About the Program

Many participants travel to Guatemala to study Spanish at the Academia Antigüeña in Antigua, Guatemala and/or the Cooperativa School in San Pedro La Laguna on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlán. You'll live with host families and enjoy a wide range of cultural activities including traditional cooking classes, salsa dance lessons, volcano hikes, and village visits. Trip extensions and excursions to other parts of Guatemala and neighboring countries will be possible as will additional weeks of study and volunteerism and alternate schools and locations.

This is independent travel study so you pick the dates; classes typically begin on Mondays. You'll study for 3 or 4 hours per day either morning or afternoon and can register for 1 to 4 weeks and receive 60 Clock Hours/PDUs or 6 quarter credits (equivalent of 4 semester credits) per week.

PLEASE NOTE: The Heritage Institute courses receive Continuing Education Quarter Credits awarded by Antioch University Seattle at the 400 and 500 levels. Call 800.445.1305 or log onto The Heritage Institute’s website policies page for more information.


For information about similar programs in other Latin American countries as well as credit for volunteer and cultural learning projects, click here or on the bottom link, below. Contact information is available on the Registration Form.

To view the blog from our 2009 group trip to Guatemala, scroll to the Blog Archive (lower right) and click the 1st post you want to see (they're listed bottom to top chronologically, you may need to click the arrow by July to see the earliest ones). Click "Newer Post" at the bottom of each post to view the next one.

First day of class and first bus adventure

At 8:00 Monday morning we met at the school, a milling mass of gringos. School staff sorted us out, 1 student per teacher (PHOTOS 1 and 2: Michon with her teacher, Holly playing Spanish Scrabble with another student and their teachers). Most of us are pleased with our families and teachers, though there are a few rough spots to iron out.

At noon we met briefly to discuss activity options, headed home for lunch, and met back at the school for our first adventure: a chicken bus ride PHOTO 3) to an organic macademia nut farm. After a brief tour (PHOTO 4) and taste testing, facial massages with macademia nut oil were offered - aaaaaaaah (PHOTO 5).

In addition to walking back and forth between homes and families and hiking to and from the bus station, some of us walked across town with a salsa instructor for a great work-out in a small café. HAPPY TRAILS!