Blog / Guatemala

Learning Spanish in Guatemala (Week 3 – Quetzaltenango)

March 15, 2012

Northwest of Lake Atitlan is a city called Quetzaltenango, or “Xela” (from the Mayan name “Xelaju”) for short. This city in Guatemala is quite popular for language students as the classes are cheap and many schools provide a homestay option with a Guatemalan family to really immerse yourself with the local culture and forces you to use what you learn.

I went with a school near the central park called Utatlan. The tuition is $140 ...

Hiking from Xela to Lake Atitlan with Quetzaltrekkers

March 2, 2012

While staying in Quetzaltenango/Xela, I ran into a friend who I met in Lake Atitlan who told me about this 3-day hike from Xela to Lake Atitlan that Quetzaltrekkers offers. Quetzaltrekkers is a non-profit organization that offers guided hikes in Guatemala. It’s ran fully by volunteers and the money goes directly to help children in need living in Guatemala.

When my friend told me about this hike I got really interested as I ...

Learning Spanish in Guatemala (Week 2 – Lake Atitlan)

February 14, 2012

I decided to continue my Spanish lessons in Lake Atitlan. I stayed in La Iguana Perdida in Santa Cruz La Laguna and signed up for the package of 5 days of Spanish lessons, 7 nights accommodation, and 6 days allowance of Q75 to spend in their restaurant.

The view from this hostel is just beautiful! I start my morning every day staring at the beautiful Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes.

My teacher actually lives in ...

Internet access anywhere in Guatemala with a Tigo USB modem

February 11, 2012

I wanted to check my bank account one day but the Internet at the hostel I was staying at wasn’t working. Then I saw a guy using his laptop in the dining area and I asked him if he was able to pick up a Wi-Fi signal. He told me he’s using one of these Tigo USB modems to get Internet connection.

Tigo is a mobile phone service provider and appears to be ...

Climbing the active Pacaya volcano

February 10, 2012

About an hour and a half from the center of Antigua, Guatemala is the park entrance to the Pacaya volcano. Pacaya is an active volcano that actually last erupted just two years ago on May 27, 2010.

I’ve been on other volcanoes before, but this is the first time I’ve been on an active one. My Spanish school in Antigua organized a tour one afternoon and about 7 of us joined in. A ...

Learning Spanish in Guatemala (Week 1 – Antigua)

February 6, 2012

One of my goals for my round-the-world trip is to learn Spanish. I want to learn enough that I’d be able to hold a conversation in Spanish by the time my trip is over.

When I was doing my research on which country to take classes in, Guatemala kept coming up. It’s supposed to be the cheapest country to study in and Guatemalans speak the language very clearly.

I originally thought about starting ...