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.

Occasional guided trips with specific dates will be organized but generally this is independent travel study so you pick the dates; classes typically begin on Mondays. You'll study 1-on-1 for 3 or 4 hours per day either morning or afternoon and can register to receive 6 quarter hours at the 400 or 500 level per week for up to 4 weeks per country. Credits are issued by Heritage Institute and Antioch University Seattle; minimal additional assignments are required for credit, PDU and clock hour options are also available.

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.


With some studying in the morning and some in the afternoon we choosing activities with varying numbers and groups. This blog is obviously textured with my interests and activities but I hope it will still give a feel for what our lives are like here. One of my favorite things to do is engage old men in conversation (PHOTOS 1 and 2 - 2 of my favorites).

I watched a little more basketball, volunteered at the disability program a bit more, and hiked way up a steep hill (even though no less than 5 people told me it was just around the next corner) to watch some “futbol” (PHOTO 3).

After that I walked back into town and caught a ride in the back of a pickup to San Juan, a neighboring town; I wasn’t hitch hiking, the pickups run every 10 minutes or so both ways and the standard fare is 2 quetzales or about 16 cents. PHOTO 4 is the cemetery in San Juan and PHOTO 5 was taken outside a fabric store. There are also several women’s weaving cooperatives and a cheese “factory”.

This evening the school offered salsa lessons with Luis, one of the instructors at the school (PHOTOS 6, 7 (Jodie), and 8 (Rosie).We also met at a local restaurant for dinner or dessert - another full day. HAPPY TRAILS!