Join Us for a Spanish & Cultural Learning Course on Beautiful Lake Atitlán
Immerse Yourself in the Spanish Language & Guatemalan Culture
Hone your language skills while experiencing the magic of Guatemala during a five-day Spanish & Cultural Immersion Vacation in picturesque Santiago Atitlán, situated on Lake Atitlán, nestled between three volcanoes. It is home to nearly 60,000 Tz’utujil Maya whose culture permeates every aspect of life.
The course is hosted by Hospitalito Atitlán, a small nonprofit hospital bringing healthcare services to our Maya neighbors.
Spanish & Cultural Immersion Vacation Overview
- Five hours of Spanish conversational immersion per day (one-on-one), taught by local instructors.
- Pre-requisite: one year of Spanish.
- Small classes (no more than six participants/session).
- Open to everyone from high school graduates to retirees. Families are welcome.
- Introduction to modern indigenous Maya culture.
- Walking exploration of the town of Santiago Atitlán.
- Tour of a nonprofit Maya weaver’s cooperative.
- Accommodations at one of two local hotels: Eco Bambu or Tiosh Abaj.
- For those interested in full Spanish language immersion: Home stays with local families are available.
- Perfect winter or summer getaway — Daytime temperatures average 75 degrees with cool nights.
Hospital Atitlán has an amazing 40+ year history of providing health and hope to Maya families. Its story is one of triumph over adversity. Over this time, the Hospitalito has worked to bring affordable, quality healthcare to local residents — transcending civil war, violence, and natural disaster.
In 2010, Hospitalito Atitlán created a Spanish and cultural immersion CME/CNE course for healthcare professionals, which has been a huge success. Visitors to Santiago Atitlán and our website have been asking us to create a similar opportunity for tourists. The day has arrived. The new program launches in 2023.
Fee: $1,995 per person
Your Spanish & Cultural Immersion Learning Vacation will include:
- Ground transportation to and from Guatemala City.
- Single room accommodation at either Hotel Eco Bambu or Hotel Tiosh Abaj (depending on enrollment or availability).
- Contact us for information about charges for additional guests.
- One-on-one Spanish instruction.
- Cultural immersion:
- Introduction to Santiago Atitlán & its Maya culture.
- Walking exploration of the town.
- Tour of cottage industry weavers under the auspices of ’13 Batz (13 threads) a weaving cooperative.
- Films and discussions
- Guided tour with a Maya shaman
See below for course dates, FAQs & Registration Information.
2023 Course Dates
January 29th to February 4th
March 4 – 12th
April 2nd to 8th – Holy Week
July 23 to 28th – Enjoy the Patron Saint Fair
October 29th to November 4th – Visit the cemetery for Day of the Dead
Learn more about course details in the FAQs
- Complete the registration form.
- Pay the course fee.
- Note: Accommodations are limited and will not be booked until payment is received.
- Upon payment, you will receive a receipt and confirmation email.
- Cancellation policy: Cancellations received in writing 30 days prior to the first day of the course will be reimbursed 90 percent of the purchase price, 10% will be retained as a cancellation fee. 50 percent reimbursement can be made 15 days before the beginning of the course.
- Make travel arrangements to arrive in Guatemala City midday on the Sunday before your Spanish & Cultural Immersion Vacation begins.
- Free shuttle transport will be provided to Santiago Atitlán. It will return to Guatemala City on the following Saturday morning to accommodate midday flights.
- Purchase a textbook prior to arriving.
Arrival & Departure
- Arrive in Guatemala City midday on the Sunday before your Spanish & Cultural Immersion Vacation begins.
- Take free shuttle to Santiago Atitlan (three+ hour trip).
- Free shuttle will return to Guatemala City on the following Saturday morning.
- Lunch, Monday through Friday, is included in the course fee.
Spanish Language Instruction
- Spanish tutoring (one-on-one) will take place from 8am to lunch daily.
Activities & Excursions
- Day One
- Film, ‘Balancing the Cosmos’ introducing participants to Maya traditional culture.
- Walking tour of the town led by a local guide, including introduction to the use of medicinal plants with a Maya shaman.
- Day Two
- Discussion of traditional Maya medicine and the challenges to managing disease in the context of the Maya belief system.
- Visit textile cooperative in town
- Day Three
- Discussion with social worker regarding health seeking behavior.
- Day Four
- Award winning film, ‘Ixcanul’ and following discussion on: women’s issues in Guatemala, migration, Guatemalan Health care system and barriers for accessing healthcare.
- Day Five – Afternoon electives
- Tour of coffee production facility
- Boat tour to San Juan la Laguna (weather permitting)
- Guided hike to Chuitinamit, ancient capital of the Tz’utujile kingdom
- Guided bird watching tour
- Dugout canoe tour of water conservation program