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.

San Pedro to Panajachel to Antigua

Before 8:30 we had all said goodbye to our families and made our way to the dock for our boat ride to Panajachel (PHOTO 1). The ride took about a half hour and when we landed, Perry gave our Captain, Leo, the University of Oregon baseball cap he'd been admiring (PHOTO 2).

We had just over 3 hours to shop and eat in Panajachel and made lots of purchases since Pana is a great place to shop and many of us had waited to buy gifts and souvenirs until now. Well, honestly, few of us had resisted the urge to buy things earlier, but most of us really went to town with the shopping in Pana (PHOTO 3: me with Juana, a little woman selling beautiful huipiles and other weavings that my friend Sylvia and I purchased from 2 years ago and Rosie and I did this year.)

We loaded into a tour bus again and enjoyed a little show and tell as well as amazing views (PHOTO 4: Pana and the Santiago volcano (I think) from the road. Back in Antigua, we checked into our hotel, Posada La Merced (PHOTO 5: Jeannie, Michon, and Holly), strolled around town (PHOTO 6: street performers doing a conquistador dance) and some of us reconnected with our beloved Benjamin. We walked (PHOTO 7: the ruins of Santa Teresa, I think) to a nice restaurant and had our last meal together (PHOTO 8) since Jodie headed to Guatemala City after dinner to stay close to the airport for an early flight, and Perry is flying home shortly after the rest of us fly to Flores.