Study Spanish or Maya with Na'atik in Mexico!

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About

Our culturally immersive language courses in Spanish and Maya introduce visitors to the real Zona Maya (it’s not just ruins!). Na'atik Language and Culture Institute is located just off the tourist trail in the colorful, safe, and cultural town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, in the southeast corner of the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico.

We offer immersive courses in Spanish and Maya, delivered by local native-speaking teachers for all ages, backgrounds, and language levels. Whether you're looking to advance your career, learn for the sake of learning, or just have an unique travel experience you are bound to have a great experience meeting friendly locals, trying out delicious local food, and exploring surrounding areas of natural beauty. By enrolling in this program, you will also be helping keep English classes affordable for Mexican Maya students in our community!

Highlights
  • Stay with a local homestay family.
  • Learn about modern Maya culture.
  • Study with trained native-speaking teachers from the area.
  • Explore the Yucatán peninsula from the comfort of safe and welcoming small town.
  • 10% of your fee goes directly to supporting our local nonprofit work teaching English.

Questions & Answers

There are no age restrictions. We are happy to accommodate students of all ages and levels, and can adapt classes to your specific needs.
The school actually matched us. I didn't know where exactly I was staying or the details until I arrived in Carrillo. This also could be because I did not ask.. I was very open to whatever experience the program was going to provide me. The family was awesome and had hosted many students already so they were very familiar with the process. A friend I made who was also studying at Na'atik had a...
Totally and exactly they are decided by the level and I never saw a class bigger than 2. I came alone and had one other person come into my program a week in and they were at a similar level.

Reviews

99%
based on 35 reviews
  • Academics 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 31 - 35 of 35
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Crystal
9/10

Naatik

My overall experience at Naatik was wonderful. Each day I had one on one training with my teacher; two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. All of the teachers were so friendly and in between classes we would speak in both English and Spanish about where we were from and how we liked Carillo. My host family was really nice and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. I wasn't used to taking cold showers, but the host most made sure I had hot water each morning to bath. I really felt like a part of the family. I was able to meet and have lunch with their friends. I enjoyed comparing and contrasting life in America and life in Mexico each evening. I definitely would like to return and bring my son.

How can this program be improved?
I can't think of anything I would change a this time.
Yes, I recommend
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lboyles
10/10

Beautiful School Community

Studying at Na'atik was a fantastic experience. You are in the presence of something special when you come to this school-- a community of people who care for each other. The school community was warm, welcoming, and eager to help language learners. The people of Carrillo were incredibly helpful and happy to engage in conversation, give advice, and curious about the teachers and students at the school. I stayed for a week and made day trips out to a few of the nearby "attractions"-- Laguna Bacalar is an especially wonderful place to visit.

How can this program be improved?
Carrillo is not the place to come if you want to go to lots of bars or go to a big "social scene," but you will not be wont for friendly people to talk to and spend time with inside or outside of class.
Yes, I recommend
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Lewis
10/10

I am already planning my return!

Na'atik is a great school in a great location. I really enjoyed my Spanish course and I really felt welcomed by everyone in the town. I spent a lot of time exploring Carrillo by bike and loved trying the local food and fruit juices. The location was perfect for me as I traveled every weekend to places like Laguna Bacalar, Tulum, Merida and small local villages. I couldn't have asked for a more welcoming host family and I can't wait to see them again!

How can this program be improved?
Id love to volunteer more in the community- I hope to do that more next time.
Yes, I recommend
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Sophie
10/10

Total Immersion Away from the Tourist Crouds

After three weeks in Carrillo Puerto with Na'atik I did not want to leave. My Spanish teacher was amazing, adapting the curriculum to fit exactly my level and the types of Spanish I wanted to learn (including bringing in guest speakers). My host family was truly amazing, welcoming me in like a new member of the family and being infinitely patient with my sometimes halting Spanish. And Carrillo Puerto was the perfect place to learn Spanish with very few people who spoke English and incredibly friendly locals who were open to having long and detailed conversations about anything from their families, to the history of the Mayan people, to Mexican politics. People were so friendly that I had several great conversations that were started by nothing more than saying "hello" to a stranger on the street - this gave me tons of chances to practice my Spanish!
I seriously can't recommend Na'atik highly enough. I think I learned more Spanish in three weeks there than in two years of classes in the US - not to mention it was a lot more fun! The teachers at the school were always happy to show me around the local sites and cenotes or to have me along on their trips around the region on the weekends.

How can this program be improved?
4 hours of class was a lot to do at once. It might be better to split this up. However, I gave this feedback to my teacher and he agreed and was very open to moving around the schedule.
Yes, I recommend
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ntann
10/10

A life changing experience

Through my internship with the UMIQRoo University in Jose Maria Morelos this past summer, I found out about the Na'atik school in Felipe Carrillo Puerto about an hour away. Felipe Carrillo Puerto is a great town with plenty of things to do and a distinct character/culture. It is also on the main bus routes to places like Tulumn, Chetumal, and Valladolid (which is a big perk for weekend trips).
Upon entering Na'atik, the helpful staff and my welcoming host family (who were set up for me previous to my arrival) immediately made me feel at home. The 1 week Mayan-language intensive was challenging and rewarding. My instructor, Gustavo, was really dedicated to making sure that we got the most out of our time in the classroom: he prepared an array of learning materials, from songs, to poetry, class activities, and history lessons, in order to approach the material from multiple disciplines. It was really helpful in grasping different aspects of Mayan language and culture. He was both knowledgeable and patient and, from his lessons, I felt much more confident in practicing my language basics with my host family and friends in Felipe Carrillo Puerto. I still speak with my host family regularly as well as the staff at Na'atik. It's like a home away from home. I can't wait to come back to visit everyone and to continue my studies!! Thank you guys for everything.

How can this program be improved?
In the future, I would love the option of a longer language intensive (3 week or 6 week) and perhaps the addition of an in-class presentation from someone from the community on a certain topic that is relateable or of interest to the class. I think, with longer courses, it would add a lot to the overall learning experience.
Yes, I recommend

Interviews

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About Na'atik Language and Culture Institute

We are located in the heart of the Maya Zone of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Our goal is to open students’ eyes to a world of possibilities. Through affordable, encouraging English language classes, we aim to help students in the local Maya community...