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Study in Xela

with us at the school and experience history and culture

About Quetzaltenango



Centro Maya Xela is not just another online language school, but a real one located in Xela. Learn more about Quetzaltenango in Guatemala, our homeland.
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Since 2002, I have had dozens of college students and delegation members ranging from age ten through retirees study at the Centro Maya, with excellent results.  The school offers a supportive immersion environment, quality individualized or group language instruction, and a variety of cultural enrichment activities.  Centro Maya provides support for indigenous women to obtain university degrees and the staff possesses a genuine commitment to fostering social justice and equality in Guatemala.  If you are looking for an authentic cultural immersion experience and want to really improve your Spanish language proficiency or study several of the Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala, I highly recommend the Centro Maya.
Dr. Henry Thurston-Griswold, Professor of Spanish, Juniata College (thurston@juniata.edu)

"I first attended Centro Maya Xela in 2007. When I arrived, my Spanish was limited to the most basic phrases and greetings. After my extended stay of 4 1/2 months, I spoke Spanish fairly fluently and could even read Spanish novels. I enjoyed my experience at Centro Maya Xela so much that I have since returned to brush up on Spanish and soak in the cultural and natural beauty which abounds in the Guatemalan Highlands."
Amos USA

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We are not just another online language school, but a real one. Our campus is located in the beautiful highlands of Xela, Guatemala. We have had over 2500 foreign students from over 30 different countries study Spanish or Mayan languages with us over the past 19 years. Our students acquire conversational abilities rapidly through a full immersion experience, in which a one-to-one student/teacher ratio and homestay with a Guatemalan family are essential elements of the teaching methodology. Individual instruction means individual lesson scheduling, so students begin studies whenever they wish, and continue for as long or short a time as they wish without regard to any preexisting "class" schedule. Centro Maya is also ultimately accessible in terms of cost, with a single low weekly tuition begins at only $220, which covers full room and board and a range of recreational and educational activities as well as all language instruction.

Our Teaching Methology

Centro Maya Xela uses an intensive one-on-one program with one teacher per student. Classes last four hours per day with a 30 minute break Monday through Friday. This program applies to Spanish and Mayan language classes. Each teacher uses diverse techniques and methods according to the needs and level of the student in order to improve the student's fluency in both the oral and written aspects of the language. Language study is combined with themes such as Latin American literature, Mayan culture, Mayan spirituality, liberation theology, sociology, anthropology, political science, gender equality, and other themes of interest to each individual student. This process is complemented with diverse activities as you can see in the following calendar of activities.

Generally, the students are split into three levels:

Beginner

A person who knows almost nothing of the language. It might be the student's first contact with the language or he/she might already have some basic knowledge.

Intermediate

A person who is familiar with verb tenses in the present, past, and future. The student may or may not be fluent. Every student is different and we can accommodate.

Advanced

A person who knows the language and wants to perfect it, learn idioms, or study some aspects of Mayan or Latin American culture. Let us share our world with you.

 

Friday Night Dinners

Every Friday night we have a dinner at our school to celebrate the attendance of our foreign students.  Dinners are prepared by the students one week and rotates to the teachers preparing the dinner the next. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the other foreign students, the staff and our scholarship participants. The dinners include typical music, dancing, cultural exchange, and of course laughter!

Our Teachers in Xela

Pedro Lucas is the Director and one of the founders of Centro Maya Xela. He has over 25 years of experience teaching Spanish to foreigners and he has taught in our school since it opened in 1993. Pedro has a bachelor’s degree in teaching and philosophy from the university in Xela.

Our teaching staff are from various highland pueblos and we are all native Spanish speakers. Many of our instructors also speak a variety of indigenous languages native to our communities, and classes in indigenous languages are also offered online.  Every teacher is university educated with years of experience in teaching to foreign students and cultural exchange is an important part of the program. This not only offers the students excellent language instruction, but also an ample knowledge of the Guatemalan and Latin American reality.

Mayan Spirituality Course

Our vision of the cosmos is in general an idea of renewal that rationalizes the situation of human beings in the cosmos. Our world is a living world inhabited and used by beings of flesh and blood, under the law of cycles, old age, and death. Therefore, it demands a repair, a renewal, a strengthening periodically. This is the reason why we are almost always reflecting about the origins of human beings and almost always meditating about the universe. By this route we unite science and spirituality. For us secular and spiritual life is indivisible.

Human beings united with the cosmos in an apparent separation and in eternal transformation form the whole. One of the characteristics of Mayan Spirituality is that it doesn't exclude anyone. It is inclusive. We recommend you be an intermediate or advanced student to participate in this program.

Natural Medicine

Guatemala is a multiethnic and multicultural country. Each community has different traditions and understands the human being in the way that its culture configures it, both in the conception of the human being as an individual and in the relationships that the human being establishes with his or her surrounding environment. For that reason, in a multicultural country as many different styles of medicine as cultures exist.

Spiritual guides, midwives, and natural healers acquire and recycle knowledge for the practice of a medical system, which covers diagnosis, treatment, and educational and preventative measures. In order to practice this style of medicine, they prepare and use natural therapeutic resources such as plants, animals, and minerals as well as symbols originating from the spiritual and mental culture known as rituals in which prayers for health are complemented with the use of candles, incense, liquor, and other resources.

Mayan Language Course

Centro Maya Xela uses an intensive one-on-one Mayan language program with one teacher per student. Classes last four hours per day with a 30 minute break Monday through Friday. This intensive approach is similar to our program for Spanish language classes. Each teacher uses diverse techniques and methods according to the needs and level of the student in order to improve the student's desired level of fluency. Language study is combined with themes such as Mayan culture, Mayan spirituality, liberation theology, sociology, anthropology, political science, gender equality, and other themes of interest to each individual student. This process is complemented with diverse activities, ceremonies and field trips that make the learning program informative, participative and fun.

Our Mayan language program is important for a variety of reasons. Many of the wonderful volunteers who come to our beautiful country will find this program helpful because in several of the rural areas indigenous language is needed to communicate with the residents. Although most younger people now also speak Spanish in their communities, most of the older people don’t. When you study a Mayan language with us you are also helping to preserve languages that are in jeopardy of disappearing. By preserving our indigenous languages we are preserving our important history.

Cultural Exchange

At Centro Maya Xela we understand the challenges of learning a foreign language. We think learning should be fun, fast and and interactive. Cultural exchange is an important part of our course. We want to hear from you about your country and culture, and we will share the beauty of ours with you.

We have had over 2500 students since 1993 from more than 30 different countries study Spanish and Mayan languages with us. We will use our many years of experience to provide you with the more effective learning and cultural experience.


 


For those students wanting to study with us here in Xela please contact us for your requested dates and your desired course of study.
 
 
 

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