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Why Guatemala is the Best Place to Learn Spanish

Most people like to go to big cities like Buenos Aires or Barcelona to learn Spanish; Guatemala tends to fall through the cracks. However, it’s is one of the greatest places in the world to learn Spanish, and here’s why:


1. It’s the easiest Spanish in the world.

Guatemalans do something that not all Spanish speakers do: they pronounce their words very, very clearly. As compared to somewhere like Mexico where they speak super fast, or Argentina where their dialect is tough to pick up, Guatemalan spanish is known to be the easiest in the world.


It’s the perfect place to be a beginner speaker, but don’t get too spoiled! The true test of your spanish skills will be when you move onto another country and have to pick up the pace.


2. Spanish classes here are cheap, cheap, cheap!

Antigua and Lake Atitlan are two of the best and most popular places to take Spanish classes in all of Central America. Many of the language schools offer group classes or one-on-one tutoring for as cheap as 3-4 bucks per hour. Yes, you heard that correctly: four dollars. Makes you want to rethink that $5.00 Starbucks, doesn’t it?


San Pedro Spanish School is a favorite amongst many travelers in Guatemala, located in San Pedro de Lago de Atitlan. San Pedro is also a quaint and charming town on the lake, so when you’re not studying, you’ll have plenty to do!


3. Simple living is an experience of a lifetime.

The saying do as the Romans do, can certainly apply here too. When you’re in Guatemala, do as the Guatemalans do. This means that you can pay cheap rent, eat delicious local food, and take a step back from the luxuries that you’re used to back home.


Minimalist living teaches us a lot, and seeing how other people live makes us appreciate the luxuries from back home.


4. They offer many different packages of classes.

Unlike some other countries where you are required to commit to a minimum number of months for Spanish classes, lots of Guatemalan schools are flexible in this department. Whether you’re interested in homestays with classes, or just a few hours per week, you can find anything you want in Guatemala.


There are even some places that do “backpacker crash courses” where you can take a quick 4 hour class just one day - if you’re passing through, and want a quick crash course on just a few of the most important things.


5. Guatemalans are some of the happiest people in the world.

Guatemala’s economy is constantly suffering: an immense percentage of the population is living below the poverty line, while a very small percentage is considered elite.


Despite this, Guatemalans are extremely warm and open. They are resourceful, family-oriented, and very welcoming to outsiders visiting or living in their country.


6. It’s quick and easy to link this Spanish with Language Zen.

Language Zen is a great complement to Spanish classes (in Guatemala or elsewhere). We create personalized courses for every learner that integrate with what you already know. Whether you’re learning from a classroom or from a street vendor, we’ll fill in the gaps so you can spend more time hanging out with your new Guatemalan friends.  

Click to start learning Spanish.

6 Spanish Phrases You Might Not Know You Need

Before traveling to any foreign country, lots of people get nervous about not knowing the language. Sure, you know how to say por favor and gracias, but knowing a little bit more of the language could help you out:


1. Numbers

The first thing to do before landing in Latin America - actually, in any foreign country - is to learn your numbers. You can even learn them on the plane ride there. Knowing numbers will help you with more things than you realize: currency exchange, prices, directions, time, just to name a few. Plus, knowing your numbers will totally make you seem like you know what you’re talking about.


2. “¿Cuánto cuesta?”

This phrase means how much does it cost? Instead of just handing your money over to pay for something, asking how much something is will create a great dialogue between you and the seller - and you’ll be able to use your number skills just to show off a little bit too! It’ll also encourage the act of bargaining - which is so much more fun than just paying, isn’t it?



3. “Todo bien.

Latin American culture is far more laid back than American culture. “Todo bien,” literally meaning everything good, is a huge phrase to know while traveling in these countries. It can be used as a question and also as an answer. You can ask someone, todo bien? And their response will either be si, yes, or todo bien, confirming that, yes in fact, it’s all good.


4. “Permiso…”

Above all else, we all want to be polite and friendly in a foreign country. Saying por favor, and gracias, already helps you out, but knowing how to excuse yourself is definitely a plus. Don’t mistake this with pardon; permiso is used only when physically trying to pass someone, as it literally means: do I have permission to pass?



5. “Tengo una pregunta.”

This is a great way to approach someone to let them know that you need some help: I have a question. It’s polite, it’s not aggressive, and it shows that you’re putting in an effort to learn their language, in their country. Now let’s just hope that they speak some English too, otherwise they’ll start replying in Spanish and you’ll be left with 10 more questions.



6. “¿Donde esta la fiesta?”

Where is the party? Because, in Latin America, no one should ever be missing the party.




Language Zen teaches you the most important words first--exactly what you need to begin mingling and making friends wherever you travel.


Since Language Zen personalizes the learning experience to fit you, you won’t waste any time on useless information. Click to start learning Spanish.

We’re not saying you should be fluent before you travel--but your travels will be richer if you can communicate.

Puerto Rico: 5 Things To Know Before You Go


Spend five minutes reading this, and you’ll feel like you’re sipping an umbrella drink beneath the Caribbean sun.

Maybe. You might need to buy a plane ticket for that. But certainly--this is the next best thing. Here are a few reasons you’ll want to add “travel to Puerto Rico” and “learn Spanish” to your bucket list:



1. It’s beautiful.


 The first basic fact you should know about Puerto Rico is that it’s just plain dazzling. The other facts are these:



Map of Puerto Rico



Puerto Rico is an American territory in the Caribbean--and might one day become America’s 51st state. The capital of Puerto Rico is San Juan. And while both Spanish and English are the commonwealth’s official languages, English is spoken by less than 10% of the population.



2. Puerto Rico is family of islands.


You might think of Puerto Rico as a single island, but it’s actually a commonwealth containing a group of islands. The largest of these islands (besides Puerto Rico’s main island) are…














3. What’s the weather like in Puerto Rico?



The average temperature is 80 degrees year-round. Yes, 80 degrees. They don’t call it “paradise” for nothing.

Winter is Puerto Rico’s most popular tourist season, because unlike much of the Northern Hemisphere, the weather in December is maravilloso.



If you’re planning a trip during the winter, be sure to see what festivals may be taking place during your visit. Puerto Rico’s winter calendar is dotted with notable festivals and holidays, including the Maricao Coffee Festival,Three Kings Day, and the incredible San Sebastián Street Festival.



4. What are the best beaches in Puerto Rico?



(Or, if you want to ask it in Spanish, ¿Dónde están las mejores playas de Puerto Rico?”)


Pictured: Luquillo beach



While there are lots of beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico, popular vote puts beaches on Culebra (Flamenco Beach) and Vieques (Caracas Beach)in the top rankings. But if you’re looking for something off the beaten-path, try Cabo Rojo (Balneario de Boqueron) or Culebra’s Punta Soldado.



Looking for a beach on Puerto Rico’s mainland? Look no further than Playa Sucia.



5. So, it’s an island paradise. But are there things to do in Puerto Rico?


Por supuesto. There are the obvious tropical activities, like surfing, sun-bathing and snorkeling. But Puerto Rico boasts one-of-a-kind attractions, like...


Bioluminescent Bays



PC: LeCityDeluxe



They may look like something from Avatar or the Life of Pi, but Puerto Rico’s bio luminescent bays are the real thing. The glow is caused by tiny marine creatures that absorb sunlight during the day, and glow dramatically after the sun goes down. You can enjoy the sight by visiting Mosquito Bay (Vieques) or Laguna Grande Bio Bay (Puerto Rico’s mainland).



For an even more surreal experience, you can rent a kayak and paddle through the glow.



Old San Juan





Don’t miss the historic side of Puerto Rico’s capital city.Old San Juan is a scene straight out of another time. Take a walk down the blue cobblestone streets and peek inside San Juan Cathedral, the second oldest cathedral in the Americas. You can also see Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century Spanish castle.




PC: TripAdvisor



La Cueva del Indio is a cave on the eastern side of the main island. At La Cueva del Indio, you’ll not only glimpse wildlife and secluded beaches, but you’ll get a close-up view of prehistoric petroglyphs.





If your idea of a good vacation includes shopping, check out Santurce’s Plaza de Mercado. Heck, even if you don’t typically like shopping, do it anyway. The market at Santurce is an exciting, colorful cultural experience. Go after 6 PM and you’ll hear local salsa, get a chance to hang with locals, and try some serious Puerto Rican street food.




We’re not saying you should be fluent before you travel--but your travels will be richer if you can communicate.

Language Zen teaches you the most important words first--exactly what you need to begin mingling and making friends in Puerto Rico. (We’re not selling it to you. Language Zen is free.)


Since Language Zen personalizes the learning experience to fit you, you won’t waste any time on useless information. Click to start learning Spanish.

We’re not saying you should be fluent before you travel--but your travels will be richer if you can communicate.