If you would like to start to learn Spanish or to improve it seriously, I recommend doing that in Xela at Celas Maya.
I studied about two months to push my Spanish into overdrive and had an amazing time at Celas Maya. This school is spacious enough to feel comfortable, and supermarkets, banks, restaurants, everything is close by. The teachers are experienced and skilled and are always willing to encourage you to keep studying Spanish if you are serious. The administration is friendly and attentive. My host family was very kind and treated me as a member of the family.
If you would like to start to learn Spanish or to improve it seriously, I recommend doing that in Xela at Celas Maya.
I would recommend Celas Maya to anyone!
I spent three months taking afternoon Spanish classes at Celas Maya while volunteering as a Registered Nurse at a community health organization. I had studied Spanish in high school, college and at two different study abroad schools (including one other in Guatemala) before coming to study in Xela. The welcoming culture, easy to understand accent and beautiful landscape of Guatemala make it the ideal place to learn Spanish and Celas Maya is the perfect place to do that. Every teacher with whom I worked took time to evaluate my level of understanding of various topics and was very intentional to choose activities that built upon my existing knowledge. The teachers at Celas Maya love what they do and this makes class time an effective learning experience but also very fun. Towards the end of my time in Xela, I was ready to be challenged in my practice of grammar topics. My teacher, Alejandra, used class time to put me in “real-life” situations like taking the Chicken Bus to San Andres Xecul (pictured) and going to the market to purchase the ingredients needed to make several kinds of plantains. She also took me on tours of the private and public hospitals in Xela as an opportunity to discuss the differences in healthcare between the US and Gautemala. Celas Maya also has activities every day of the week. Even though I was there for an extended period, there were always new and interesting activities and students are able to suggest excursions and experiences, too. I would recommend Celas Maya to anyone!
Celas Maya came highly recommended by several colleagues and truly did not disappoint!
I work in a healthcare environment with many Spanish speakers and wanted to develop some basic competency in Spanish, tailored for work in the medical field. Celas Maya came highly recommended by several colleagues and truly did not disappoint! Celas Maya created a personalized experience for me – a specific two-weeks that I needed on short notice- with 1:1 teaching that focused on foundational skills, and even within that short amount of time, basic medical conversation that I rely on now on a daily basis! Additionally, Celas Maya arranged for me to practice in simulated clinical scenarios, which is an immensely useful and unique experience that really transformed my Spanish skills and helped me meet my individualized goals. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to develop real competency in Spanish and rapidly so!
I also highly recommend staying with a host family. Conversations over dinner were routinely 1-2 hours long, often longer; the amount I learned and was able to practice during my homestay experience played such an integral part in my comfort in discussing daily activities in living, news topics, cultural differences in Spanish.
I can’t recommend Celas Maya any more highly- the program provides an incredible backdrop (the setup of the academic learning environment, the enthusiasm and warmth of all the teachers, the homestay experience that is very much embedded in the community) behind a rigorous but individualized curriculum that really made this experience like no other. I’m hoping to return in the very near future!
I would love to return for additional classes at some point, and I heartily recommend Celas Maya to anyone seeking serious but fun Spanish-language immersion.
Celas Maya provided exactly the kind of intensive Spanish immersion I had been seeking. Although I only studied at Celas Maya for three weeks, this training gave me a basic foundation to comfortably engage in Spanish-language frontline advocacy work and interviews for my doctoral research in Canada and the United States. The teachers are warm but rigorous, Evangeline makes the logistics a breeze, and the school offers a fabulous range of organized activities (including opportunities to learn about Guatemala’s political history). Living with a lovely home-stay family meant that nearly all my conversations were in Spanish. Despite the wide range of amenities it offers, Xela has the feel of a smaller city. English isn’t widely spoken, so there is little temptation to ‘cheat’ during the immersion. I would love to return for additional classes at some point, and I heartily recommend Celas Maya to anyone seeking serious but fun Spanish-language immersion.
Thanks to Celas Maya, I did not have to hire a translator and left with a remarkable improvement.
I had the pleasure of studying at Celas Maya for three months this summer (June to September). I was in Xela to research for my masters thesis and needed a working level of Spanish to conduct interviews. From day one, I felt like I was learning a considerable amount. The immersive experience was invaluable in my learning process. I have nothing but the deepest praise and adulation for Celas Maya as an institution, from the facilities to the teachers. I would recommend Celas Maya to anyone who is serious about learning Spanish. The learning is contagious as every student and teacher is helpful and willing to practice. Thanks to Celas Maya, I did not have to hire a translator and left with a remarkable improvement. I may have left Guatemala but I know that I have a family in the staff at Celas Maya!
If you want to learn Spanish and are visiting Xela, Celas Maya is the school to be at and I strongly suggest living in a host home.
I spent 3 months learning Spanish at Celas Maya in which I learned more than just Spanish. Celas Maya doesn’t just teach you the language but more importantly teaches you the culture. I was attending Celas Maya because I was to move to Uruguay for a job in the year following and they did a phenomenal job teaching me. Culture and language go hand in hand as there is never a direct translation for words and phrases at which point understanding the culture is required.
Through my time at Celas Maya my world opened to the richness of the Guatemalan/Mayan culture. Celas Maya is a gem when it comes to language schools as they provide outside class experiences to learn about the country/culture. At Celas Maya the teachers work with you on what you will need to succeed and by the end they are close lifelong friends. I remember one of my favorite classes was going in a small group of teachers and students to the Cementario General. All the staff care about you on a personal level and that really helps with your eagerness to learn.
If you want to learn Spanish and are visiting Xela, Celas Maya is the school to be at and I strongly suggest living in a host home. Through my time living with my host family I became part of the family. You learn so much more with the host family and they really do take care of you. Some of my favorite moments in Xela were spending time with my host brother. Celas Maya opens wonderful opportunities for you through language, culture, friends and family, and life experience. It will be the highlight of your time in Guatemala.
The teachers are very experienced and very friendly.
I spent two weeks in Celas Maya in January this year and I very much regretted that I did not have more time to spend. First the enrollment process and the housing arrangements went really smoothly and everything worked out perfectly. No need to be worried about anything. Evangeline responded extremely quickly to my emails before I arrived and helped with everything. The teachers are very experienced and very friendly. The school organized trips which were fun and very well organized. Thank you for two wonderful weeks!
Before arriving at Celas Maya, I could not hold a basic conversation in Spanish.
Before arriving at Celas Maya, I could not hold a basic conversation in Spanish. However, after studying at Celas Maya for 3 months, I left with the ability to have intellectual conversations about politics, social issues, economics, business, culture, religion, you name it! Upon returning to the United States, I was able to successfully complete my first interview with a prospective employer in Spanish. Celas Maya offers a unique program with highly skilled teachers who develop individual lesson plans for each student. The classes are difficult, yet incredibly engaging. The city of Xela is a great place for Celas Maya to be located because there is very little English spoken, which allows for a complete Spanish immersion. I spent everyday after class exploring the city, participating in the activities Celas Maya offers, practicing my Spanish with locals, and volunteering at a local high school. I recommend this program to anyone dedicated to learning Spanish. My biggest challenge to anyone who desires to learn Spanish is: only allow yourself to speak Spanish during your time in Guatemala. My experience in Guatemala has developed me both personally and professionally and I use my Spanish everyday in California. I have received several compliments from native Spanish speakers who are impressed by my Spanish fluency. Celas Maya completely changed my life in the most sincere way I can express. If you have a desire to learn Spanish, learn about Guatemalan culture, and go on epic adventures through the beautiful land of Guatemala, Celas Maya is the place for you!
I loved my experience in Guatemala with Celas Maya!
I loved my experience in Guatemala with Celas Maya! From the get-go, the administration was very quick at responding to my inquiries and helping me to plan my trip (including arrival, overnight housing and transportation). It was a wonderful school to learn medical Spanish, as many of the teachers have a lot of experience teaching medical students and other health professionals and are comfortable speaking about medical topics. Furthermore, they have a simulation experience with a clinical room at the school to practice clinical encounters in Spanish and they were very helpful in placing me with a great clinic with a physician and other local medical students. The instructors were flexible and really fun to work with and the entire staff are very friendly. The school also organized daily activities to explore the local area, learn about Guatemalan culture, and continue to practice Spanish. I was also placed with a host family who I adored and also really helped me to improve my Spanish. I would recommend Celas Maya to anyone!
I have studied at Celas Maya twice and had great experience both times.
I have studied at Celas Maya twice and had great experience both times. Everything from airport pickup, arrival instructions, class arrangement, to home stay experience were excellent. My maestra Alejandra was great to work with and I made lots of progress in a short time. Also special shoutout to my housemom Karla for making such delicious food every day. Celas Maya is definitely a top notch Spanish school in Xela and I highly recommend it to Spanish learners of all levels.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I came to Celas Maya at the recommendation
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!
Celas Maya through a friend of mine who studied there
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.
My experience at Celas Maya was completely positive
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.
I studied Spanish online with Celas Maya
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.
The language teachers at Celas Maya
The language teachers at Celas Maya are highly professional and excellent. Always looking forward to continue my Spanish studies at Celas Maya.
Celas Maya is the best Spanish language immersion school in Xela.
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.
Celas Maya is the best school in 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.
Received a personal and professional education
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.
I had a wonderful experience at Celas Maya Spanish School
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.
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