Muqb´ilb´e Spanish School

Muqb´ilb´e Spanish School
6 Ave 5-39, Zone 3
Rank 85%
Prices 200 USD for 20 hours of one-on-one tuition per week including host family with room and full board
130 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 1-12 students
Openings Mucbilbe is small and fills up fast during high season. Please be sure to register in time for the high season months of June, July and August! This way the school can reserve one of their best teachers for you.
Summary Muqb´ilb´e is a well hidden school in a nice backyard garden. The director Jaime Macz, as well as his six allied teachers have a long standing experience in the Spanish instruction. In conversation class, newly learnt grammar and verbs are being practiced right away - making tuition very effective. Enjoy this family ambiance, solid teaching, well sought out host families and sporadic activities accompanied by Jaime himself - making them an extra Spanish class. In this school you are in good hands!
Founded in 1993 by Oscar G. Macz.
Total immersion in Cobán is very good, because there are not many tourists.

It is recommended that future students give at least two weeks advance notice, to allow time to make all necessary arrangements. Especially, for busy times like summer, end and beginning of year!
Upon paying the reservation fee, the school gives you a $10 discount per week on tuition.

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

Muqb´ilb´e Spanish School - Details

Teachers There are six teachers with an average of 8 to 12 years of experience. Teachers earn US$65 per week. ...more
Methods As it is normal in most of the Spanish schools in Guatemala, this school employs one-on-one Spanish instruction, which has proven to be very effective in the students rapid advance in the Spanish language. In conversation class, newly learnt grammar and verbs are being practiced right away. Tuition is very tailor-made and individual.
Materials The school has quite a collection of Spanish textbooks, which staff knows intimately and uses depending the situation, blackboards are also used in instruction. ...more
Location Located in the Eastern part of Cobán, you enter a driveway at the end of which you step into an enclosed garden with big somber trees and a corridor with a series of four cubicles. Cubicles are neat and quiet with big blackboards and windows, well ventilated and without any interference.
Activities Although there are very nice activities offered, it depends very much on the weather and on whether an instructor or director Jaime have time to accompany you. So, please do not count on activities. ...more
Host Families The families that work with the school, have being sought out and trained by the director himself. ...more
How to get there How get there The school is located one block before the Chiú bridge, which leads to eastern Cobán or San Juan Chamelco

Students' Feedback

Cameron Rowlands
02 / 2016
I arrived at Muqb´ilb´e Spanish School with very little ability in the language, apart from basic traveller vocabulary. After only three weeks with Jaime I feel significantly more confident - I can speak in present, past and future tenses along with progressive and imperative and my vocubulary is now functional. I also know have a solid base from which to continue to learn independantly as I continue to travel.
Jaime is a great instructor - it is clear immediately he has significant experience, his lessons are well-thought out and follow a logical progression and most importantly he is a friendly person who is easy to get along with. To supplement the lessons he involves every day stories and engages in a fun and interesting conversation, applying the skills we had been reviewing. He has a gift for speaking very clearly to make himself easily understood to beginner ears and he somehow seems to remember exactly what words have already been covered, providing english translations when he hits words he expects me not to know. He is receptive to questions and willing to tailor the lessons to the desires and needs of his students. I cannot say enough positives about his character and his skills as an instructor.
Coban is a great place to learn spanish. The town is big and has all the amenities one could need. There is countless touristy activities nearby that provide the ability to turn any afternoon into an adventure (Quetzal Biotope, Rey Marcos Caves, Parwue Las Victorias, Local Football team, the list goes on). The town feels extremely safe, the people are friendly and best of all there is very few English speakers around to provide temptation to cheat the regimen. It is a great place for immersion. In addition, Jaime has found some great families to partner with his school - I was able to meet two of these families (although only stayed with one) and they were friendly, easy going and provided me with great meals and a comfortable place to sleep.
All in all, I give top marks to this institution and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning spanish in Guatemala. I understand there is plenty of great schools, but this one is definitely in that group.
Samuel Füchtbauer
10 / 2015
I went to Muqb´ilb´e Spanish School for a total of three weeks and can honestly say the school with the unpronounceable name taught me the Spanish language. When I arrived I had already learnt Spanish in school for two years but could barely have a proper conversation with locals, at the end of my stay I was able to discuss any matter, be it complex or not.
My teacher, Jaime, is a great guy and made it very easy for me to bond with him, which made the learning a lot easier and of course a lot more pleasant. He knows what he's doing and accelerates the learning process by talking exclusively Spanish but also being able to explain a word in English in case all Spanish explanations fail.
I had the luck to live with the family of the operator of this site in Cobán which was a truly amazing experience, it being the probably greatest family I have ever met.
I don't have anything else to add, in my opinion Cobán is the best choice for a stay in Guatemala as the climate there is just perfect, warm but not too hot days and cool nights which make it easy to sleep well.
Iben Nielsen
12 / 2011
Muqbilbe Spanish School was absolutely amazing. Jaime and Sandra welcomed me into their home and treated me like family from day one and were always helpful when I was planning day trips, needed a route for running and insights into Guatemalan life and culture. Blanca, my teacher was a phenomenal woman, experienced teacher and extremely good at explaining even the hardest grammar and words to me. She did an outstanding job of incorporating my life and interests into the daily routine. Rosita and her entire family were warm and welcoming and always catered to my needs, accompanied me to the various posadas in town, made sure I was comfortable and happy, the kids were a lot fun and a good source of practicing my Spanish.
I went on day trips to surrounding towns, caves and just enjoyed licuados (shakes) in the town center.
Tom Swenson-Healey
04 / 2011
Hi, I attended Muqbilbe Spanish School in Coban for 3 weeks as a beginning Spanish student. Coban is a great city for total Spanish immersion. You encounter very few other English speakers so it is easier to keep your focus on learning Spanish. I would not recommend Coban if you are interested in meeting other travelers and partying every night. The city is very safe, the climate comfortable, the people very friendly and the outdoor markets are filled with fresh tropical fruits and vegetables.
Jaime is the Muqbilbe school director. He was always very accommodating to my needs. He set me up with a very nice host family, Rosanna and Tito. I had one-on one instruction at the school from Jaime and another Maestro, named Walter. Instruction was entirely in Spanish, but Jaime and Walter are very experienced teachers and knew how to guide me through lessons.
The school setting is very quiet, with the classroom facing an inner courtyard. Everyday during a break from lessons, I would sit with Jaime, his mother Sandra and their dog, Tiny, for coffee, pan and conversation.
I learned quite a bit of Spanish in the 3 weeks at Muqbilbe Spanish School. I still have a way to go in my goal of Spanish fluency, but I highly recommend the school to others.
Coban is a nice city, located off the tourist circuit. Great environment for language immersion. Regards, Tom.
03 / 2011
Muqb'ilb'e Spanish School is the best school that I've studied in, in Central America. The teacher was by far the most professional and the lessons were often interesting and relevant. The garden of the school is a magical place where you can relax at break time and eat the home baking supplied by Jamie's mom. There are an array of entertaining animal personalities to meet as well.
The homestay was very good quality. Excellent food, bed, privacy and helpful.
The only other school I saw in Coban was a large corporate affair which seems to have tried to monopolize the market there. This is a crime as Muqb'ilb'e Spanish School is a bargain and the best classes you will get in Central America.
Jamie really knows what he is doing and can also advise on trips and tours in the area.
Cobán is a safe town with all the shops and services most people would need. There are beautiful mountains and tours nearby. You can take a day trip or go for longer. Its only a few hours form Guatemala city so very accessible. Regards.
Frank Parker
12 / 2010
I studied in Guatemala for 7 weeks total and felt all my teachers and schools were very good, however, my expierence in Coban was the best. Coban sees few tourist so the time there was truly an immersion expierence. My instructors were exellent. Jamie is a jokester with a good sense of humor but also very serious and dedicated about teaching. Wendoly is very warm and patient but also firm when necessary. I feel that I was really making progress in the week I was at Muqb′ilb′e Spanish School and when I return to Guatemala next year I intend to study here for a much longer time.
11 / 2010
I did enjoy the study with my teacher Walter at, Muqb'ilb'e Spanish School. Also, the host family of Roxana and Tito was OK. But the food was day by day less.
Check-in to the school was smooth and helpful!! And thank You for Your patience. I had a great time in Coban and in Guatemala at least with a bit more knowledge of Spanish and the country.
Hanna Lindley-Jones
10 / 2010
I was at Muqb'ilb'e Spanish School in Cobán, for two weeks in October 2010. It was my first school in Guatemala and I was really glad that I had read the reviews on this site and chosen this school. Since it was low season, I was the only student at the school which meant that it really threw me in at the deep end since it was only Spanish at my home (the lovely Yalibat-Bran family), as well as in school all day.
In the end, I only spent two weeks at the school and then moved to study in Quetzaltenango. Both schools were good but I can say without a doubt that I learned more in the two weeks with Jaime than in the four weeks in Xela. I moved on because I was looking for a bit more of a 'happening' place than Coban but I think now that I should have stayed a bit longer. Although there was not much night life or social life to speak of, I did learn a great deal of Spanish in a very short time and was very lucky to immediately be made to feel part of my host family.
I would definitely recommend Muqb'ilb'e Spanish School to those people who are serious about learning Spanish and not so bothered about going out and meeting other foreigners. Jaime is a lovely guy and has a very good teaching style and his mother is lovely as well. One word of warning though - the classrooms are outside and in the autumn/winter it is not always that warm, so make sure you bring some warm clothes (I was not very prepared for this!).
Correspondence with the school was smooth and helpful. Very easy. Regards, Hanna.
Tabitha Chester
06 / 2010
Hello, during my time in Coban in June of 2010 I studied at the Muqb′ilb′e Spanish School. I met the director of the school the Sunday evening I arrived and he walked me to my host family's house. I stayed with the Morales family. Yohana treated me like I was a part of the family. She gave me ample opportunities to practice my Spanish, she invited me along with her during her errands. The family was so patient with my Spanish speaking. They were all enthusiastic about “helping” me with my homework and showing me their knowledge of English. I spent most evenings playing with their two girls and talking with Yohana.
My teacher was Nabila. She was PHENOMENAL! The hours went by with ease. She was able to figure out my Spanish level with a short test on the first day. She was able to create a good balance of grammar exercise, vocabulary and conversation throughout our lesson. There were plenty of instructional materials for all levels. I attended 3 Spanish schools during my time in Guatemala I can honestly say that my instructor and host family here, were the best I have experience. They exceeded all of my expectations. As far as activities with the school I would suggest you plan your own. That was the only thing lacking in my experience. The director’s mother created such a warm atmosphere at the school and prepared tea and snacks for us during our breaks. I can’t say enough how amazing my experience in Coban was, I barely notice the constant rain. Regards, Tabitha Chester.
Brian Tyler
07 / 2009
Hi, I studied at Muqb′ilb′e Spanish School in Coban for six weeks. I have maintained constant contact with the director, Jaime Macz, since my time there. My Spanish absolutely improved. I had previously taken five semesters of college level Spanish courses (four regular semesters and one summer session) at the University of Florida; yet, I can honestly say that I feel that I learned more and grew more comfortable speaking Spanish in the six short weeks I was at the school than I had during all of those semesters. My host family (which I will discuss below) contributed immensely to this outcome, as well. My program was one-on-one with the teacher -- in my case, Mr. Macz -- for four hours a day, five days a week; however, I know that they are flexible and willing to work with the students′ needs, whether it be more/less time or group lessons. Each student takes a brief "test" that gives the teacher a rough sense of what the student already knows, for the questions progress from very rudimentary to progressively more advanced skill levels. I imagine that each teacher has a slightly different teaching philosophy, so I will give you an example of my typical day with Mr. Macz; I would arrive in the morning, and our day would start with some questions: What did you do yesterday? Did you see the fútbol (soccer) game? How are you feeling being away from home? Etc... He always asked, if I had any general questions (i.e., about expressions I heard, the difference between words, problems in Coban) and then we would usually go over the homework assignment from the night before, which was related to the previous day′s lesson and was always a useful way to ease back into the lesson(s)... Indeed, life in Guatemala was a constant focus of lessons (both in and outside of the classroom). As I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology, beginning my dissertation fieldwork in Guatemala, Mr. Macz made sure to always include discussions with me about the details of my project and his thoughts and ideas about my research questions. I stayed with a host family, and I am so happy that I did. My family was accustomed to having students stay with them, and it was a wonderful way to get acclimated to the country and to life in Coban. Not only did they willingly include me in aspects of their busy lives, but they were very encouraging and, at times, forced me to practice what I had been learning when, I might otherwise have tried to hide away for some peace and quiet (and non-Spanish downtime). I know that there are a number of families associated with the school; however, I can only state that the family I stayed with was a great reflection on the school and of Guatemala in general. For after school activities, we had at least two out-of-the-classroom activities each week, with most Saturdays taken up by an all-day activity. For instance, among my adventures, I went to the Quetzal Biotopo, the Orchid Farm (Vivero Verapaz), the Sachichaj park waterfall, the Rey Marcos cave park, the church in Tac Tic, a coffee plantation, etc. Because he knew that my dissertation research involves work with a community of returned refugees, he also showed some movies about the conflict here and in El Salvador. I also had some problems and needs related to my research project, and he always helped me solve those problems himself (by helping me find contacts, taking me to the market, etc.), as well as introducing me to good places to eat around the city, stores to shop at, and the prices in the market. As I said earlier, I unequivocally recommend this school. I have visited Coban in the past and I visited a number of schools, both Guatemalan-run and the more corporate programs (a la Oxford), but, I was immediately taken with the hospitality and professional, yet laid-back, nature of the Muqb’ilb’e School. The school itself sits aside a beautiful and pleasant garden, filled with a variety of animals (both wild and domestic), trees, and flowers, and set back from the street and, hence, the noise of city life. Though my own personal experience has been with Mr. Macz, I also met two other teachers there, who were both kind, funny, patient, and quick to correct my many mistakes; I should add that they also both helped me with aspects of my project. I am more happy than I expected to be with my language school experience and I know my research will benefit as a result. I only wish I could have spent a couple more weeks learning Spanish there or, perhaps, that I could have studied Q′eqchi, which they also teach at the school. Perhaps next time... I would also like to add that Mr. Macz and his mother, Sandra, have become two of my closest personal friends in Guatemala as a result of my time there and I have already returned to Coban from my field site specifically to see them, as they are now confidantes and supporters of my goals in research and life. I really can not express enough how important my brief time at the school has been for me. Entering into a foreign environment, filled with all of the self-doubts that, I assume and hope, most graduate students have entering into the field, I hesitate to imagine where I would be without the training, guidance, and friendship I gained at the school. I would like to do so. Regards, Brian Tyler.
Ben Jorgensen
07 / 2009
Hello, I studied for two weeks at Muqb′ilb′e Spanish School in Coban. I had a good instructor, and his name was Jaime. Study materials were fine. My Spanish showed vast improvement, going from no knowledge of Spanish to being sufficient for discussions on subjects including local politics and geography. I stayed with David Unger′s family and consider my time with his family a valuable experience. I would recommend the school to others. Thanks, Ben.
Hiroshi Nakata
06 / 2009
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban for 1 week on 15th June, 2009. My Spanish indeed improved a lot. My teacher was really professional. Sometimes with the text book and sometimes only orally. During the coffee break, staff of the school, other teachers and other students join and chatted in Spanish. Even in those periods teachers kindly gave us corrections. It was really enjoyable and useful lessons. The host families also had good understandings of foreign students and are very helpful. I was in Guatemala for a project and I attended the class during the project, therefore, after the class I continued my project. I would definitely recommend this school. I hope my answers help. Best regards, Hiroshi Nakata, Japanese.
Nathalie Parra
04 / 2009
Hello, I wanted to inform you about my stay in Coban; I went to a school called Escuela de Español Muqb′ilb′e and had spanish courses with Jaime Macz, who is the manager of the school. He′s a young but very professional guy; he′s very patient and good teacher. I really improved my spanish. The place is simple, but very nice and quiet; furthermore, the one week of lessons (4 hours a day = 20 hours in total) includes 2 extra activities (visits to places on demand). The school also arranges your stay in a local family; I had a great time there and personally recommend this school. Best regards, Nathalie Parra.
Jeffrey Blumenthal
01 / 2009
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban for one week. I studied in the last week of January 2009. My Spanish improved a lot. Jaime was awesome. I cannot speak highly enough about him - one of the best language teachers I′ve ever had. He moves at a rapid-fire pace, which I enjoyed and suited me well. He is patient, engaging, sweet, personable and interested in the lives of his students. He′s a young guy in his 30′s and grew up there and knows the local haunts. I cannot count the number of times he said, "bueno, chico". I did not stay with a host family. For after school activities, Jaime and I went to an absolutely gorgeous and secluded waterfall one day, but other than that there wasn′t much happening, I think it was kind of a slow week. I also, spend my first 3 weeks in Guatemala at another school in Xela. The teachers and students and staff there are all wonderful, kind, engaging people, but I was not having quite the experience I was hoping for, so I decided to travel some. (Of course, only then did I realize how much Spanish I′d learned!). I ended up in Coban with one week left in the country and landed at the Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School through an odd series of events. It turned out to be wonderful - lovely, open air setting -- the school is adjacent to his mother′s house and they share a beautiful yard, like a tiny jungle/garden paradise behind the city streets. We would take a casual tea and biscuit break every day in his mom′s kitchen (his mother is also wonderful and kind and pedagogic) and would talk about culture, music, politics, our families or anything else. And he has an adorable dog named "tiny"! There is a fantastic museum of Mayan artifacts a block or two from the school. I loved Coban, even though people (including Jaime) warned me that there were too many tourists to be truly immersed, but I didn′t find that to be a serious problem and probably easily overcome by staying with a host family and exploring. The beauty and culture of Coban made the tourist-heavy town worth it, anyway. I wish I had spent all 4 weeks there and would love to go back! I would absolutely recommend this school. Thanks for the website. It is a good resource. Regards, Jeffrey.
Laura Allison
06 / 2008
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban for one week in June of 2008. My Spanish did improved, I was at a very, very basic level and left there with a bigger vocabulary. My teacher, Jaime, was very patient! He would speak only in Spanish, which helped to be fully immersed. We played a game to help with vocabulary. He knew how to start basic and moved at a great pace. I was living at about one block from the school and the host family was amazing! My brother and I were very welcomed! For after school activities, we went to caves with our instructor. My brother has since, gone back to the area just to visit our instructors. They were that amazing. I would recommend this school to anyone! In Guatemala, I had experience at two schools, and this one by far was my favourite. Coban is a great setting and Jaime and his mom were extremely welcoming. It is a great learning environment with very dedicated teachers. Sincerely, Laura.
David White
06 / 2008
Hello, we studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban, for one week in June of 2008. Our Spanish did improved a lot. My teacher mainly worked on word study, vocabulary, verb clarification, conversation, local expressions, etc. We did not stay with a host family, because we live in Coban. We personally did not have time for extra activities after school. I would recommend this school, small school but very welcoming. We will study there again if time permits. Sincerely, David.
Ramon Ellenbroek
03 / 2008
We just finished our Spanish classes at the Escuela de Español Muqb´ilbe in Coban. We studied there for two weeks. Coban really is a good city to study Spanish, you have to talk Spanish since there are no tourist or other people who talk English. The school gave us two intensive weeks of Spanish in a nice atmosphere. We had two teachers (we were with two persons and both had our own teacher), both were good. They have 15 years of experience, so they know what they are doing! Study materials were fine (English - Spanish lesson books were used). The host family they arranged for us was really great! We just felt right in our place! They were very good and friendly, you could notice that they did not have students around all the time and they were really interested in us!! (we ate with them all the time and had good and nice conversations!) Everything was good, it could only be a bit more professional, but that was our choice not do a more professional and small scale school. I would advice to add this school to your website. I Hope this helps. All the best, Ramon (29 years old) from the Netherlands.
Juanito Holland
01 / 2008
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban, for 5 separate weeks over 2 winters in 2007 and 2008. My Spanish improved, immensely. I did stayed with three different host families and all were enjoyable. Jaime was really wonderful and we spent many afternoons visiting cultural events, local villages and the orchid nursery. I would highly recommend this school! Sincerely, Juanito.
Robin Shoaps
07 / 2007
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban. I studied for one and a half weeks, in Summer of 2007. My Spanish improved a lot. I was at an advanced level, so the instructor and I, reviewed some grammar and spent the time on conversation and reading comprehension (I learned Spanish initially from living in Mexico and my spelling was atrocious). I did homework assignments. I did not stay with a host family. I did not ask about after school activities. I am a scholar and was spending my afternoons doing my own research. I would recommend this school. Sincerely, Robin.
Linda Wenzel
03 / 2004
Hello, I studied at Muqb’ilb’e Spanish School in Coban, for 2 weeks in March of 2004. My Spanish definitely improved. My teacher worked really good, we arrange the way how I wanted to study. I did not stay with a host family. I didn′t do any after school activities, since I volunteered in the afternoons during and after finishing the 2 weeks. For sure, I would recommend this school!!! Because, they are sooo familiar with their students, have good teachers and help you a lot to arrange your stay. Cheers, Linda.