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Escuela de Español  
 
Sample Month - Example Conferences - Example Day Trips - Example Weekend Trips
Scheduled Activities 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 school.

EXAMPLE CONFERENCES:

Due to the troubled history of Guatemala and Central America many conferences on the past history are available for students to participate.

A General History of Guatemala
The Revolution of 1944 and the Counter Revolution of 1954
Machismo
Foreign Influences on Local Culture
The Environment
Street Children
Introduction to the Mayan Religion and World View
Social Classes
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
Human Rights
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 and questions.

EXAMPLE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS

These 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.

COOKING CLASSES

 

 

 

Practice your Spanish while learning about typical Guatemalan Cuisine!

EXAMPLE DAY TRIPS:

ZUNIL:
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.

ALMOLONGA:
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.

FUENTES GEORGINAS:
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.



LOS VAHOS:
Is a natural eucalyptus steam sauna located in the hills above Xela.



SALCAJA:
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.

EL BAUL:
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.

Xela's Tranvia -A motorized trolley car - is a fun way to reach Xela's lookout spots.



LA MUELA:
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 ceremonies.

LAGUNA CHICABAL - Sacred Mayan Lake

VOLCANO SANTA MARIA

MUSEUMS:
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.

THE CEMETERY:
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.

ZOO:
Located near the terminal MINERVA where there is a forest and different species of animals.

SPORTS COMPLEX:
is 12 minutes from the school and is a place where all types of sports can be practiced.

LAKE CHICABAL:
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 May 3


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:

LAKE ATITLAN:
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 lake.

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.


ANTIGUA:
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.


CHICHICASTENANGO:
With market 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.

CHAMPERICO BEACH:
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.

ABAJ TAKALIK:
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:
With their 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.

TOTONICAPAN:
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 theater.

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.