at La Paz
The school has daily activities which are always optional
and generally do not interfere with your daily instruction.
Every Monday at 10:45 AM the students and teachers organize
and discuss the activities for the upcoming week. The
students opinions and suggestions are taken into account
and then together the decisions are made for the week.
Students who participate in the activities are required
to pay for their own transportation, entrance fees and
food. However, activities such as...guest conferences,
movies, dance classes and hikes are paid for by the
Due to the troubled history of Guatemala and Central America
many conferences on the past history are available for students
A General History of Guatemala
The Revolution of 1944 and the Counter Revolution of 1954
Foreign Influences on Local Culture
Introduction to the Mayan Religion and World View
Land Distribution and Ownership in Guatemala
Agrarian Laws in Guatemala
Education in Guatemala
Roots of Violence in Guatemala
Chronology of the Armed Conflict in Guatemala
"El estado de derecho" Impunity in Guatemala
Peace Accords of 1996
All conferences are given in Spanish by local professors and
experts chosen specifically for their aptitude and knowledge
of the given subject. A translator will be provided. We encourage
active participation in these lectures and welcome all comments
EXAMPLE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS
after school discussions are perfect to help improve you listening
and speaking abilities. The discussions can range from
sports, politics, movies, Spanish grammar i.e. whether to
use por or para, ser or estar or imperfecto or preterito or
whatever subjects the students think are important to discuss
and would help them on their way to perfecting their Spanish.
GAMES IN THE AFTERNOON
Another popular after school activity with the students is
games in the afternoon. Where an afternoon down at the
local cafe playing Spanish board games with the teachers and
drinking your favorite beverage is one of the most relaxed
ways to improve your Spanish.
Practice your Spanish while learning about typical Guatemalan Cuisine!
EXAMPLE DAY TRIPS:
Is a town near Xela 30 minutes by bus, where there is a women's
weaving co-op and it is possible to buy clothes. There is
a church with Santa Catalina's virgin. A Mayan god called
San Simón or Maximón is in a house in town and changes every
year in the month of October and they have daily ceremonies
in the house that he inhabits.
Is an indigenous town also called THE HORTALIZA DE AMÉRICA,
since their earth is so fertile and produces the best vegetables
in Central America. In this place one can enjoy a thermal bath
(Cirilo Flores baths) whose boiling waters come directly from
the hill the Trunk, likewise it has sulfur baths; if preferred
we can also visit Villa Alicia's pools or The Paradise.
Their Regular fair is in honor of the Apostle San Pedro and
it takes place June 29th. 20 minutes from Xela.
Is a natural hot spring that has the scent of sulfur and eucalyptus,
the landscape along the road is very picturesque and there
is a view of the city.
Is a natural eucalyptus steam sauna located in the hills above
One of the first churches in Central America is located here.
You can witness the traditional weaving process of the region.
Salcaja is famous for its two specialty liquors, Caldo de
Fruitas which is fermented fruit & rum, as well as Creole
Rompopo which is made from egg yokes. 30 minutes from Xela.
Is a hill that this located 1 hour walking distance from Xela,
in which there is a viewpoint where you can appreciate the
city of Quetzaltenango. It also has a recreational park with
swings, slides and grills to prepare food.
It is aprox. a 2 hour hike from Xela. It is a small mountain
in the form of a molar, and often the site of Mayan religious
LAGUNA CHICABAL - Sacred Mayan Lake
VOLCANO SANTA MARIA
Around central park we have two museums: one of art and natural
history where you can appreciate the artistic inspiration
of the quetzaltecos, and another dedicated to the old electric
railroad that ran between the Pacific Coast and Quetzaltenango.
Is beside Calvario park, the only general cemetery that there
is in the city, where one can see the different designs of
tombs that go according to the social classes.
Located near the terminal MINERVA where there is a forest
and different species of animals.
is 12 minutes from the school and is a place where all types
of sports can be practiced.
Overlooking the thatched-roof, mud and stick houses of San
Martin is Chicabal Volcano, rising to 2900 meters. In the
crater of the volcano is a small lake, the locale of traditional
sacrificial ceremonies performed by native prayer men throughout
the year, especially during the fiesta of the Holy Cross on
GLASS BLOWING WAREHOUSE:
There are two warehouses: one near the Cuesta Blanca, and
the other one is in Cantel, 20 minutes from Xela, both can
only be visited in the morning since it is when the workers
are making the different designs.
VOLCANO SANTA MARÍA:
One of the six volcanoes that are around Xela, measures 3,772
meters, 4 hours are needed to climb to the top, depending
on the conditions of the climate and of the group that attends;
we leave in the morning very early at around 5:00am or 6:00am
and we return the same day. If preferred you can camp on the
volcano and return on Sunday.
EXAMPLE WEEKEND TRIPS:
Located in the department of Sobs, in the occident of the
country, with a surface of 124 square km and 1560 meters above
sea level. It is the land where the Tzutuhiles and Cakchiqueles
seated its dominion beside this lake, by nature it is a fertile
floor that offers a variety of climates and sheer heights
to observe panoramic views. Volcanoes San Pedro and Toliman
surround the lake , as well as twelve identified towns with
the names of Christ's apostles. This lake offers a perfect
scenario to those fond of fishing, water skiing, boat trips,
kayaking, diving, or simply to walk in town or around the
It concentrates the biggest quantity of tourist services,
and for the constant affluence of visitors it offers magnificent
hotels, restaurants, antique stores, typical cloths and crafts.
Inhabited for the most part by the indigenous of the ethnos
Kakchiquel, panajachel also has a colonial church. This is
a two day trip, which usually leaves on Saturday at 10 in
the morning and the last bus in panajachel leaves at 2 in
the afternoon on Sunday.
In a valley surrounded by mountains, and by the towering volcanoes
Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, lies Antigua Guatemala.
Today it is a pleasant city of cobblestone streets, houses
and businesses with colonial style facades and tile roofs,
and of restored and vegetation-covered ruins of churches,
palaces, convents, and mansions.
day being Sunday, we usually leave Saturday in the afternoon
and we return Sunday in the afternoon. It is necessary to
reserve a hotel in advance.
It is located in the department of Quiché where a mixture
of Catholic and Mayan religions exists. "Chichi" being it's
nickname, is a tourist center in the Guatemalan Highland.
In Chichicastenango you can find their cheerful market, or
visit Sacred Tomás's church which is one of the first ones
built on the Central American floor. Observe many faithful
followers as they enter on their knees, with incense in hand
while they pray to God. Inside the temple, the altars borracos
is shown blackened by the clouds of incense, pom and copal.
The coloring and the faith intersect even more during the
celebrations of the employer parties.
Includes one of the most important ports. Go to Champerico
and enjoy eating shrimp in one of the restaurants along the
shore. Black sand beach with few tourists. Great place for
a weekend getaway from Xela.
Archaeological center discovered in 1878. It is believed that
when they begun to make trails in Tikal, here they were already
common. The last trail recorded in Abaj Takalik is to 126
d.C. and the first one in Tikal dates to 292 d.C.
SAN FRANCISCO EL ALTO:
colonial church and their murals of popular Baroque, there
are several layers of painting. Go into in the quemadero grottos
located under the market, in the bank of the highway.
Here also on Friday is a big market selling everything from
clothing to animals.
It is at a hour from Xela and is characterized by their market
that is carried Saturday from seven in the morning up to seven
at night, in which we can find all type of foods, typical
clothes, craft etc.
In the departmental head we recommend you visit the cathedral,
with their rich collection of colonial images, style neoclassicist's
SAN ANDRÉS XECUL:
With their colonial temple whose facade mixes elements of
the aboriginal wardrobe with Christian figures. Flowers, fruits,
felines, archangels and simians are part of the rich decoration.
Surprisingly another temple doesn't exist in America with
characteristics so peculiar.
RUINS DE ZACULEU:
Located in the department of Huehuetenango, political center,
where also meets a museum with pieces and prehispanic tombs.
Zaculeu was declared a national monument in 1931. The dialect
that is spoken is the Mam. The admission to enter is paid.