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Foto Gallery San Pedro Spanish School

School description:
San Pedro Spanish School is well managed and has an excellent location at the edge of the lake. Students and teachers work in shelters surrounded by volcanic rocks and tropical vegetation and enjoy a beautiful view to the lake. Teachers are dedicated and professional. They have been trained and selected by the IGA, and teach through the use of engaging exercises and games. Afternoon activities are varied and well done. Management is sincere and strict, there are no emergency teachers hired.
The school runs the social project Niños del Lago, aimed at helping the less fortunate children of the community.
The school also offers host families with private bath, this costs $15 extra.
Founded in 1997.
San Pedro Spanish School has a branch in San Marcos, which has the same quality of teaching and activities. San Marcos is laid back, relaxing and beautiful.
Total immersion in Atitlán is good if you dont hang out with other students which is hard to avoid. Recommended!

Teachers and students









Teachers earn about $50 (half day) / $90 (full day) per week.They have an average of six years of experience teaching Spanish as a second language to foreigners and have earned their teaching degree at the Rural University of Guatemala (URL). Also, the IGA (Instituto Guatemalteco Americano) is teaching English to the teachers so they can cope better with beginners.
See details for recommended instructors! Teachers are all in their mid twenties. New teachers study for one week first with an experienced teacher, for a second week they observe tuition, and in the third week they give classes under observation. This is a very practical approach to teacher training. The IGA (Instituto Guatemalteco Americano) is training teachers in methods, grammar and culture. The school is searching to upgrade teachers quality and downgrade the size of the school.

Location









Study takes place on platforms with little thatched shadow roofs within a well groomed garden. The garden is a beautiful estate with bungalows and ornamental plants. There is a Cafeteria and a activity/movie room. The school is situated in the centre of the tourist part of San Pedro, right at the beach of Lake Atitlán. Probably the most beautiful school in Guatemala. In the close vicinity there are thermal baths, horse riding and canoeing. Since the water level of the lake has been growing recently, the volleyball court on the lake side has vanished.

Methods and Materials









The following textbooks are used: Amsco I,II,III, IV; Pensar y Aprender (think and learn) I,II,III; Planeta I,II,III,IV. Additionally, the teachers used the schools own text manual. Library: good. Video library: good.
WiFi for students who bring their laptop! Teachers also use blackboards and some teachers develop their own study materials.

Activities









School activities free of charge include: talks on interesting topics in Spanish, hikes, videos, visits to local villages, volcanoes and attractive sites. Dancing: Salsa and Merengue. Activities are for free: Monday presentation of new students, Tuesday a video, Wednesday there are Salsa lessons, Thursday there is a lecture on local topics like the growth of corn or the guerrilla war, or weaving classes, Friday night there is graduation party. On Saturdays you go on excursions: You climb volcanoes, walk along the lake or go to Chichicastenango (may incur a additional cost).

Volunteering









The school offers the option of working with the "Proyecto Niños del Lago" which is run by the school and student volunteers. It is a program to assist health, welfare, and education of 37 very disadvantaged kids and teenagers from San Pedro that have been provided with an scholarship by donors (often ex-students). Since the water level of the lake has been growing recently, "Proyecto Niños del Lago" is not anymore at the lake side but in a house at 100 m distance from the school. By far the greatest need in the project is for self-starter volunteers who can stay for a while and help with morning/afternoon tuition of the kids in Inglish, computing and overseeing homework. This is a good additional opportunity to speak Spanish and to get to know more Guatemalan people.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan









When the hippies migrated south, they discovered their paradise: Lake Atitlan. A huge volcanic cauldron, filled with water, because three volcanoes clog the drainage to the Pacific ocean. Around the lake there are 12 idyllic Indian villages, named after the 12 apostles.
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