Teaching Primary in Santa Maria, Xela

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I was teaching English at an amazingly progressive school in the beautiful mountains just outside Xela. The school was led by Professor Edgar and he has a group of brilliant qualified and dedicated teachers in the school. I was there for the last month of the school year (October) and worked every morning. I was reviewing all the English the students had done in the year. I worked in each class which meant I met all the pupils in the school. The school has a lovely, happy warm atmosphere. Even though my Spanish is really poor, the teachers all went out of their way to help me. I was included in all the school activities including the graduation on the last day of term. This was brilliant to see the Guatemalan families being so proud of their children.
The journey from the house I stayed in was about 50 - 60 minutes each way. I loved the journey for the thrill of the mad bus drivers and because the scenery to the school is breathtaking. You get to see the real Guatemala, with all the people going about their daily business.
I stayed in a homestay in Xela with the lovely Mercedes and her 2 children. There were 5 of us staying in the house. Mercedes is a great cook and every meal was great fun sitting around the table there was always a lot of hilarity and warmth. The house is about a 10 minute walk to Park Central in Xela and so it was really easy to get to the bus stations or the markets or any one of the great cafes in town for some coffee or hot chocolate (make sure to visit La Luna!) I also went to yoga at the Yoga House, and I know there was a gym nearby.
Daily Spanish classes were included with Mario from the programme. He had great patience with me and arranged a time to suit in with my day. I would highly recommend taking them.
I didn't go out at night much, but there are loads of bars in town and a nice community of foreigners - not that many so you see the same faces in the yoga class, or coffee shop or bar after not too long! There is a laid back vibe in Xela and it's a cheap destination in Guatemala.
Would totally recommend making sure Xela is included in your trip to Guatemala, for the city vibe as well as the amazing countryside surrounding it. Make sure you go to the hot springs and the markets and don't forget to climb the volcano!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed