Celas Maya is a very unique Spanish school and is considered one of the best in Central America. Xela is also unique and considered the best place for Spanish immersion learn because of the local Mayan culture, the surrounding volcanic mountains, and the many volunteer opportunities. It's located in the city of Quetzaltenango, commonly known as "Xela." While studying Spanish in Xela you will have many opportunities to practice your Spanish because Xela is not an expensive, English speaking tourist hotspot.
Spanish Immersion Programs
At Celas Maya, we offer customized Spanish language immersion courses at every level of Spanish proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. We believe our immersion approach is very unique and of a very high quality.
Our determination of success is based on the positive results that our students experience. Over the years we have developed an effective combination of one-on-one Spanish language classes, homestays with a local Guatemalan family and weekly activities and excursions.
Celas Maya is accredited by the Ministry of Education of Guatemala and is one of only two Spanish schools in Guatemala that is accredited by the Cervantes Institute, which allows us to teach and administer the DELE exams.
In addition to our one-on-one programs we also work with universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia hosting groups of students as part of their Spanish Abroad programs.
Immersion and Diversion in Xela
Study Spanish & Volunteer
The word "diversión" in Spanish means fun and at Celas Maya we believe that having fun is a very important part of the immersion process. Our normal class schedules run Monday – Friday, 5 hours per day, so that leaves ample time to enjoy the local culture & beauty and practice your Spanish.
Celas Maya Spanish School, through its travel and excursion agency, Icaro Tours, organizes weekly activities, excursions and tours for our students. We also offer our students the opportunity to live with a local Guatemalan family which greatly broadens your immersion experience and improves your Spanish communication ability.
Although Xela is not crowded with tourists there is a very active nightlife. There are many cafes, bars, restaurants and dance clubs that offer a wide variety of entertainment experiences at very affordable prices. As part of our weekly activities, every Wednesday night there are free Salsa lessons at one of the best Salsa clubs in Xela. There are many opportunities to socialize with the very friendly and engaging Guatemalan people of Xela. One of the best amenities that Celas Maya offers its students is total access to our full service internet café, Café Guru.
In addition to studying Spanish, volunteering is one of the reasons why travelers come to Quetzaltenango (commonly known by its Mayan name, Xela.)
At Celas Maya it is possible to combine Spanish classes with volunteer work without losing any study time. To gain even more experience with the culture and the Spanish language it is possible to live with a Guatemalan family. The combination of Spanish classes, volunteer work and living with a host family is the best opportunity to immerse oneself not only in Spanish language but also in cultural experiences that will enrich your understanding of the environment.
There are literally dozens- maybe even a hundred- organizations that are always looking for volunteers. Everyone who is interested in doing volunteer work will find an organization with social, cultural and political projects that fit their interests. Every organization is more than happy to welcome new volunteers but most of them require a level of Spanish (basic, intermediate or advanced) and an available time (morning/afternoon, days/weeks/months). Our coordinator has knowledge of the organizations and can advise the student in finding the best possible volunteer placement.
General Characteristics and Requirements
o Students at Celas Maya (in Xela or online) can have a consultation for volunteer placements as an extra and free service.
o A basic conversation Spanish level (Intermediate) and a minimum commitment of 4 weeks is required (take into account that organizations often have also their own requirements)Groups, universities, agencies, etc. can contact Celas Maya for more information about prices and the opportunities
o Groups, universities, agencies, etc. can contact Celas Maya for more information about prices and the opportunities.
o Individuals who are interested in only doing volunteer work without having classes, and want to experience the Guatemalan culture by living with a host family, are also welcome at Celas Maya. The homestay without classes has a weekly cost of Q836, if you combine this with classes, the weekly cost is Q500.
Medical Volunteering and Internships
Celas Maya also has an excellent medical Spanish program. We work with several universities and their students, teaching them Medical Spanish during the lessons. We also have a small simulation clinic in our school, where you can practice examining and receiving patients, and focus on the language used by local people during consultations. Besides that, you can involve in volunteering in local clinics, as we established cooperations with several (rural and urban) local health clinics.
For the volunteer opportunities in the medical field, there is an extra tuition cost of $150 USD weekly. This cost is used for the volunteer intermediation with the student, with the clinic, and sending a donation to the volunteer place where you work.
At Celas Maya we believe that staying with a local Guatemalan family is a very important part of the learning process. While living with a family in their home you will experience first-hand the lifestyle of a typical Guatemalan family. The opportunity to practice your Spanish skills with family members will greatly enhance your language progress. Guatemalans are very friendly and hospitable and you will be welcomed as one of their family during your stay. We have many families that have hosted our students for many years. Our standards are of very high quality and we continually monitor the quality of services provided by the host families mainly by way of weekly student survey feedback.
The host family provides a private room with a desk & lamp for studying, as well as a shower with hot water. You will be offered 3 meals a day with purified drinking water 7 days a week. The living conditions of an average family are equivalent to a working class U.S. family. Based on your needs & preferences we will match you with a family that is most compatible.
Celas Maya recommends the homestay experience to our students. We know from many years of experience that students will benefit from this experience in many ways. It is also very economical if you compare the costs of meals & lodging. Homestays are not at all mandatory but the choice of each student.
The cost of a home stay is Q500 per week in combination with Spanish classes. If you don’t take Spanish classes, you can still stay in a host family, but the weekly cost
Guesthouse El Puente
A part of Celas Maya's attractive facility is the Guesthouse, El Puente, which is a small hostel used primarily for student residency. It is located in the rear part of the main Celas Maya school building, situated in a beautiful garden area. El Puente has 5 ample sized rooms with private bathrooms. Each room has a new, full size bed.
The rates for the hostel are calculated per night per person, but there also are special monthly rates available (about Q60 per day). The kitchen is shared and fully equipped, and there is a beautiful sunny garden for the guests of the hostel.
For students who register in advance online, a $30 USD registration fee plus a $3 processing fee is required. This $33 is in addition to the cost of tuition, it is not a deposit that will later be subtracted from tuition payments. The $33 is required to pay per person, after submitting your application form. We use Paypal for this payment.
Payment of the registration fee guarantees a space for you as an applicant and helps to cover the maintenance of the web page, promotion, brochures, mailings, phone calls and other general expenses. It also allows us to confirm your studies in advance and gives us time to pair you with the teacher and host family that we think will be the best match for you. This payment is only for the advanced registration fee; you will not be charged at all for tuition until you arrive here at the school. Students who choose not to register in advance may visit our office for registration; space is granted on an as-available basis.
Payment is expected on your first day of classes of the each week.
For an indication in US Dollar, $1 is approx. Q7.50
| Volunteering and internships in the medical field
|| Weekly Rate $150USD
| 25 hours Spanish with Homestay
|| Weekly Rate Q2180.00
| 20 hours Spanish with Homestay
|| Weekly Rate Q2002.00
| 15 hours Spanish with Homestay
|| Weekly Rate Q1824.00
Jefferson student Reports/Journals - Celas Maya