10 Reasons to Learn Spanish in Guatemala
You will not regret it when you learn Spanish in Guatemala!
This beautiful country, known as the country of eternal spring, has unique characteristics and benefits as a destination to learn the Spanish language.
Guatemala is located in Central America. The official language is Spanish, but people there also speak Xinca, Garífuna, and 22 other Guatemalan languages of Mayan origin.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re at a beginner or intermediate level; the immersive experience of learning Spanish in Guatemala is what you need.
Keep reading and find out for yourself!
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Advantages of Learning Spanish in an Immersive Environment
This is one of the most natural, effective, and intensive techniques to learn Spanish successfully.
That’s how you learn your mother tongue, practicing it 24/7, talking with the people around you, reading books and magazines, listening to music, and watching movies.
All your senses become active, and they constantly receive information in this language, so your brain gets used to the sounds, idioms, grammar, and vocabulary.
The total immersion you receive from being surrounded by people who speak Spanish exclusively will help you pick up words and phrases quickly.
This method is considered experiential because by living it naturally, you focus on communicating instead of memorizing grammar rules, definitions, etc.
Although you may feel shame for being surrounded by people who speak Spanish perfectly, this practice will help you lose all your inhibitions and gain self-confidence.
Taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from native Spanish speakers will make the immersive experience more comfortable.
We recommend: 13 Mind-Blowing Facts About Guatemala You Didn’t Know
10 Reasons to Learn Spanish in Guatemala
Although Guatemala is a small country, in every corner of its cities and villages, you will find fascinating traditions, cultures, and friendly people willing to help you.
We have chosen 10 reasons why you should consider this country as your destination to learn Spanish so you can soak up the language.
Let’s get started!
1. Neutral Accent
Guatemala is famous for having one of Latin America’s most neutral Spanish accents.
This is one of the first characteristics you should consider when choosing what type of Spanish you want to learn since there is a great linguistic diversity available across the continent.
The Mexican accent is different from that of an Argentine, Cuban, Guatemalan, or Spaniard.
Although they usually say that Guatemalan Spanish is a bit sing-songy, this does not interfere with the general accent, so you can learn it without any problem.
Also, Guatemalans do not speak as fast as other Latin American countries, making it easier for you to follow a conversation and talk with the locals.
All in all, this is an excellent accent to start your journey in the Spanish language.
It is not a secret that traveling to Guatemala is very cheap for people from the United States, Canada, or Europe.
Affordability is not limited to vacations, hotel fares, food, transportation, and cost of living, but Spanish classes for foreigners tend to be inexpensive too.
If you want to learn Spanish, you can do it for a minimum price of $200 a week, which includes homestay, three meals, and 20 hours of private classes.
Of course, it can vary depending on the school you choose, the city you want to live in, the accommodation, and other things.
You can also find volunteer academies and schools where you can help specific organizations, and in exchange, the payment for Spanish classes drops to a minimum of $100 per month.
These are the best prices in the region!
Be sure that you will receive excellent Spanish teaching since several academies have certified teachers ready to help you immerse yourself in the language.
Guatemala is rich in culture, cuisine, stories, and traditions.
One of them is its delicious coffee, considered one of the best in the world. Jesuit missionaries first introduced coffee to Guatemala in the mid-1700s.
The quality of Guatemalan coffee is thanks to its microclimates, altitude, soil quality, rainfall, access to sunlight, and cultivation methods.
Nothing is better than starting the day with a cup of coffee prepared in its country of origin!
Another unique characteristic of Guatemala is its stories of myths and legends.
Although La Llorona is one of those characters that every Latin American country shares, there are many more in Guatemala due to the oral tradition maintained for many years in the villages.
One of those characters is La Tatuana, a witch who escaped her execution after climbing into a tiny boat she drew in her cell.
There is also El Cadejo, a dog with red eyes that haunts drunkards or drifters to their death, so beware of it!
Read also: Tecún Umán: The National Hero of Guatemala
4. Historical Sites
Guatemala is the cradle of the Mayan civilization, where astonishing pyramids and temples were built during the pre-Columbian civilization.
This is one of the most striking reasons why foreigners choose this country as their destination to learn Spanish.
You can choose to visit dozens of Mayan sites, such as Tikal, El Mirador, Yaxhá, Quiriguá, Aguateca, Tak’alik Ab’Aj, Zaculeu, etc.
Also, throughout the country, you will find historic and memorable tourist destinations of Guatemalan culture.
Antigua Guatemala, is Guatemala’s most famous colonial city, and it was founded in 1,542. Volcanoes surround it, and it is famous for preserving its Spanish colonial buildings. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Another famous destination is Lake Atitlán, which is surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, and small towns. One of these small towns is Panajachel. Make sure to visit Pana’s many shops and delicious restaurants.
5. Outdoor Adventures
If you like nature, Guatemala is the ideal destination for you!
The country is filled with forests, tropical jungles, mountains, volcanoes, and nature reserves.
There are approximately 30 to 37 volcanoes in the country. A record indicates that eight were active; currently, only four are active.
The Tajumulco volcano, with a height of 4,220 meters above sea level, is the highest in Central America and the Caribbean and one of the 50 most prominent peaks on the planet.
Another famous volcano in Guatemala is the Chicabal Volcano, located in Quetzaltenango.
Its particular feature is the lagoon located in the crater. The locals consider the volcano and the lagoon sacred, where ceremonies are held.
So, pack your hiking boots!
And if you prefer quieter activities, you can visit the natural parks in Guatemala City, such as Parque Jacarandas de Cayalá, Parque La Asunción, or Parque Naciones Unidas.
Guatemala is full of traditions due to the religious beliefs and history of the country and its people.
One of the traditions for which Guatemala is most famous is Holy Week, which is celebrated across the country.
This celebration was declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO at the beginning of 2023.
However, in other parts of the country, Holy Week is celebrated with different traditions.
In the Chivarreto village in San Francisco El Alto, Totonicapán, bare-knuckle fights are held every Good Friday.
You can also experience other traditions, such as the Ribbon Race in Todos Santos Cuchumatán in Huehuetenango on All Saints’ Day on November 1st.
This tradition consists of a brotherhood asking permission from Los Santos and Mother Earth to run on horses.
According to history, this race originated from the time of the Conquest, when the Spaniards didn’t allow the indigenous people to ride horses.
Years later, this tradition was created as a sign of courage for the indigenous population.
You can also enjoy the flight of the giant kites, the burning of the devil, the fairs, and the carnival in Mazatenango, among others.
7. Language Schools
In Guatemala, language schools that teach Spanish to foreigners comply with a regulated teaching system authorized by the Ministry of Education.
So, the education you will receive in any academy tends to be of very good quality, and teachers provide successful bilingual education.
In addition, since most international students visit the country from 1 to 6 months, the schools have tailored language programs that can adjust to their availability.
Studying at any of the schools in Guatemala will give you an immersive experience since the teachers are local Guatemalans who speak Spanish as their mother tongue.
If you settle in another city or village in Guatemala, you can opt for Guatemalan academies that offer online classes.
Although Guatemala has many cities, most Spanish learning schools are located in three strategic points: Antigua Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, and Panajachel.
This is because these cities are where more tourist people stay.
Some schools are available in Guatemala City, Huehuetenango, Petén, and Alta Verapaz.
In these 6 locations, you will find over 50 Spanish schools to choose the best option in your favorite city.
Antigua Guatemala is the one that attracts most tourists due to its colonial charm, museums, coffee farms, and variety of restaurants and shops. Don’t miss it!
Panajachel is a mystical destination full of many cultures of indigenous people. Each village is different from the others, where Mayan languages other than Spanish are spoken.
Here backpackers have found their favorite refuge to rest, explore, and learn Spanish.
And if you prefer a destination with few tourists, there is the third option, Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela, which is the second most inhabited city in the country.
It also has a colonial and European touch with old buildings and narrow stone streets where you can walk freely.
Guatemalans are always willing to help and guide you if you ask for an address or any question.
We recommend choosing a homestay with a Guatemalan family to live a more immersive experience in learning Spanish.
Generally, Spanish schools can help you manage and choose which family you can stay with within the three locations mentioned above.
That way, you can practice everything you learn in your classes and learn as much as possible about Guatemalan culture. In addition, you will be spoiled with typical food cooked at home. Yum!
Some families have received international students for many years, so they already have a calendar filled with activities and places to go if you stay with them.
What more can you ask?
Editor’s pick: The History and Culture of Antigua, Guatemala
10. Start Traveling Point
Guatemala should be your first stop if you embark on a long trip across Central America.
Since Guatemala is a small country, it’s an excellent option to warm up your engines and sharpen your bilingual skills with Guatemalan Spanish.
You could even start exploring Mexico and travel south to Argentina. Still, Mexico is a vast country for many travelers, so Guatemala is the first logical place to get used to the Latin American climate.
After a lot of practice with your Guatemalan teacher and having visited the best tourist sites in Guatemala, the rest of the countries will be a piece of cake.
First Stop: Learn Guatemalan Spanish!
Learning Spanish in Guatemala is a worthwhile experience!
You will create many anecdotes that you can later share with Latino friends in their language when you return home.
We are sure that you will travel for your summer vacations, and you will want to stay exploring every corner and perfecting your Spanish for the rest of your life.
But while you plan your dream trip to Guatemala, you can start the path of learning Spanish with Guatemalan teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy.
Our online Spanish school excels in innovative, human-centered learning strategies and native, authentic Spanish instruction.
Sign up for a free trial class with our professional native teachers.
And who knows, maybe you can meet your HSA teacher when you travel to Guatemala!
We can’t wait for you to join us!
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“This is the best way for your kid to learn Spanish. It’s one-on-one, taught by native Spanish speakers, and uses a curriculum.”
– Sharon K, Parent of 3
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
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