Answers to some
of the most commonly asked
questions students have
Spanish in Xela?
We at Minerva Spanish School believe
that Xela offers Spanish students the perfect
balance of educational excellence and cultural opportunity.
If your goal is to learn Spanish in a cultural
context, we feel very strongly that a small city with
a world-class cultural heritage is best suited to achieving
that goal. In Xela, students will be truly
immersed in a Spanish speaking cosmopolitan city.
It's also important to consider the quality of the family-living
experience. In Antigua, for example, too often there
are several foreigners staying with the same family at
once. In this case, it's more like a hotel, than a family
atmosphere. Also, often there are separate mealtimes
for the students and the family." Such a situation
is inconceivable in our school. Here the families
truly delight in 'adopting' someone from another culture
for a week or two. You really become part of the family.
In this environment, your Spanish skills will soar.
What's the weather like?
Like other tropical countries, Guatemala
has two seasons - wet and dry. The dry season usually
lasts from December to May, the wet season from June
to November. During the wet season, mornings are typically
clear, then thunderstorms build through the afternoon
into a refreshing shower, then the clouds dissipate in
time for a lovely sunset. The coolest months are January
and February, while March and April are the warmest.
Still, this is the tropics, so average temperatures tend
not to vary more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius).
Is it easy to communicate
It's very easy in Xela to keep
in touch with family, friends, or business associates.
There are numerous Internet Cafes in Xela,
all charging around US$ 1.00 per hour or less.
Increasingly students are bringing cell phones with
them for their journeys. If you plan to bring a phone,
let us know and we will give you the necessary info to
Phone cards are another popular option and they are
easy to purchase in Xela.
The city of Xela is, in fact,
very safe, and very welcoming to visitors. It's hard
not to be charmed by the relaxed friendliness of the
Do you teach children,
Children, minimum five years old, are most
welcome to study Spanish at Minerva Spanish School! We've
had many families study here, and have developed a kids-friendly
curriculum to keep the youngsters engaged and happy.
Most of the families who house our students have children
of their own, who, like all kids, are quick to make friends.
Also, we can arrange visits for your kids to local schools,
an experience that will prove unforgettable. We think
studying Spanish for a week or two in a safe and friendly
Central American city is a wonderful way to encourage
in a child an adventurous spirit of travel and a lifelong
respect for other cultures.
How is the medical
care and prescription
We recommend that visitors carry with them all
the prescription medicines they will need during their
If I live with a family, will
I have a private room or will I have to share my
room with other students?
Every student at the Minerva Spanish School gets
his or her private room. You won't have to share your room
with anyone unless you want to. We do have double rooms available
for couples, though.
Can my host family provide
Certainly. Just let us know when you fill out the registration form and we'll advise your host
Can I change my host family
if I don't like the place?
We work with a variety of host families and if you
don't like the one we place you with, we'll move you
to another one the next day. Our host families are carefully
selected and provide good service, however, and requests
to change families are very rare.
How far from the school are
the host families?
All our host families are located within a short
walking distance from the school. Thus you can walk back
and forth in just a few minutes.
Can you place me with a family
Yes, we have a number of host families with children
of all age groups. Just note your preferences on the registration form when you sign up.
I'd prefer to stay at a hotel.
Can you make the arrangements?
Yes, we'll be happy to make a reservation at a local
hotel for you. Please let us know when you sign up what
kind of hotel you're looking for and what your budget
Can I start any day or do
I have to start on Monday?
We prefer students start their classes on
Monday. However, we are very flexible with our schedules
and allow our students to begin their courses whenever
it's convenient for them.
Can I have classes on Saturday
Yes, if you are in a real hurry, we can arrange for
you to have classes on Saturday and/or Sunday. We recommend,
however, that you take off at least one day per week.
You can't study all the time! See Excursions for
ideas on what to do on the weekends.
How can I pay for my course?
Do you accept credit cards?
You can pay with US$, travelers checks, money orders
or Guatemalan Quetzals. You can prepay with your credit
card using our online reservation form.
Can I change my teacher if
we don't get along?
Certainly! We want you to be happy and enjoy your
classes. Let me point out, though, that requests to change
teachers are very rare here. Our teachers are well trained
and very good at adapting their instructions to their
students' needs, interests and learning styles.
Do I need to bring textbooks
and a dictionary?
We will provide all the class materials you'll need,
so bringing textbooks isn't necessary. A notebook and
a dictionary is something no Spanish student should be
What else should I bring?
- Dollars or travelers checks; Canadian money or travelers
checks are not excepted!
- Credit Cards, Bank cards. In almost each village
pay with Visa, MasterCard only in larger centers. It is quite difficult
to get money with your Cirrus Bank Card.
- Photocopies of important documents.
- Money Belt.
- Warm clothing. Because Xela is located 2200 meters
above sea level, and in the morning and in the
evening it can get quite cold.
- Swim wear
- Sun Protection
- Rain Protection, especially during the rainy seasons
- Solid walking shoes and shower footwear
- Medicines for first aid items + prescriptions
In Guatemala the electric voltage is 110. This is the
same plug as the United States. You may need a
world-plug if your plugs are different.
Can you recommend a good
guidebook for the area?
There are a number of books that discuss
Xela - Guatemala, or Central America. The Lonely
Plane Handbook for Guatemala (with a large section
on Petén Guatemala),
and the Rough Guide to Guatemala are indispensable.
Recommended by Lonely
"Warm welcoming staff; plenty of activities".
Do you have a question that's not
Contact us and we'll happy to assist in any way we can!