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.

Tikal and Flores

We've had 2 amazing days in the beautiful, hot and muggy northern part of Guatemala. Sunday morning we flew from Guatemala City to Flores, then shuttled to Tikal where we stayed at the Tikal Inn (PHOTO 1) - rooms and pool were lovely. We headed out to explore the ruins. PHOTO 2 is a group shot, missing Perry and Jodie who had flown home. PHOTO 3 shows the view from the top of Temple 5; the dots on the acropolis to the right are Holly and Judy who we could hear talking - great acoustics. PHOTO 4 shows the climb down (see the little ant-sized people at the bottom for perspective). We saw spider monkeys and some black howlers treated us to their incredible roaring voices.

Monday morning we headed back into the ruins with a truly fabulous guide, archaeologist Roxy Ortiz (PHOTO 5 - top of Temple 4). She gave us a great background into the history of the site as well as information about the plants and animals. With her help we watched spider monkeys jumping from tree to tree and scrambling on the ruins and spotted rare emerald toucans as well as keel billed toucans, aracaris, oropendolas, and several types of parrots.

Enroute from Tikal to island town of Flores we stopped at Ixpanpajul nature park. Some folks tried out the canopy ziplines (PHOTO 6: Sharon) and Judy and I hiked to the Sky Walk canopy bridges (PHOTO 7: Judy). PHOTO 8 is the large male black howler monkey in a family group we watched at close range from one of the longer bridges.

We checked into our hotel, La Mesa de Los Mayas (The Table of the Mayas), had a dinner out by the lake, and prepared for tomorrow - the end of Live and Learn in Guatemala 2009. In the morning 8 of us will fly to the Guatemala City airport and home and 5 will head by road into Belize. This has been an amazing few weeks with a wonderful, interesting, and interested group of people. If you'd like to follow my adventures into Belize, the new blog starts here (click "Newer Post" at the bottom):