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Foto Gallery Don Pedro de Alvarado Spanish School

School description:
Located a few steps from La Merced church, Don Pedro de Alvarado Spanish School has students learning in a Japanese garden with little bridges over narrow fish ponds. Trees have grown and the ambiance is nice and shady, which makes the hot summer months pleasant. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson have supposedly studied here. The heart of the school is the big cafeteria - kitchen - bar, where students - mentored by Caty and Lety - learn how to prepare delicious local dishes. The best school for Guatemalan lifestyle and social networking in Antigua. Host families are carefully sought out. Food and hospitality are excellent and family members go out of their way to talk to guests. Internet gratis.

The school offers various teaching modes adapted to your needs: Spanish for travelers, for immigrants, exam coaching for university students, medical Spanish and teaching to children. You may take FSI and ACTFL foreign proficiency exams that can help you to obtain employment and/or university credits.

The school is recommended for families with children. They are in good hands, have a great time and learn a lot!
This school was founded in 1972 by Juan and Caty Galindo.
Total immersion in Antigua: good if you avoid other foreigners while studying Spanish.

Teachers and students









There are 15 fix teachers. New teachers are required to have a high school grade and are being trained during 3 months. They have 7 to 20 years of experience. The director has a good sense for matching teachers with students. If you spend 20 hours one-on-one with a teacher its very important to be a good team. Teachers are mostly female and there are some real intellectuals among them.

Location









Located a few steps from La Merced church, the school has a travel agency in the front and a Japanese garden with little bridges over narrow fish ponds in the back. Avocado trees have grown and the ambiance is nice and shady, which makes the hot summer months pleasant. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson have supposedly studied here. There is also a big kitchen - bar, where students - mentored by Caty and Letti - prepare delicious food.

Methods and Materials







Teachers assemble their own materials like mini-dialogues, the textbook "Spanish One Year", and materials in other languages. The school uses blackboards. Teacher always show up with a prepared lesson plan and flash cards. Students are supplied paper and refreshments during class. There is a library with books in various languages for students use.

Activities









On Tuesday′s the school provides a lunch with typical Guatemalan food, beverages, and dancing with a salsa/merengue teacher. There is a similar fiesta on Thursday nights for dinner. The warm and vivid ambience around the school′s open air kitchen is the magnet of this place - an ideal opportunity to meet find new friends with whom to share a meal and to travel. Local foods prepared at this school taste exquisitely because Caty and Letti are gourmets. Caty teaches students some neat cookery tricks. You will make the best guacamole in your hometown. Despite of all the other activities the school offers, these parties are the most popular. Afternoon activities change each week: preparation of local food, Salsa and Merengue classes, tours to Macadamia and Coffee farms and a music museum etc. On weekends there are excursions offered, like bike tours and volcano trips. All in all the school offers the best activities of any school in Guatemala. Given that language learning is about communication, this is a big plus.

Host families









Host families help students improve their Spanish when they have meals together. Host families are well sought out and cost from $75 to $195 per week.
- Home stay program A: $75, host family outside the historical center of Antigua, shared bathroom. This is the good value option.
- Home stay program B: $135, Western standard home located in Central Antigua close to Don Pedro Spanish School. A host family where you enjoy a private bathroom costs $30 per week extra. An example is Doña Araminta Díaz, an elderly widow who has been highly acclaimed by her guests. She has two rooftop apartments and, even more important, a very good cook to spoil her guests.
- Home stay program C: $195, luxurious setting with WiFi and tv, colonial furniture, gourmet meals. Limited availability.

Antigua









In 1990 it was still a heap of rubble left over from a series of earthquakes which roll through from three volcanoes. Now Antigua is the artificial colonial showcase of Guatemala, serving as tourist base camp for the exploration of the interior. The Spanish Schools of Antigua are a bargain. Come as a blank piece of paper and go speaking Spanish and knowing Latin ways.
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