I took K’iche’ classes with Celas Maya for 5 weeks

I took K’iche’ classes with Celas Maya for 5 weeks.ll of the staff and administration were very friendly. If you’re interested, the school organizes a variety of excursions ranging from hikes to trips to the market. In general, these adventures were affordable and fostered a sense of community.
My teacher was wonderful and very invested in engaging my interests. We covered colors and culture, politics and pronouns. Even though I grew up in Guatemala city, I found that taking classes helped me engage with my surroundings in a more authentic and respectful way.  My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer.

Katy, USA, 2016

After researching a number of Spanish Language Schools in Guatemala

After researching a number of Spanish Language Schools in Guatemala, I decided on Celas Maya because (1) it was a full immersion opportunity, (2) it was located in Xela where very little if any English is spoken, and (3) staff was  quick and thorough in responding to me as I did my research.  I asked each of the final schools I looked at to provide the ocntact for some students who met my demographics, and talking with three former students sealed the deal.  A disclaimer;  I was 68 years old when I attended; I had NO; I was planning to travel alone.

Preparation for my travel to  Guatemala was thorough, and the arrivals in Guatemala City and Xela were as expected.  I was so happy to have been joined by a young friend who could speak  a bit of Spanish – I would have been lost without her!

I chose to stay with host families during my three weeks at Celas Maya.  There was another student staying in each of the two homes I used.   Again, they were so helpful in assisting with my understanding the host and vice versa. The students in the school were amazing, and though I was about twice the age of any of them, all were wonderfully adventuresome and invited my participation in all activities/adventures.

The instructors at the school are very warm and accepting, While it’s difficult for a very early Spanish learner to judge, they seemed very competent and engaged in teaching.  I am an educator and could see their use of a variety of teaching strategies and methods.  All instruction was one-to-one and I chose to change instructors each week.  What an amazing learning experience. The school itself is very inviting – the courtyard is a fine “classroom”.

Celas Maya arranged numerous activities; at the school, in the community, in the surrounding area, and (by bus) in other areas of Guatemala.  I participated in most of those;  hiking, traveling to the hot springs and the ocean, cooking, exploring Xela, and cultural talks.  The staff who led these excursions were knowledgeable and open to the students questions, and “broadening the experience activities”.

I wish I had learned more Spanish before I went to Celas Maya as I think I could have  benefited more from the experience if I had known a bit when I arrived.  However, I learned a ton – and am planning to return for another few weeks in the future to continue.  Thank you – Celas Maya!!!

Sandra, USA, 2016

My three weeks at Celas Maya was excellent in every way

My three weeks at Celas Maya was excellent in every way. This schools excels in their mission with a knowledgeable and focused teaching staff, an accommodating administration, and a very cool setting. The half day bike excursions to nearby villages were the highlight of my time there.  I don’t have any reservations recommending Celas Maya’s for Spanish language learners of all levels. I hope to return soon for another intense learning experience.

Richard, USA, 2016

I studied at Celas Maya for 2 weeks

I studied at Celas Maya for 2 weeks (summer 2016). Prior to my trip, the school helped me to arrange all of my transportation from the airport to the school (it was very easy!). I stayed with an incredible host mom who was so hospitable, warm, and friendly. She also was happy to let me practice my Spanish with her each day for as long as I wanted. The Spanish classes were 1-1 (just me and a teacher) so the instruction was individual to my specific needs and wants. In the afternoons, I went on excursions with a licensed tour guide that the school provided for free or for a minimal charge. Overall, this experience not only helped me to improve my Spanish, but enriched my knowledge of the Guatemalan culture. I know many people may be hesitant to travel to Guatemala, but at no time did I feel unsafe. Without reservation, I would recommend this program because of its quality and price.

Leslie, USA, 2016

I have been to the Celas Maya School in Xela

I have been to the Celas Maya School in Xela, Guatemala three times and have taken Skype lessons on-and-off for years. I have loved my experience with Celas Maya. I went from knowing basically no Spanish to being conversational within a few weeks of intensive classes + a homestay, and I have been able to keep that up over the years. Knowing Spanish enabled me to work on a public health project in Guatemala while I was in college, and is now an incredibly important skill to have as a law student in the United States. I am very thankful to have met many teachers and employees of Celas Maya. They taught me so much about their country and culture and are very open to customizing your lessons and experiences for you.

Andi, USA, 2016

Celas Maya was recommended

Celas Maya was recommended to me by a close friend and I am very grateful that I took his advice. All the staff and teachers were wonderful and very accommodating especially Evangeline Leihy. Mi amigo y maestro Luis was awesome and worked at my pace, he was also the activities coordinator that guided multiple adventurous and informative trips.

I’d highly recommend Celas Maya to anyone that’s interested in learning Spanish and the local history.

Draiden, USA, 2016

I spent four, very short, weeks with Celas Maya

I spent four, very short, weeks with Celas Maya. The school was recommended to me by my then future-boss, who said, “Dylan, how do you expect to come to Guatemala and develop long-lasting relationships with these people if you don’t speak a lick of Spanish?” Well look at me now!

Thanks to Celas Maya, I’m able to not only hold a decent conversation with locals and translate long tours and talks; I truly have developed incredible relationships with people that don’t speak the same native-tongue as me. I’ve been in Guatemala for the past six months and that still blows my mind every day.
If it wasn’t for the amazing teachers and friends I met at Celas Maya, or the rich cultural experiences I had with the school, I wouldn’t have fallen so deeply in love with this country and its people. People say Guatemala is the best place to learn Spanish in the world, and I say that Celas Maya is the best place to learn Spanish in Guatemala.​

Dylan, USA, 2016

I spent three weeks with Celas Maya

I spent three weeks with Celas Maya. The teachers where very knowledgeable and I was very happy with the family I stayed with. Everyday there was an afteroon activity and so I felt fully submerged. I recommend this school to everyone that is serious about learning Spanish and does not want to improve his English in Disneyland Antigua.

Laurin, Germany, 2016

I really liked the personal approach at celas mayas

I really liked the personal approach at celas mayas. All the people who there are very nice and patient with speaking Spanish and try to involve you in everything what is going on. I got the feeling to get to know everybody pretty soon. And I liked the teachers because they really try to get the most out of you (they don’t push too hard, but they form the lessons to your personal needs and interests). So for me the quality of the lessons was really good! And because I came to Quetzaltenango to really Spanish, this Spanish school was truly beneficial and rewarding for me! Besides the lessons, I also liked the (possibility of doing) activities outside the school.

Louise, Holland, 2016

It was such a great experience!

It was such a great experience! I had just had a less than satisfying semester taking a Spanish class through school, and definitely learned and practiced so much more in just 2 weeks than I had in a whole semester. The one-on-one instruction can be intense and tiring but it is so worth it once you realize how far you come after such a short amount of time. Shout out to Paolo for keeping things interesting with music videos and games! It definitely helped break up the day.  The school is beautiful and it was so nice to be able to have class outside when it was sunny out (just watch out for fuzzy caterpillars because they sting!)

The activities were also great! You could tell that the people that planned them put in a lot of effort to make sure they’d be enjoyable and to accommodate as many people as possible that wanted to come.  They were fairly priced and had a nice variety; I especially appreciated all the hikes! It would have been nice to spend more time at the market in Chichicastenango, but at least I got to tell stories about adventuring in the camionetas! The cooking class was also a lot of fun – me and my friends have already planned a rellenitos de platanos cooking party!

Emily, USA, 2016

Celas Maya itself is a fantastic school

I studied at Celas Maya for 4 weeks at the start of a 12 month trip around Latin America. I arrived with absolutely no Spanish skills whatsoever but left with enough knowledge to travel comfortably around South America, having conversations with local people along the way. My teacher, Ingrid, was very patient with me and produced fun and varied lessons.

Celas Maya itself is a fantastic school with a lovely court yard perfect for daily lessons. Activities each day allowed me to practice my Spanish and get to know the other students and teachers (the cooking sessions were a real highlight). I would highly recommend Celas Maya to anyone serious about improving their Spanish in a fun environment.

Callum, UK 2016

I enjoyed the one-on-one instruction

I enjoyed the one-on-one instruction, really great teachers, and the home-stay experience. I learned a lot about the culture by staying with a local host mom and my Spanish improved faster than I thought was possible thanks to the immersion.

One of my goals was to be comfortable conducting a patient interview in Spanish. The clinic simulation room was good for practicing, and my teacher did a good job helping me reach this goal. The activities were also wonderful. My favorite ones were the cooking classes, and volcano hikes.

Aedine, USA, 2016

I took Spanish classes in the afternoon

I took Spanish classes in the afternoon, and thus missed out on many of the afternoon activities offered by the school, but I loved that my teachers were so receptive to creating activities of our own in class. We would visit food markets to learn the names of different foods and recipes unique to Guatemala, walk around the cemetery and learn about the history of Xela and even go souvenir shopping together to help find gifts for my friends and family during my last week. All the while, we would speak in Spanish about Guatemalan culture, the public health system and issues that affect the region and about indigenous Mayan traditions and ceremonies. I definitely did not come to Celas Maya expecting such a meaningful and immersive experience through my Spanish classes, and I am so grateful for the openness, flexibility and warmth of all the teachers I learned from at the school.

Nirali, USA, 2016

I loved my time at Celas Maya

I loved my time at Celas Maya and the people I met there. I was especially grateful towards the teachers and how devoted they were to our language studies. Not only my own teachers, but all the other maestros as well asked me questions every day and corrected my responses. The constant push to chat in Spanish is the reason I learned so fast.

Kärt, Estonia, 2016

Celas Maya is an excellent school

Celas Maya is an excellent school. The teachers are knowledgeable, organized, and accessible.  They set goals for each student each week. Working one on one for several hours each morning was the most effective language instruction I have ever experienced or seen. Sitting at small tables around the inside patio was both comfortable and culturally accurate.  I noticed that no matter the level of proficiency, students made remarkable progress, expressed a sense of pride and accomplishment, and a willingness to continue practicing their newly acquired skills with other students. The afternoon activities gave students a chance to get to know each other, and get out to experience the culture, flavor and color of Xela and surrounding areas. Culturally rich movies, cooking classes, outings to the open market, hikes, sporting events and Mayan ceremonies were all enjoyable and educational. Wifi access let me keep in touch with my family at home, and have access to resources for the language work I was doing for homework. Students ranged in age from college, graduate school, to retired adults, and literally from all over the world. Thanks to social media, I expect to keep in touch with several of them.

Jeannine, USA, 2016

Celas Maya was very helpful for me in regaining my hold on Spanish

Celas Maya was very helpful for me in regaining my hold on Spanish. The teachers tailored to my requests and my ever-developing base in the language. They were very personable, fun, and kept challenging me. They exposed me to resources that would help my continued learning after leaving as well. This was my second visit to Celas Maya, and I would go back again, knowing that I would receive quality and personal teaching, and learning as quickly as I am able

Mark, USA, 2016

When I began studying at Celas Maya

When I began studying at Celas Maya, I knew only a few random Spanish words from high school, which was over 10 years ago! However, all of the teachers were incredibly helpful and patient as they helped me to build my foundation. For 3.5 months I studied at Celas Maya in San Pedro La Laguna and in Quetzaltenango (Xela). Both of the schools were equally wonderful. I studied with six different teachers during my time but I can’t recommend one more than the other because they were all fantastic. Regardless of your current level of Spanish fluency, I would high recommend Celas Maya Spanish School.

Justin, USA, 2016

I came to Celas Maya at the recommendation

learn spanish xela

I came to Celas Maya at the recommendation of a trusted friend and with very basic Spanish skills. Over the course of two months I transformed into an advanced student capable of talking politics, culture, reading about the economy, religion, and writing papers on business development and traveling. I had the pleasure of working with 4 different teachers, who were all very professional and knowledgeable. The activities varied from listening to songs, reading the local newspaper, practicing activities in formal instruction books, as well as conversation, field trips, and games. I have received several compliments on my Spanish skills since leaving Celas Maya and I look forward to continuing to grow my language skills. Celas Maya is the perfect school for a student who is truly interested in learning or improving their Spanish, while experiencing a new culture and meeting great people!

Charlotte, USA, 2016

Celas Maya through a friend of mine who studied there

spanish school

I got to know Celas Maya through a friend of mine who studied there. On arrival I felt very welcome, the atmosphere is great and everybody is helpful in making you feel at home. The course was intense, just how I wanted it to be. Combined with the activities, the other students and all the things that Quetzaltenango has to offer, Celas Maya is a great place to work on your Spanish.

Dirk, Holland, 2016

My experience at Celas Maya was completely positive

study in xela

My experience at Celas Maya was completely positive. Most importantly, the quality of the teachers is consistently high. They explain grammar clearly and help students speak with more confidence. The school is very organized while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere great for the one on one teaching. The school offers a wide variety of activities outside of class. This is a great way to meet other students, get to know a variety of teachers and practice your Spanish.  I have to say that Celas Maya exceeded my expectations.

Craig, USA; 2016

I studied Spanish online with Celas Maya

spanish school

I studied Spanish online with Celas Maya for about two years and thought the classes were excellent both in terms of value and quality of tuition. Obviously during those two years I learnt a lot about Guatemala and other Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America too. So, curiosity sufficiently aroused, I decided to go to Guatemala  and spent more than two months studying at Celas Maya earlier this year. It’s a fantastic place to study Spanish – the teaching is excellent, the building lovely with a beautiful enclosed garden and everyone is very friendly. The school also offers a marvelous range of additional activities for the students such as visits to local towns, hikes up volcanoes, lectures about history and culture and much more. Xela is a very interesting town too with plenty of stuff to see and do. I’m certainly glad I made a visit and would love to go back at some future point. Highly recommended.

Dave. UK, 2016

The language teachers at Celas Maya

xela spanish school

The language teachers at Celas Maya are highly professional and excellent. Always looking forward to continue my Spanish studies at Celas Maya.

William, USA, 2016

Celas Maya is the best Spanish language immersion school in Xela.

spanish school

Celas Maya is the best Spanish language immersion school in Xela. It is centrally located and the school itself is well appointed with gardens, cafe, reading rooms, movie screening room, etc.
I was very fortunate to study with Claudia and Monica. My teachers were professional and the lessons were clear and understandable. Along with the passionate teaching staff, the administrative staff was excellent. They were always willing to help with school and non-school queries with a sincere smile and I have to thank Eva for always being there for the students.
Part of what makes Celas Maya the best choice was the cultural activities they planned. Every day, students had an opportunity to involve themselves in local activities that ranged from hiking a local volcano to taking a traditional cooking class. Luis, the cultural activities coordinator was knowledgeable and passionate.
I personally signed up to stay with a local homestay for the complete immersion experience. Dona Sandra’s home was clean and I had the best view in Xela. It was an absolute pleasure to interact with her family and the food was exceptional.
My time was limited and I learnt a lot in the few short weeks. The whole experience with Celas Maya was extremely positive.

Wanchuk, USA, 2016

Celas Maya is the best school in Xela.

learning spanish xela

If you want to learn Spanish quickly, Celas Maya is the best school in Xela. The lessons are intensive with a whole morning or afternoon of one on one contact with a high-level teacher. The teachers speak straight Spanish with the students from the beginning so you pick-up the language quickly.

The school is a great place to enjoy Spanish classes and to study. Classes are in a beautiful garden and around the garden are many study areas. There is also a cafe for coffee etc. Carlos was my teacher and had also become a friend after 2 weeks. My experience at Celas Maya was very enjoyable and I would recommend learning Spanish there to anyone.

Paula, Holland, 2016

Received a personal and professional education

spanish language

During my stay at Celas Maya I met new friends from around the world, received a personal and professional education, and felt like a real Guatemalteco. Xela and Celas Maya are definitely hidden gems on the Gringo Trail.

Alex, Denmark, 2016

I had a wonderful experience at Celas Maya Spanish School

study spanish

I had a wonderful experience at Celas Maya Spanish School. Everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming. The teachers were amazing and willing to help you no matter what level of Spanish you were at. I found my teacher very patience and she provided me the confidence to speak in Spanish. The school activities gave me the chance to explore Guatemala and learn about the Guatemalan history and culture. The school administration went above and beyond their call of duty, willing to help in any way possible. I would return to take classes at Celas Maya in a heartbeat and would recommend it to anyone.

Sarah, New Zealand, 2016

learn spanish in guatemala

learn spanish in guatemala

study spanish in guatemalaGuatemala

Each May, a couple of Duke EWH students travel to Xela, Guatemala to repair medical equipment in the regional hospital. They work closely with Joe Leier, an in-country biomedical engineer, and the local hospital maintenance team. They stay in home stays with local families, study spanish at Celas Maya Spanish school, and immerse themselves in the local culture. Since the first trip in 2013, Duke EWH has formed a lasting relationship with Celas Maya, the regional hospital, and the Guatemalan engineers and maintenance team. The EWH students share their engineering knowledge and skills with the in-country technicians while gaining valuable knowledge and experience in return. The students learn about various medical equipment and gain first-hand experience while providing much needed repairs and solutions for broken or missing technology. 2016


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