San Pedro La Laguna is one of the most popular places to learn Spanish abroad – out of the many schools in town, find out why I decided to study with San Pedro Spanish School.
Here at DIY Travel HQ I’ve been travelling in Central America for the past 7 months & getting by with the little bit of Spanish I’ve been learning by myself.
I’d thought about taking Spanish classes a few times and I even visited a couple of schools in Oaxaca City.
Nothing spoke to me though, not enough to make me want to stop travelling.
That changed when I got to San Pedro La Laguna, one of the top places to visit in Guatemala.
I’d only planned to stay for a couple of days but as I was exploring the town, I noticed a lot of signs for Spanish schools.
This put the idea of studying Spanish back in my head & just out of interest, I checked out a few schools.
Why I Chose San Pedro Spanish School
The one that stood out the most was San Pedro Spanish School.
I spoke with Ramon, who I later found out was the founder of the school – I love it when owners are personally involved in their businesses.
Ramon was very friendly, warm & passionate about Spanish learning & linguistics in general.
He took me around the school & I was really surprised to find that all the classes were held in little huts, scattered around a huge garden.
And why not, because the world really can be your oyster & your teacher!
I had a very good feeling about San Pedro Spanish School & I always believe in following your intuition.
So I took a deep breath, put my travel plans to El Salvador on hold & signed up for classes there & then 🙂
Studying at San Pedro Spanish School
My teacher at San Pedro Spanish School was Teresa, a lovely Indigenous woman who has lived in the town her whole life.
Teresa has been teaching at the school for 5 years & her experience shone through.
Even at my beginner-level, we spoke almost exclusively in Spanish in class.
I was pretty amazed that I could hold a conversation for 3 hours!
But Teresa was easy to study with. She spoke clearly & steadily, not too fast but not too slow either. S
he was very patient & understanding, especially in the many moments when I was lost in translation.
Check out our video for more on San Pedro Spanish School!
1-on-1 Course Structure
I really loved the personal attention that came with having a 1-on-1 class.
Lessons felt more personalized & I progressed much faster than I would have in a group class or studying by myself.
My lessons at San Pedro Spanish School were a mixture of structured learning & conversational practice.
We focused a lot on vocabulary, grammar & conjugations as Teresa really wanted be to be able to communicate in proper Spanish, right from the beginning.
We also talked about our different lives & the cultural differences between Guatemala & the West.
I felt comfortable asking Teresa about all the little quirks I’ve noticed in the country that I couldn’t understand!
- Learning environment
San Pedro La Laguna sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan – it’s surrounded by volcanoes & traditional Mayan villages, making it a picture-perfect place to study Spanish!
Having lessons outdoors was, literally, a breath of fresh air.
My classroom was a little hut in the garden, we moved to different ones every day.
Some of them were right in front of the lake.
The learning environment at San Pedro Spanish School was truly inspiring.
The Final Verdict
I’ve only been studying at San Pedro Spanish School for one week but I feel like I’ve improved tremendously.
I had an understanding of a lot of the grammar beforehand but now I’m actually able to put into practice.
The classes really consolidated by previous learning & they’ve given me the confidence to speak Spanish more naturally.
Activities at San Pedro Spanish School
Besides offering Spanish classes, San Pedro Spanish School provides other opportunities to immerse yourself in Spanish culture & socialize with other students:
- Conversation Club
- Movies and documentaries
- Salsa Classes
- Weekend Activities
Volunteer at San Pedro Spanish School
San Pedro Spanish school supports a project called Ninos del Lago, which provides educational opportunities & social aid to disadvantaged children in the community.
You can volunteer to teach children in the classroom, located close to San Pedro Spanish School:
- 8:00-10:00 pm – senior students
- 3:00-5:00 pm – primary school students
You can also assist by donating food, clothing, building supplies or sponsoring a child.
10% of profits from San Pedro Spanish School goes towards supporting Ninos del Lago.
For more information, please visit their website.
Things to See & Do in San Pedro
San Pedro is a laid back town in the Guatemalan Highlands, on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan.
It’s a small town but as the backpacker hub of Guatemala, there are many restaurants, cafes, bars & budget hotels catering to foreigners.
This social scene is set near the lakefront however local life takes place further up the hill.
Here, men, women & children (some in Indigenous outfits) all congregate around the church, basketball court & market in the centre of town.
You can walk everywhere in San Pedro, though there are also tuk-tuk taxis.
If you’re taking Spanish classes and need a break from memorizing words & conjugating verbs, there are plenty of activities to choose from:
- Climb San Pedro volcano
- Climb Indian Nose volcano
- Take cooking classes
- Kayak on Lake Atitlan
- Soak in solar pools
- Visit the other villages & towns
San Pedro is a wonderful place with the the right balance of locals & foreigners, traditional life & modern conveniences. It just feels like home.
Like myself & many other people here, you may just end up staying one more day, week or month…
Where to Stay in San Pedro
San Pedro Spanish School offers the option of a homestay with a Guatemalan family, to complement your Spanish classes.
Living with a family is the best way to practice the language & fully immerse yourself in Mayan culture.
There are 2 options:
- A host family with shared bathroom, 3 meals a day (except Sundays) & internet access – Q700 or $85.000 a week
- A host family with private bathroom, 3 meals a day (except Sundays), internet access & 3 kg of laundry – Q800 or $100.00 a week
Hotel / Apartment
You can also choose to find your own accommodation.
Budget hotel rooms start at Q30 / $4.13 per person, per night or Q600 / $82.50 per person, per month.
You can also inquire around town about renting an apartment – ask around or check bulletin boards at cafes & restaurants.
Know Before You Go
School: San Pedro Spanish School
Tuition: 3 hrs a day / 15 hrs a week – Q750.00 or US$100.00
Class times: Morning or afternoon classes available
Homestay: Q700 / $96.30 to Q800 / $110.00 a week
*** The Final Word – If you’re looking to study Spanish abroad, I highly recommend San Pedro Spanish School for their professionalism & inspiring garden-lakefront location! ***
Where have you studied Spanish abroad?
Thank you to San Pedro Spanish School for hosting me & giving me the opportunity to take classes at their wonderful school.
Studied in August 2016