Na'atik Language and Culture Institute

Program Reviews

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Annabel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

10/10

An amazing, authentic immersion program! Would highly recommend for anyone who wants an off-the-beaten path experience. My Spanish level is basic, but my teacher Cesar tailored my lessons to my ability and interests. The attention you receive at this program is incomparable -- from the incredible excursions offered to the classes and homestay family. The trip to Bacalar and bike tour were amazing! My homestay family was incredible as well -- very patient, and kind. Immediately felt like a part of the family. As a solo female traveler, I felt very safe as well. Cannot recommend this program more!

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Erika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program

I was blessed to stay with a great family, that was composed of three generations which let me experience the culture from various vantage points. They introduced me to foods that i would never order in a restaurant. It was great not having to find good restaurants to eat. Oh, and the restaurant where the welcome dinner took place was really good as well. The teachers and staff were welcoming, knowledgeable and i learned a lot. They also helped to set up a few activities for us that were equally as fun and educational.

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Karen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Na'atik Language and Cultural Institute

Na'atik offers classes in Spanish and Mayan for travelers who would like and immersion program. We lived in Felipe Carrillo Puerto where the school is located for 4 months and during this time both my husband and I took classes at the school. He took Mayan and I am still taking Spanish classes. When we returned home last March, I have continued to take Spanish classes twice a week with Pedro. Pedro is an experienced and skilled teacher, having both Spanish and English skills. He continues to be my Spanish teacher and coach. I appreciate his thorough approach to my learning and pronunciation. If you are interested in learning Spanish, there is not a better way to learn than from a native speaker!! I highly recommend Na'atik!

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Hassan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Na'atik Language and Culture Institute ONLINE!!!

We value the experiences travel, learning about different cultures and languages bring to our lives. As a result of that priority for us and our kids, we enrolled them in the online Spanish program at Na'atik. They have weekly sessions with Jose, a native Spanish speaker, they discuss soccer, food, travel experiences, more soccer etc.. It is super fun to see their Spanish skills improve through active conversation over the internet (visual and audio), which is perfect as we are hunkered down in the pandemic. Our kids were not very excited about this new activity at first, but now enjoy the sessions with Jose as they can sense that their Spanish is improving weekly, and the method is not a traditional learning method like a classroom would be, rather it is much more aligned with how I learned different languages....immersion. The program is super affordable and fun-highly recommended.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing-it is fantastic! I would actually consider offering different platforms such as Zoom so that people can participate from different locations or may be more familiar with another platform, such as Skype. Google Hangouts, the current platform, works well and is easy to adapt to. I'm a Zoom guy :).
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Brittany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Online learning in the time of Corona

Like so many people I have been quarantined and out of work due to the corona virus. I decided it would be a good idea to do something useful with this extra time and I knew just who to contact. About two years ago, I traveled to Mexico to study at Na’atik for two weeks. It was an incredible, life changing experience. Thankfully, Na'atik offers online classes. I decided to give them a try.
I was paired with my teacher, Cesar, who is amazing. The classes are fun and personalized to my level and my learning speed. We talk about interesting things while learning how to use the language. It has been a fantastic experience overall. So, fantastic, in fact, that I have re-enrolled and will continue to do so.
My hope is to return to Na'atik in person someday when travel is safe again. But, for now, I am happy that Na'atik is offering these incredible online classes.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I always get nervous before a class because speaking and listening in a language besides English brings me some stress. I am a perfectionist and knowing going in to something that I am going to make mistakes is difficult. But, Cesar is always incredibly supportive and creates and atmosphere in which I can make mistakes and keep learning.
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kerri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned so much from chatting in Spanish online every week!

I love my Spanish classes with Osmar. It feels like I am transported to Mexico every Wednesday evening, as we chat in Spanish and I can hear the birds in the background! A nice escape from rainy days in England :) I didn't want to learn to read or write in Spanish or have homework (my day job is quite intense), so I asked if we can stick chatting regularly to keep up my practice. I was grateful that Osmar was happy with this and every week we talked about big topics like the latest news (including Covid), politics, global warming, sustainable tourism and the environment. In just ten weeks of chatting, Osmar taught me how to use the different types of past tense (hurrah!) and at the end of each class he gives me pointers on what to correct and useful resources to practice more. 100% recommend picking up classes - so much fun and so good to escape the everyday rhythm of life with a taste of Mexico.

What was your funniest moment?
When Osmar and I both 'woop wooped' because I finally used the past tense properly!!
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Molly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing online Spanish class

My weekly Spanish class was everything I hoped it would be. I already have a strong Spanish foundation, and I wanted to brush up on my skills since I don't have opportunities to speak Spanish in my daily life. Na'atik and Maestro Pedro customized a conversation-based class that was perfect for me and my goals. Meeting via ZOOM was surprisingly easy, and Pedro made sure to create an encouraging learning environment where I felt comfortable making mistakes and learning new things. No matter what your level of Spanish, your Na'atik teacher will boost your confidence as well as offer you new challenges and areas of growth.

The fact that a percentage of my class fees went directly to providing English classes for the local Na'atik community was a special bonus. Na'atik will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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Theo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Super Fun Way to Improve Your Spanish

I traveled alone at the start of 2018 as a 15 year old male. I had gone to Na'atik once when I was 12 with my family, but I did not remember that much and I had never traveled alone to a foreign country. I was nervous at first but as soon as I met my guide at the bus terminal my fears dissipated. Ananias, my guide, took me to Catherine and Simon, who were in charge of my activities, and they took me to my home stay family. My family was very kind to me and they food they cooked was delicious. Once I was there, I never felt nervous and Catherine and Simon did a wonderful job taking care of me. Pedro, my Spanish teacher helped me improve my Spanish grammar and vocabulary and my family really helped me improve my overall fluency. I take Spanish in school but I can't practice like this. I also became more confident when I talked. Despite the fact that it rained for the first week, I loved the trip. This program was wonderful and I would recommend it to any looking for a way to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and improve their fluency.

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Becky
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience

This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I stayed for 5 weeks and loved every part of it - I wish I never had to leave! I already had a decent Spanish base before going, so the classroom portion for me was mostly practicing conversation and comprehension. Staying with a host family was my favorite part of the trip. I feel like I got to know them very well and loved how they involved me in all of their normal daily and weekend activities. My Spanish definitely improved throughout this time, although I don't think I realized it until I came back home. I cannot recommend Na'atik and their study abroad program highly enough. Do it! You won't regret it.

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Deborah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A fabulous week at Na’atik

My week of study at Na’atik and living with a host family was amazing, actually transformational. The small (3) class size, the experience of the teacher (Pedro) and the overall Na’atik experience exceeded my expectations in every regard. Our host family, Doña Fernanda and Don Modesto May, were lovely people, who were eager to know me and the friend who also stayed in their home. The simplicity of our housing surprised me initially, but it came to feel like “home” by the end of the week. The people of Carrillo Puerto are humble, hard-working people who were friendly and helpful. As far as I know, the 9 of us at the school this particular were the only Americans in the entire town- which meant that we stood out. It also gave us a great opportunity to speak to many different people, in stores, restaurants, and in the street. Carrillo is a quiet place, with not a lot going on socially, yet I had the feeling that if I had had more energy in the evenings, I could have found more of a social life. Overall, it was a wonderful experience!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is sending the Orientation package out earlier to participants, to give us a clearer idea of what the entire experience will be like. I hope to be able to return with my husband soon.