The Programs and Activities
Language, history, and culture are best experienced with travel and Xela is the cultural hub and adventure gateway to the Guatemalan highlands and beyond. The following are some of the excursions to nearby places and activities available to our students.
This is a beautiful natural spa near Xela. Here, pools of varying temperatures are fed by hot sulfur springs and framed by a high wall of tropical vines, ferns and flowers. Though the setting is intensely tropical, currents of mountain air keep temperatures cool during the day. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon.
Hike the volcanic rock formations of Cerro Quemado, where one can view the dormant mouth of this ancient volcano, and enjoy panoramic views of Quetzaltenango and the agricultural valley of Almolonga.
Just 6km from Xela, Salcajá is known for its traditional ikat style of textiles. You can watch as the fabrics are woven into intricate patterns on foot powered, wooden looms. Also you can sample a local specialty called “caldo de fruita”, which is considered to be a magic elixir, and is like a high-octane sangria. Another local attraction is the oldest church in Central America, completed in 1496.
SAN ANDRES XECUL
This town is home to the most bazaar but stunning church imaginable. Colorful saints, angels, flowers and climbing vines fight for space with whimsical tigers and frolicking monkeys on the shocking yellow facade. Up the hill you will come to a smaller, and more sedated-looking yellow church where Mayan ceremonies are still held.
Located in Xela and formed by a collaboration, this cooperative uses recycled glass to refashion all kinds of glassware. They have a large facility and it is possible to watch them as they work. Students have the opportunity to participate and try to make a “figura”.
This magical lake is nestled in a crater of the Chikabal Volcano (2712m), the center of Maya-Mam cosmo vision. Laguna Chikabal is an intensely sacred place. There are two active Mayan alters on its sandy shore and Mayan priests and worshippers come from far and wide to perform ceremonies and make offerings at this sacred place. The beautiful hike and spirtual history of this land attracts many of our students.
It is a town of Quetzaltenango, located nine kilometers from the city. In it, you can admire the beauty of the typical regional costume, as well as the market. You can also make a visit to San Simon which is a non-Christian Holyland venerated in Guatemala by the Mayan people.
THE HISTORICAL CENTER
A tour of the most important and popular City Center includes places like Central Park, Banks, Cathedral churches, the ‘Pasaje Enriquez’, Municipal Theatre, Cafes, and more. This tour often helps students orient themselves in Xela, and allows them to see some popular Xela spots.
Trama Textiles is a cooperative of Guatemalan women who produce clothing, accessories and textiles using the waist’s loom. The process is mesmorizing and it is fascinating to hear the history behind this popular cooperative of strong, determined, and incredibly talented women.
This is a factory of decorative dolls in traditional costumes representing different indigenous communities in Guatemala.
The hill ‘el Baúl’ is a park with a beautiful green area that offers an excellent view of the city of Quetzaltenango. It covers an area of 2.40 square kilometers and has a height of 2.650 meters. This is the a perfect morning or afternoon hike, especially for beginners. However, anyone can enjoy the peace and tranquility of Baúl.
Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, and other styles of dance classes are offered at a variety of acadmies nearby. A popular dance acadmy is called Bakanos Dance Studio where classes of all levels are offered every day. Salsa and Bachata nights are also a very popular event every wednesday night at a local club, Pool & Beer.
We show a variety of movies in our home, from Guatemalan films, to Cuban, Spanish, and more films. These movies often explain more of the history and culture that is intertwined with the Spanish language. You can also see lots of new, great movies in Spanish at the movie theater, Cinepolis, located a short walk from our school.
In our family we are happy to have very good cooks who provide classes for students interested in learning to cook typical Guatemalan dishes, including one of our favorite, Pepian!
Guatemala is known for its production of delicious and rich chocolate. We offer classes for students to learn about the history of chocolate-making in our country, and allow you to go through the whole process from start to finish. Plus, you'll walk away with some yummy chocolate and a coxy cup of hot chocolate.
There is much more to discover and do in xela culture, economy, sports and history (you can ask for more options).
We invite you to start an adventure to improve your Spanish and explore the beauties of Guatemala...