, and beliefs. Your hosts, just like you, are getting out of their comfort zone to receive you in their house and make you comfortable.
3. Help With Chores
While your primary reason for homestay in Guatemala is to learn Spanish, you won’t be in classes all day! Keep your space tidy and help with household chores like doing the dishes. Even if they refuse to let you help, your hosts will appreciate the offer.
4. Make Real Connections
Going to Spanish classes is just one part of all the amazing immersive experiences that homestay in Guatemala offers. Explore the city or town you are staying in. Make an effort to learn about the community.
Go to the market, visit churches, shop at stores, and practice your Spanish anytime you can. Spending time with your hosts and sharing a meal a day is another great way to learn and improve your Spanish.
5. Keep in Touch
After your homestay, you may want to keep in contact with the people you met in Guatemala! Cultivating friendships may bring you opportunities to come back in the future to study, work, or live.
Check this out: 13 Incredible Tourist Attractions in Guatemala
5 Fantastic Places for a Guatemala Homestay
Check out these top recommendations for where to learn Spanish via a Guatemala homestay:
1. La Casa de Lucky
- Location: Antigua
- Price: $20 per night
La casa de Lucky (Lucky’s House) is in the historical Candelaria neighborhood in Antigua Guatemala. Doña Lucrecia’s home welcomes families, tourists, and students! Your hosts love football, cooking, gardening, reading, and learning foreign languages. Doña Lucky and her family have been hosting guests since 1998.
2. Homestay in Panajachel
- Location: Panajachel, Lake Atitlán
- Price: $16 per night
This homestay in Panajachel is about 10 minutes from the center of Panajachel, one of the most lively towns and famous tourist sites in Guatemala. It’s in a safe and reliable neighborhood. They have three large rooms with a shared bathroom, Wi-Fi, and transportation!
3. Homestay in San Pedro el Alto
- Location: Antigua
- Price: $30 per night
María’s house is in San Pedro el Alto, Antigua Guatemala, about 45 from Guatemala City. This family homestay offers immersion with hotel-level comfort, with tastefully decorated and comfortable rooms. The house is in a gated community and is accessible by taxi and bus.
4. Cultural Immersion In Paradise
- Location: San Pedro, Lake Atitlan
- Price: $16 per night
Located in San Pedro la Laguna in Atitlan, this homestay option offers cultural immersion in paradise. This splendid place doubles as a homestay and a cooking school. Surrounded by nature’s beauty (and pet chickens), this spot features an amazingly relaxing atmosphere. They provide shared and private rooms.
5. Homestay in Guatemala City
- Location: Guatemala City
- Price: $15 per night
Carol and her family are ready to welcome you to their home in Guatemala City! They offer a room with a private bathroom, a whole immersive experience, and two friendly dogs! Keep in mind they only welcome female travelers and students. Their place is accessible, safe, and convenient to explore the city.
¡Bienvenidos a Guatemala!
A homestay in Guatemala will make you feel welcome. Knowing Spanish when you visit Guatemala opens doors for—locals love it when tourists and travelers know Spanish. It’s amazing how people change when there is no language barrier! And did you know that being bilingual also improves your cognition and decision-making abilities?
To prepare for your immersive Spanish experience in a Guatemalan homestay, sign up for a free 1-on-1 class with our native Spanish-speaking teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy. Ask them about doing a homestay in Guatemala!
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