We are not going to lie. There are fine Spanish language schools in Xela (Quetzaltenango). What sets us apart from other schools is the emphasis our teachers and staff put on each individual student. The teachers and staff at Miguel de Cervantes provide the highest quality Spanish language education. We have qualified, well-trained, and professional teachers and staff. Our learning environment is intimate, friendly, and always one-on-one. Attention on our students is our number one priority.
Are you looking to learn, improve, or perfect your writing, reading, speaking, and comprehension skills? Do you want to experience and understand Guatemalan culture, society, and politics? Do you want to immerse yourself in everything that Guatemala has to offer? Then look no further than Miguel de Cervantes.
At Miguel de Cervantes, our staff takes an active interest in your life. We are a smaller school compared to some of the large schools that call Xela home. However, bigger does not mean better. There are a fair number of Spanish schools that treat the students much like a business commodity. Often the student will rarely, if ever, meet the owner or owners. The owner and much of staff will almost never take an active role in the students´ lives. With so many students at these schools, it is easy to be lost in the crowd. It is easy for the students´ opinions, questions, and problems to be ignored. However, these same schools will have no problem taking your money.
This is definitely not the case at Miguel de Cervantes. The teachers and staff take great pride in getting to know each individual student. The students most definitely matter to us. We encourage you to read our former students´ testimonials.
Miguel de Cervantes School of Spanish continually evaluates the staff, teachers, and host families in order to provide the best services to the students. In fact, the students are a key component to this evaluation process. Our teaching staff also receives periodic teaching courses and refresher courses within the school. We are dedicated to offering our students the most effective language study program.
We have various materials for your use, including grammar and exercise books and reading books in Spanish for your pleasure. Of course, these materials are for your use as a supplement to your classes. These and other materials may be used for homework or for additional help with lessons.
On the first day of class, the teacher will evaluate the student’s Spanish comprehension skills. However, we DO NOT separate our students into “beginner,” “intermediate,” and “advanced.” We believe these are vague and artificial titles. The teacher and student will evaluate together what the student needs improvement on. Afterwards the student and teacher will develop a study plan for the week that reflects the needs, interests, and expectations of the student. To expose the student to different teaching styles and different accents, the teachers are rotated every week or every other week.
Here is how we offer you a great education as well as a great Guatemalan experience, an ideal approach for a true cultural immersion:
- We offer our students five hours of one-on-one Spanish classes. There is always the option for three to four hours of one-on-one classes. However, we suggest five hours, especially for new students. This ensures that the student becomes acclimated to the language.
- We offer you a home-stay with a Guatemalan family. We have carefully selected our families to ensure you will be treated like a member of the family with ample opportunity to speak Spanish. Staying with a Guatemalan family is an important part of your language and cultural experience. Although for true Guatemalan immersion we suggest a home-stay with a family, we understand that sometimes students like the freedom of living on their own. We can help students find a guesthouse, hostel, or hotel that meets their budgetary demands. If there is available space, the student can stay at our guesthouse.
- We can help students with the many worthwhile volunteer opportunities in the Xela area. There are dozens and dozens of organizations and projects that need volunteers. We will do our best to place you with an organization of your choice. One should remember, however, that in order to be placed in some organizations or projects, the volunteer often must commit to a minimum amount of time (from just weeks to a year) and must possess a minimum level of Spanish in order to serve them. It should be noted that there are plenty of organizations willing to work with volunteers for shorter amount of time and with any level of Spanish.
- In order for a student to be truly immersed, we also lead activities about the culture, politics, customs, and history of Guatemala and its people. These activities could include documentaries and movies, conferences, discussions, presentations, dance classes, cooking classes, and daytrips within Xela or to neighboring villages. And we are always open to planning special activities around your particular interests.