Latino America Spanish School

The Program
The Family Experience
History and Climate
Registration
Travel Information
Contact Us

Latinoamerica developed from the recognition that the traditional instruction offered in Antigua was not keeping pace with the linguistic advances of the last 10-15 years.

The program

All classes are individual: one teacher to one student. Our teachers are all native "Antiguenos" and are trained intensively in our special method of instruction.

Working with students and teachers in Antigua (plus innovative linguistic teachers from around the world) Latinoamerica offers a unique program for intensive Spanish, with emphasis upon providing a solid base upon which all future involvement with Spanish can be built.

Textbook grammar lessons and memorized dialogues are not used, as we feel that these attack Spanish "From the top down," imposing upon the student an unreal and rigid sense of spanish structure.

We teach Spanish "From the bottom up" as experienced by children when learning to speak. This perspective allows each student to make sense (or "to sense") the logic and concepts of the language. Memorization is replaced by assimilation and learning becomes a personal experience of thought and discovery with expert guidance.

As a child, you discovered language by hearing it used, trying new usages, and correcting your own errors. We feel that this approach to language can be beneficial when learning a second or third language as well. We recreate this situation for you in our classrooms. Using a set of visual cues, designed by Latinoamerica, we help you hear, extract and recombine the concepts of language. Your instructor simulates everyday situations with pictures and using visual cues, guides you in your discovery of the language concepts s/he presents new words in Spanish and helps you discover their meaning and usage from context.

You absorb language directly, without the middle step of translating. As you build sentences using new words and constructions, your instructor offers cues and you correct your errors until you fully understand all the elements of the structure with which you are dealing. Your understanding is reinforced by written exercises and reading.

Thus, at Latinoamerica learning is a process of discovery. You develop your inherent ability to discover language, and this ability remains with you outside the classroom in school activities, in the home of your host family, and while traveling. You absorb Spanish from the environment in which it lives. You not only learn grammar and vocabulary, but also absorb idioms and culture not available in any textbook.

Affiliations

Latinoamerica maintains a high quality of Spanish instruction. It can therefore offer credits for Spanish through its affiliation with Universidad Rural de Guatemala. The cost for taking an exam for credit is an additional $ 70.00.

Classes

Each week we receive students of different backgrounds. Some have studied Spanish for years or traveled where it is spoken; other can barely pronounce "No hablo espanol" ( I don't speak Spanish). At latinoamerica personal attention begins as soon as you join the program. In a personal interview we assess your speaking proficiency and learning ability.

Each student is assigned a private teacher according to the student's comprehension level. For beginners, the first two weeks are taken up by learning the most simple concepts such as pronunciation.

Generally, students have the option to change teachers every week to acquaint the students with different voices, intonations, personalities, etc. The student may request emphasis in certain study areas, although this is usually left to the discretions and experience of the teacher.

You rate of progress will depend on many factors, such as language background, learning ability, living situation while in Antigua, and openness to new experiences. A willingness to try, err, and correct your errors is essential, for only with persistence can you develop your learning ability and master Spanish. Usually the student can expect the following progress:


studyBeginning Students

2 weeks-Essentials for dialogue.
4 weeks-Working proficiency
6 weeks-Spoken fluency and functional proficiency.
for all other students

We can meet your Spanish language needs by matching you with an instructor who can determine your proficiency and take you to next level.

Students may begin classes any day of the week. Classes are for four, five or six hours per day. Students have the option of attending morning or afternoon classes.

Morning classes run 8 a.m. - 12 noon. Afternoon classes run 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The Family Experience

If you are intent upon learning Spanish, living with a Guatemalan family will be an important part of your experience at Latinoamerica.

We have an extensive list of families who have been receiving students into their homes for years. They provide meals, language practice and a first-hand involvement in the culture of Guatemala.

Most important, they accept you into their family and you enjoy the friendship and warmth of a "second home". When your time in Antigua is over, you may find that the hardest part of your experience here will be leaving your Guatemalan family. All host families offer one thing in common: the unsurpassed Guatemalan hospitality.

History and Climate

Antigua is recognized worldwide for its beauty and charm. Authentic colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and beautiful churches, traditional craftsmen, colonial ruins and the surrounding volcanos have earned Antigua various awards from international organizations. Antigua has been called " A Colonial Monument of America" and "City of Perpetual Roses," and was honored by the United Nations as an "International City of Culture."

Antigua is situated about 5,000 feet above sea level in a valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, one of which, "Fuego," is still active. With its approximately 30,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city and capital of the departament of Sacatepéquez.

Antigua was the second capital of Guatemala following the conquest of this country in 1524 by Don Pedro de Alvarado. The original capital, a site near Ciudad Vieja, was destroyed by flood. Antigua itself was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 and at that time the government was moved to its present site in Guatemala City.

Antigua enjoys a warm and pleasant climate all year round, with temperatures averaging about 75 degrees. Cool breezes and high altitude make Antigua rather cool at night so sweaters and light jackets are advisable. The rainy season is from about May 15 to October 15 with brief but strong afternoon showers.

Within 20 minutes of Antigua by bus lie two Indian villages famous for their weaving. Within a 70-mile radius are lakes, ocean beaches, archeological sites, open markets and Indian villages.

Registration

Students can be enrolled by mail or e-mail. If you wish to be picked up at the airport, let us know. Specify the date of the day when you wish to begin classes. On arrival you will be given a placement test to determine your class level.

Students arriving in Antigua previous arrangements should come directly to Latinoamerica and begin lessons as soon as they want.

Classes are paid in advance according to the schedule below. Payment can be made in US dollar, travelers check or Guatemalan quetzales. Prices are given in dollars. The rate of exchange is approximately 7.6 quetzales to one U.S. dollar.

Four hours daily, for one week:
With Family.................$130.00
Without Family.............$ 85.00 (US)

Six hours daily, for one week:
With Family................$150.00
Without Family............$105.00 (US)

Travel Information

Students should bring their passports for identification and for cashing checks. a tourist card, available through your travel agent or a visa, available from any Guatemalan Consulate, should be obtained before arriving in Guatemala.

Money should be carried in U.S. dollars or traveler's cheques. Personal Checks from other countries cannot be cashed here and other currencies are often difficult to change. an international bank card is handy for emergencies.

The following airlines have daily flights to Guatemala City from the U.S.: American, United, Iberia, Aviateca Taca International, and Mexicana.

Buses to Antigua are available from other parts of the country as well, usually with a change in Chimaltenango or San Lucas. From Guatemala City, take the Antigua bus at 15 Calle and 4th Avenida, Zona 1. Fare is approximately 50 cents, and takes about an hour from Guatemala City to Antigua. Also, shuttles are available from the airport to Antigua for about $10.00

Contact Us

Latinoamerica Spanish Academy
Phone and Fax (502) 832-1484
3a. Calle Poniente, Lotificación Cofino 2do. Callejón No.19
La Antigua, Guatemala Central America
Postal Code 03001
email: [email protected]

Latinoamericana Spanish Academy is affiliated to Universidad Rural de Guatemala