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.

Stacey in Antigua

My trip south went smoothly, just a few crying babies, a lightning show before we landed (plenty far away) and slow traffic on the drive to La Antigua to spice things up - The Dalles to my hotel in just over 12 hours.

I dropped my bags in the room and headed to the parque central via a buy-by-the-slice pizza cart. There was a wonderful marimba band performing and I enjoyed the music and crowd watching before heading "home".

This morning I bought a breakfast pastry and some dried bananas at a wonderful cafe a few doors down from my hotel, Casa Cristina (PHOTO 1); I enjoyed them on the roof of my hotel. I met briefly with the agency that is covering our ground transport and spent an hour with Olga from the school discussing activity options, homestays, and teaching ideologies. The school has a laundry on one side, an ice cream shop on the other, and an internet shop 2 doors down - very convenient (PHOTO 2). At the ice cream shop sat an adorable 85-year-old man named Benjamin; I bought him a cone and learned about his life in one of the most engaging and relaxing hours in all of my travels (PHOTO 3). He lives behind the ice cream shop so our paths will cross again.

I strolled the streets (PHOTO 4) and and enjoyed conversations with a jade salesman, Adolfo, and a talented painter named Gabriel who I plan to revisit with money in hand. I eventually settled on the steps of the La Merced church with a Maya woman named Laura and her granddaughter (PHOTO 5) - such friendly, warm people helping me with my Spanish! So far, no English for me.

I'll be moving my bags from the hotel to my homestay tomorrow morning before heading to the airport to meet the group. HAPPY TRAILS!!