Guatemaya Spanish School

Guatemaya Spanish School
7 mo. Callejón 1-22, Zona 1
San Pedro, Lake Atitlan
(+502)-4285-5015, 5691-3810
Rank 85.5%
Prices 175 USD for 20 hours of one-on-one tuition per week including host family with room and full board
100 USD for 20 hours of one-on-one tuition per week without host family
Study one hour daily more or less: add or subtract about USD 20 per week.
School Size 1 - 10 students
Openings This school currently has openings!
Summary This small school and its home stays are located in a beautiful part of San Pedro, just up the hill from the lake front and the touristy scene. The school is laid back, enjoyable and fun. Authentic snacks during the coffee break were a nice touch. For those who want to get to know something about Maya Tzutujil culture, Guatemaya Spanish School is especially recommended. Classes are taken on the second floor in a open space overlooking the center of town and the beautiful Lake Atitlán. I know that the view does not help you to learn Spanish, but it is really stupendous.
The school was founded in 2005 and formerly was named Flor del Maiz Spanish School.
Spanish immersion in San Pedro Center is good - you are surrounded by locals who get a kick out of improving your Spanish.

The school will ask you for a registration fee of $40. Example: You pay your registration fee of $40, and then you only pay $135 instead of $165 for your first week of tuition and host family. The local bank only changes 50 and 100 $-bills! Do not take small bills!

With a timely registration, the school can assign you the best teacher from its list. (Contact us for group discounts).
 Photo Gallery of Guatemaya Spanish School (click here)

Guatemaya Spanish School - Details

Teachers There are 5 permanent teachers. The teachers have an average experience of 5 years minimum. Some of them have gained their experience teaching at other schools. Classes are taken on the second floor in a open space overlooking the center of town and the beautiful Lake Atitlán. ...more
Methods Methods are similar to other schools in Guatemala, one-on-one. Teachers also tailor lessons to meet each student needs. ...more
Materials Photocopied papers, old text books and literature are used in teaching. There is a small library with about 50 books including literature texts.
Location Lessons take place in the top story of a home in San Pedro center. ...more
Activities There are three extracurricular activities per week: a conference, a documentary show, and a dinner for students (every two weeks). ...more
Host Families Host families earn a good $75 per week. You will be placed with one of three experienced Maya Tzutujil families for full immersion. Families host no more than two students at a time during busier periods. Most of the families will go out of their way to make students feel comfortable and welcome to their house. Host families are praised by most students here. ...more
Airport Pick-Up Service Guatemaya offers you two transportation options from the airport to San Pedro: With a private taxi, Guatemaya will pick you up at any time. The price is $130 and the trip will take about 3 hours.
The alternative is public transport in a ′chicken bus′ between 8 AM and 2 PM. The school will send a teacher to meet you, and he/she will pay for the taxi to the bus station and all bus fees. The trip takes about 5 hours. The price for this service is $60.
How to get there How get there If arriving by public transportation, get off at the corner in front of the park and ask locals for the Guatemaya Spanish School. If you arrive by boat, please call the school or take a taxi (tuc-tuc) and ask the driver to take you to the school, up near the central park. Do not take a "guide", because he will ask the school for a percentage of your fee.

Students' Feedback

Jack Chen
02 / 2019
At Guatemaya Spanish School, the view of the lake from the school is very beautiful. The teachers are basically one-on-one. They can adjust the content of the class according to the needs of the students. The teachers are also very good. The price is also relatively cheap in this area. The school, I have been on this side for 2 weeks, I think it is not bad, it is worth recommending.
Ross Montfort
02 / 2019
My name is Ross and I am an American small business owner in my thirties. I studied at Guatemaya Spanish School for 14 consecutive days in December 2018. I completed 4 hours of one on one tutoring per day. Being a student there was a worthwhile use of my time and I would recommend the school to others. I have studied at Spanish schools in the United States, Argentina, and Guatemala.
Guatemaya is a small Spanish school, which is great because they tailor the program to fit your needs. A lot of the bigger Spanish schools in San Pedro offer little or no flexibility on the hours of instruction or the course of instruction. Guatemaya is different. Guatemaya spends a lot of time assessing the strong and weak points of your proficiency and creating a program specifically for you. Guatemaya also gave me flexible hours and the schedule I wanted, which was 2 hours in the early morning and 2 hours in the late afternoon. At my request, I even had Spanish lessons on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! The school works overtime to make sure you get what you want.
The owner Javi invited me over to his house for Christmas Day dinner with his delightful family. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I really appreciated him going the extra mile to make sure I felt welcome in Guatemala during the holidays. I’ve attached a picture to this review showing my Christmas meal with them.
The last thing I would like to compliment on is the ideal location of the school. The school is about a 5 minute walk from the tourist zone. The tourist zone is filled with noise and distractions. It is quite difficult to pay full attention to your instruction when there is constant activity and stereos blaring at high volume. Thankfully, a 5 minute walk to the Guatemaya school is far enough away to avoid the chaos. At the same time, the school close enough for it to be easy to get a great lunch or dinner in the tourist zone after class. The school, located on top of a hill, has a million dollar view of the lake which is quite motivational during your studies.
Lorette Medwell
04 / 2016
Hola! I studied at Guatemaya Spanish School this past Feb. This is the third school I have attended in Guatemala. My experience was very positive. My teacher Jose is excellent & lovely person, informed & open-minded. He helped me progress where needed in my learning, and also taught me a lot about Mayan culture & history.
My host family, the Gonzalez-Tuchs, were wonderful. I did not get the 'boarding house' feeling one sometimes gets, but rather was made to feel like a special friend visiting. Vegetarians will find Conchita very receptive to learning vegetarian options. The two children were well behaved & a treat to be with.
San Pedro has a large touristy area, but if you chose to live with a family, spend time with them, and stay mostly in the locals' town, you will get a full immersion experience, which can not be beat for learning a language.
Lorette Medwell, a Cdn in Florida
Jonathan Rorech
06 / 2014
I was extremely impressed with the Guatemaya Spanish School and the home stay. Both Jose, the director the school, and Javier, my teacher and family host were extremely professional and communicative throughout the entire process. The school and homes are in a beautiful, local part of town, just up the hill from the lake front and the touristy scene. Javier and his family were very welcoming and friendly, providing everything we needed, including 3 meals a day and 7 nights in our own large private room. Their house also has a rooftop patio, providing amazing panoramic views over the town, lake and mountains.
Javier was a very helpful and instrumental part of my learning process, working with me for 4 hours a day, then requiring me to complete 2-3 hours of additional homework and study each evening.
The school itself sits over the lake with wonderful views, water, coffee and snacks. From what I saw and from talking with the other students, all of the teachers did a superb job in their instructional ability with the students.

This school is by far the best place in town for value, experience and a learning environment. Check-in to the school was extremely easy and communicative.
William & Christopher Zang
05 / 2014
Lo pase bien en San Pedro en casa con Javier y su familia en Guatemaya Spanish School. Estudie por una semana en San Pedro y me gusto la ubicacion de la escuela porque no esta en gringolandia. Es decir que cuando estudias en esta escuela estas mas en la zona de los guatemaltecos que con los demas gringos que van para estudiar en San Pedro. El mercado queda muy cerca. La casa de Javier esta conveniente. Su familia es bien agradable tambien. Lola es una mujer graciosa y amigable y ella cocina bien y si tiene algunas preferencias con respecto a la dieta, ella se conforma con tus deseos--por ejemplo yo soy vegetariano y ella me preparo comidas sin carne. En fin, recomiendo que Uds. vayan pa estudiar español en esta escuela. Es una escuela humilde con buenos maestros.
Julia Bale
01 / 2013
My teacher was called Javier and he is also the director of Guatemaya Spanish School (formerly Flor del Maiz Spanish School). He was a really great teacher and a really interesting guy. I learnt so much, along side Spanish language, such as Mayan history and religion, local environmental issues and recent Guatemalan history. We had a salsa class one evening- with the other students, a guided tour of the surrounding area and on the last night a really good bbq and a trip to the fiesta in the next town - lots of fun!
We stayed with Javier and his family, which was really comfortable, great food and friendly.
I would really recommend the school, especially having spoken to other travellers since who studied elsewhere. I loved the fact it was a really small school, so very personal and friendly. It was also laid back enough to be enjoyable and fun but organized enough to learn a lot - they have a really good balance there.
Correspondence with the school was smooth and helpful, despite the very short notice on our behalf.
11 / 2011
Flor del Maiz was a great little school, with a nice view of San Pedro too boot. The instruction was based upon what I wanted to learn rather then the usual format of a language course. Authentic snacks during the coffee break were a nice touch. All in all a really helpful atmosphere and nice place to learn Spanish in.
Ian Green
01 / 2010
I studied at Flor del Maiz Spanish School for 6 weeks last year. I was learning Spanish and after studying in Antigua and Xela I returned to San Pedro as I prefered the school's teaching which was conversational and lesson time passed quickly with my maestro (teacher) who made the most of my Spanish and helped me build it up.
I was keen to do some teaching myself and the school helped me organize a placement in the local school where I supported and "team taught" with their English teacher which was a great experience.
The school offered a really friendly homestay and also helped me arrange local rented accommodation for a month when I decided to stay longer. I have really fond memories of the teachers of Flor del Maiz and would recommend it for a personalized, high quality language learning experience.
Ian Green - England
Pauline Dumont
01 / 2009
Hello, I had the pleasure of studying two weeks at the school Flor del Maiz in San Pedro. I recommend it for their professionalism, the individual attention and the relaxed ambience. I take home an enriched level of the Spanish language, of Mayan culture and numerous personal discoveries. The school is located in a quiet part of the village and lessons are held in a pretty garden. Though the school supports two Community projects, there is no pressure to participate in them. Several accompanied activities are organized free of charge. I especially appreciated walking in the mountain, visiting points of interests of the village and meeting people at coffee breaks. There was a small beach not far from the school, where I could relax while admiring the nearby volcanoes. It was my third experience of linguistic stay in Latin America and I must confess that it was the best. Pauline Beaubien Dumont. Canada.
Sarah Safford
07 / 2008
I also, had a great week of lessons at Flor del Maiz Spanish School in San Pedro, La Laguna. This is a small, friendly school with a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere, in a peaceful, beautiful setting. The two men who run the school are excellent people with a strong commitment to social activism and a vision of how they can work toward positive change in their ′Pueblo′, town. My teacher was a lovely young Mayan woman with a good sense of humour and a lot of knowledge about her culture and current events in Guatemala. We had some interesting discussions and I learned a lot of Spanish while building my conversation skills. The family we stayed with was warm and welcoming and they fed us well. I learned how to make tortillas and taught my house mother how to make pesto. There were good snacks and delicious coffee every day and a few fun activities in the afternoons. My godson and I also volunteered in the organic garden, learning about the reforestation projects and growing local produce. The total experience was wonderful and I would recommend this school highly for anyone interested in an authentic immersion in Spanish language and Guatemalan culture. Gracias, Sarah.
Elaine Toogood
10 / 2006
Hi, I ended up choosing a school called Flor Del Maiz in San Pedro. I studied there for 3 weeks and stayed with a host family. My teacher was excellent and the family stay really wonderful. The school has some great programs happening with children and growing organic food for sustainable community development. All the people studying at the school were great and we had many family meals together, dancing, lake visits etc. I highly recommend this school!! Thanks, Elaine
Jessie McVeagh
04 / 2005
Now I am studying at Flor Del Maiz also in San Pedro. I have been here now for about three months, as this school not only teaches the Spanish language, but the teachers have an interest in sharing their Tzutujil-Mayan culture, conservation, organic gardening, and political issues. Yes, that′s why I moved schools when Jose did. The family was fine, great food, but the location was very noisy, and I moved to my own rented room.