Volunteering in Quetzaltenango
The Quetzaltenango area has many nonprofit organizations working on social projects with the local K'iche' Maya people and others that...
Cycling is a great way to explore the surrounding countryside or commute to Spanish class. Fuentes Georginas, San Andrés Xequl and the...
Just south of Quetzaltenango, Almolonga is an indigenous town worth visiting on market days (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) for its...
Bajo La Luna
An atmospheric wine-and-cheese bar set in a cellar with exposed beams. Liters of Chilean red go for around US$6.
Restaurante Las Calas
An artistic sort of place with lilies growing in the patio and lily-themed art on the walls (and a gallery in the back), Las Calas...
Lonely Planet review
Xela's many language schools attract students from around the world. Unlike Antigua, which has had a similar reputation for quite a bit longer, Xela is not overrun with foreigners, though there is a growing social scene revolving around language students and volunteer workers.
Xela seems to attract altruistic types, and most of the Spanish schools listed individually provide opportunities to get involved in social action programs working with the local K'iche' Maya. Prices for the schools vary a little but not by much; the standard price is around US$110/around US$130 per week for four/five hours of instruction per day, Monday to Friday, including room and board with a local family, or around US$80 to US$95 per week without homestay. Some schools charge up to 20% more for tuition during the high season from June to August, and many require nonrefundable registration fees. College students may be able to take classes for academic credit.
Most schools are lively and have plenty going on. Extras (some free, some not) range from movies and free internet to dancing and cooking classes, trips out and lectures and discussions on Guatemalan politics and culture.