I am a native Spanish speaker from Costa Rica living in Florida. I was told about the scholarship program by a dear friend of mine Chuck who had studied Spanish at Centro Maya in 2011. He was so impressed with what he learned there that together we organized a 50 bike rally in Miami in the name of the scholarship participants. The rally was a huge success and I have been involved with the school ever since. The director and founder Pedro Lucas is a visionary in making higher learning accessible to poor Mayan women by providing them with housing and full expenses while they study at the university in Xela. I have recommended his school in Xela to my friends who want to learn Spanish. This is an important school and you will love your studies with them!
Abraham Amador Miami Beach, Fl
I have studied with Pedro at Centro Maya Xela for two years -- a month in Guatemala and the remainder of the time online with weekly lessons. As a Spanish teacher, it is very important that I maintain strong skills in Spanish. Pedro makes Spanish fun and relevant to the real world. He also demands the best from me and makes sure that I meet his expectations. I will study with Pedro again in Guatemala this summer, and I look forward to many years of lessons with him.
Christine M. Spanish Teacher Pennsylvania
Centro Maya Xela is much more than a language school; it is a cultural education, a family, and a fiesta! I have had so much fun on field trips (practicing very practical Spanish), and making lasting friendships with the teacher, the host families, and with the young women who are supported by the school. I also appreciate the flexibility to volunteer in the community at the same time. The best way to learn Spanish!
Dianne, Seattle WA
Centro Maya provided exactly what I needed -- intensive language study, continual conversational practice and wonderful field trips. The teachers are wonderful cultural guides as well as dedicated educators, and the opportunity to live with a local family allowed me to get to know Guatemala in authentic ways that honestly changed my world view. Thanks to Centro Maya, I also had the unique opportunity to study Q'anjob'al Maya before I went to work in a rural Q'anjob'al community. Centro Maya can work with students at any level, and I would recommend this school to any foreign traveler visiting the Xela area. --
Charity Thompson, Portland, Oregon
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
I’ve studied at Centro Maya in Xela three times over the past two years. Before traveling to Xela I knew very little about the beauty or struggles of the indigenous people in Guatemala. Centro Maya Xela has a scholarship program that allows the poor indigenous women attend the university in Xela. Some of the scholarship participants are now physicians, attorneys, social workers and community leaders. Through their education they are making a huge difference in their small and poor communities. I was so touched by my experience there that I started volunteering at the school. By studying Spanish with Centro Maya you are not just learning a language, but you are helping make the dreams of these young indigenous women come true.
Chuck C. Miami Beach, FL
"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."
I have studied several times at Centro Maya and have learned a lot of Spanish as well as about the culture of Guatemala. It especially is nice that some of my tuition went to fund the education of several Mayan women. I still donate towards this project every year.
I studied at Centro Maya for seven weeks, and I honestly could not recommend the school more highly. There are many great language schools in Xela: what I think makes Centro Maya so special are the people and the sense of community that is instantly recognizable at the school. Your studies literally go to pay for higher education for young Mayan men and women, and the proprietor of the school, Pedro, is a gentle, earnest, and funny guy who really makes you feel welcome.
Manuel C. USA
Studying Spanish with Pedro: fun, comprehensive, clear and incredibly productive. The man has a devious wit that makes for lighthearted learning, not too mention a knack for helping you attain comprehensible clarity under your own steam - a far more rewarding & retain-able achievement than simply being told the 'answer'.
Michael Sean Walters, Sydney, Australia
I recently started studying on the online Skype program with Pedro. My first few classes were a gift from Chuck....thanks...I am now hooked, and have just signed on for another 3 months of weekly classes, and doubt I will stop for a long time. My first class, Pedro brought me into his life, buy having his 4 great children and wife come on and introduce themselves to me, along with Margarita, another teacher...it made me feel like I was part of the family. I love that I am contributing to the Scholarship program to strengthen the lives and future of the women of Guatemala.
Celeste S. Florida
I am a recent Skype student of Centro Maya Xela Spanish School. I am very pleased with my Spanish progression. My teacher, Pedro Lucas, is patient. As I fear making mistakes, this is very necessary for me. He is able to answer all my grammatical questions and help out with vocabulary, as needed. Pedro is also very personable. I appreciate that Centro Maya Xela uses their money to help educate women to go on and work in all sorts of professions. I am happy to be a part of educating others.
I had the opportunity to study with the Centro Maya Xela Spanish School last summer and it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I am an educator myself (elementary) and their teaching techniques are top of the line. I came back a much more fluent Spanish speaker. There are many Spanish programs out there, but this one is high quality and provides scholarships to young women. The success stories are amazing! I plan on signing up for the online programs too. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn Spanish and make a real difference in people's lives.
Kathleen B., Denver
This is the BEST cultural-language program running. I'm excited to be able to take classes again, this time via Skype. I’ve studied at the school in Xela for four months and it was an unforgettable experience. Because of the teachers there I can now speak fluently and read and write in Spanish. The friendships I made there with the teachers and the scholarship participants will last a lifetime!
I'm 14 years old and I started studying with Pedro online a year ago. My dad is taking me to Xela this year to study with him there. He is a great teacher and I can't wait to meet him in person. Thanks Pedro!.
Kelly C. Clancy, Montana
The Spanish lessons through Skype have been very beneficial for me. The responsibilities of my job leave me with very little down time, so Centro Maya Xela's flexible schedule benefits me greatly. The lessons provide one on one instruction, homework between lessons, and conversation. Sometimes, I learn as much in our personal conversation time slot as I do in the lesson itself. I'd recommend the program for anyone looking for a convenient and economical way to learn Spanish.
I’ve been to Centro Maya Xela to study twice. Once with my brother and recently with my son. It’s a fun family experience it was a good way to share the beauty and struggles of Guatemala with my son. If you like backpacking, biking and outdoor adventure there’s plenty to do in and around Xela. We plan on going back every other year. My son was so excited about his experience there that his Spanish teacher in his junior high school here in the US is now doing a Skype lesson for the students in her classroom twice a month!
Scott C. USA
I first went to Centro Maya to study Q'anjob'al in 2001 while I was a graduate student.I've gone back to Centro Maya almost every year since 2001, sometimes for language study, and other times just to visit. It's very different from the big, impersonal language schools you find in some places; if you study at Centro Maya you are definitely treated like family. I have maintained friendships not only with my teachers and host family, but also with some of the Mayan women scholarship recipients and some of the other foreign students who have studied there. When I became a faculty member, I brought my own college students there to study. I particularly recommend Centro Maya to anyone who is serious about learning Mayan languages or wants to do research on Mayan culture as the owners are all Maya.
Mary Holbrook Indiana USA
One of our team members attended the Spanish language school in Xela Guatemala and we were quite impressed with his new Spanish language skills when he returned to the company. We are now having other associates study Spanish with the new Skype program that the school is now offering. Here in Portland we have a large hispanic population and it is growing rapidly. We think that by having our associates study and speak Spanish that we will be better prepared to communicate and serve our latino clientele and to better understand latino culture.
The Team at Million Monarchs
Pedro was highly recommended to me as an excellent teacher whose school serves a very worthy cause. Having studied with him over the past two months, I whole-heartedly agree! Pedro has supported me in my goals to practice the subjunctive verb tenses and improve my grasp of Spanish grammar. Also, his flexibility with scheduling our online class times has been great. I look forward to continuing our weekly meetings as he guides me closer to fluency!
Sam V. Texas USA
Centro Maya Xela gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and gain confidence in my ability to speak Spanish. Because the lessons are individualized, I am able to study using topics that I enjoy including health and social justice. During my time in Guatemala, I formed great relationships, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to continue studying with Centro Maya Xela through Skype classes. The lessons are engaging and fun, and we always end up laughing.
Tev California USA
Centro Maya made all the difference in my learning Spanish. They are extremely professional, knowledgeable, and supportive. The instructors have tremendous skill and accuracy in teaching. They make the learning experience fun and enjoyable. I currently teach Spanish here in the U.S. after beginning to study Spanish at the age of 19. I credit Centro Maya to a great extent for my being able to learn Spanish. I have studied with Centro Maya in Guatemala and over Skype. At first I wasn't sure how Skype would work, but I have had a wonderful experience with it. It is just like being in a face-to-face class from the convenience of my personal computer. I highly recommend Centro Maya and would encourage anyone interested in learning or improving their Spanish to study with Centro Maya.
Megan Kaseman, Current and Past Student
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