Faqs - Spanish School Sol Latino - Quetzaltenango Guatemala

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Activities

 

New Classes Online

Tuesday

Film "Noches de Havana"

Wednesday

Visit Salcajá and churche

Thursday

Visit Chocolateria

Friday

International Dinner

Saturday

Visiting Momostenango y learn about the art of weaving

10. FAQs

logo "Sol Latino" is JoHo World Insurances Partner
It is always important to have a suitable cancellation- and travel/volunteer insurance when you go abroad. Many travel insurances do not cover (voluntary) work, internships or extreme sports and have a limited validity. "Sol Latino" advices you to use of the services of JoHo Insurances. JoHo Insurances specialises in insuring volunteers, interns, travellers and expats worldwide. Click here

for more information and to apply for an insurance directly online!

A. HEALTH

  1. What vaccines do you need in Guatemala?
  2. What are the most common illnesses that foreigners face here?
  3. What are the ways you can prevent stomach problems?
  4. Can I find medicines in Quetzaltenango?
  5. What if I have diabetes, asthma, etc.?

B. SERVICES

  1. What additional services does Sol Latino offer?
  2. Do you offer an airport pickup service?
  3. Will I have internet access?

C. TRAVELING TO QUETZALTENANGO

  1. When I arrive in Guatemala City what should I do next?
  2. How much time does it take to travel from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango?
  3. What if I want to travel on my own to Quetzaltenango?
  4. Do I need a visa to enter Guatemala?
  5. What should I bring for my trip?

D. QUETZALTENANGO

  1. Is it safe to travel to Quetzaltenango?
  2. How can I find the school when I arrive to Quetzaltenango?
  3. How is the weather in Quetzaltenango?
  4. Where can I exchange money in Quetzaltenango?

E. STUDYING SPANISH

  1. What Spanish programs does the school offer?
  2. How much time will it take to learn how to speak Spanish?
  3. What happens if I know basic Spanish and would like to progress to a more advanced level?
  4. How can I determine my Spanish level?
  5. How long can I study?
  6. Can I contact other students that have studied at “Sol Latino”?
  7. When can I start my classes and start living with a family?
  8. How can I obtain university credits for my studies?
  9. Is “Sol Latino” open during the holidays?

F. ACCOMMODATION

  1. What are the families like?    
  2. What do the families of “Sol Latino” offer?
  3. What types of food will I receive with the families?
  4. Will I have privacy?
  5. If I’m traveling with my family, friends, or as a couple can we live with the same family?
  6. Are there other accommodation options during my studies?

G. ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS

  1. What activities and excursions does “Sol Latino” offer?
  2. Do these activities and excursions have an additional cost?

H. TUITION & PAYMENT

  1. How much do the classes cost?
  2. What does this payment include?
  3. When and how should I pay the school?
  4. How is this money distributed?

I. REGISTRATION

  1. How can I register?
  2. Can I register in advance of my arrival?
  3. Why do I need to pay a registration fee? 

J. VOLUNTEERING

  1. What types of volunteer work are available?
  2. What is the minimum time needed to volunteer?
  3. Is it possible to study and volunteer at the same time?
  4. Is it possible to volunteer without studying Spanish?
  5. Do I need to pay in order to volunteer?

 

A. HEALTH

  1. What vaccines do you need in Guatemala?
    It is important to consult your doctor before traveling to Guatemala so that you can get the most recommended vaccines.  Generally it is wise to get the following vaccines: tetanus, hepatitis A and B, polio, tetanus-diphtheria, and typhoid.  If you will be traveling to the coast or the Petén region (Northern Guatemala where Tikal is situated) it is also recommended that you have anti-malarial medicine.  For more information check out: www.cdc.gov/travel/camerica.htm
  2. What are the most common illnesses that foreigners face here?
    The most common illnesses here are stomach problems like traveler’s diarrhea, and especially while adapting to the local food and drinks. If the condition persists for more than 2 or 3 days it is possible that you have a bacterial infection, parasites, or amoebas. In this case it is recommended that you go to a local clinic to leave a stool sample and then buy the appropriate medicines when you receive the results of the exam. This is the safest and fastest way to recover and continue to enjoy your studies and travels in Guatemala.  Other common illnesses include: sore throat, colds, and the flu. The best prevention for these is to have the proper clothing for the cold and the rain.
  3. What are the ways you can prevent stomach problems?
    • Don’t eat street food!
    • Don’t drink tap water!
    • Don’t eat salads or raw vegetables unless you’re sure they have been properly disinfected and prepared!
    • Always wash your hands before eating!
    • Properly wash and disinfect all fruits before eating!
  4. Can I find medicines in Quetzaltenango?
    There are many pharmacies and clinics in Quetzaltenango that offer a wide range of medicines. However, if you need a very specific medicine it is quite possible that you won’t find it here. For that reason we recommend that you bring enough of your prescription medications for your entire stay in Guatemala.
  5. What if I have diabetes, asthma, etc.?
    There are many doctors (general practitioners and specialists) in Quetzaltenango, many of whom even speak English. The school has contact with some of these doctors that we can recommend in cases of emergency during your stay. As always it is advisable to speak with your doctor at home before your trip so that he/she can recommend specific medicines and precautions to take during your time here.

B. SERVICES

  1. What additional services does “Sol Latino” offer?
    Unlike other schools, we always work hard to provide a complete range of services so that our students are comfortable during their arrival and studies. For example we offer: airport pickup service, free and unlimited (WIFI) internet, laundry service, cell phone rental, accommodation, and assistance in finding volunteer work.
  2. Do you offer an airport pickup service?
    We want to provide the best service and make sure that your trip goes safely and smoothly. For this reason we have a relationship with Dos Lunas, a guesthouse in Guatemala City. They can send one of their representatives to pick you up at the airport and take you directly to a bus terminal where you can then travel directly to Quetzaltenango. If you arrive late or choose to stay extra days in Guatemala City, you are also welcome to stay in their comfortable guesthouse for the night.
  3. Will I have internet access?
    Yes, “Sol Latino” provides unlimited internet and WiFi access for all of our students.

C. TRAVELING TO QUETZALTENANGO

  1. When I arrive in Guatemala City what should I do next?
    If you use our airport pickup service it will be easy.  Before leaving the airport it’s recommended that you change some money (dollars are the easiest to exchange) at the airport into Quetzals (the local currency).  A representative from Dos Lunas (Our contact in Guatemala City) will be waiting for you just outside the main exit of the airport with a Dos Lunas sign.  If you arrive after 3pm it is recommended that you travel to Quetzaltenango the next day, spending the night at the Dos Lunas guesthouse where you will be provided with a comfortable room and breakfast. The next morning they will take you to the bus station so that you can get to Quetzaltenango. When you arrive in Quetzaltenango you can take a taxi from the bus station directly to the Spanish school (Diagonal 12, 6-58, zona 1), the cost of the taxi ranges from $4 - $6.  Before your trip let us know if you want to use our airport pickup service so that we can make the reservation and make sure that everything is arranged in advance and your trip goes smoothly.
  2. How much time does it take to travel from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango?
    Generally with the Pullman style buses, the trip from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango takes from 4 to 4,5 hours. The trip in these buses is comfortable, however please note that the majority of buses are not equipped with working bathrooms.
  3. What if I want to travel on my own to Quetzaltenango?
    If you would like to come to Quetzaltenango on your own, simply catch a taxi at the airport to the Alamo or Linea Dorada bus stations, which offer several daily buses to Quetzaltenango. The cost of the taxi will be from $7-12 and then the trip to Quetzaltenango will be an additional $8-10; you will need to pay both of these in Quetzals (Guatemala’s currency). If you need to spend a night in Guatemala City you can directly contact www.hoteldoslunas.com  When you arrive to Quetzaltenango you can take a taxi directly to the school (Diagonal 12,  6-58, Zona 1), and the cost for this should be $4-6.
  4. Do I need a visa to enter Guatemala?
    Citizens of Canada, the United States, and the majority of European countries do not need a visa to enter Guatemala. Citizens of the pre mentioned countries receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival, which can be extended in Guatemala City or by crossing the borders of Mexico or Belize. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you consult your embassy on this matter before your trip.
  5. What should I bring for my trip?
    The climate varies a lot in the different regions of Guatemala. You should bring a sweater, warm jacket, warm hat, t-shirts, comfortable walking shoes, sandals, a swimsuit, towel, sunglasses, prescription medicines, sunscreen, insect repellant, as well as any other items you would normally travel with.

D. QUETZALTENANGO

  1. Is it safe to travel to Quetzaltenango?
    We understand this question very well: being far away from home it may seem scary not knowing how safe it is here. In general when you travel to another country you need to be careful especially when you are not familiar with the country or language. However, in Quetzaltenango there is relatively little crime and it generally occurs away from the areas that tourists explore. Just as in many other tourist cities of the world, tourists will occasionally be targeted for small robberies, but there have been very few violent crimes against tourists here. For this reason we recommend that: you do not carry too much money, nor your passport, and credit or debit cards when not necessary, and keep a close eye on your belongings.
  2. How can I find the school when I arrive to Quetzaltenango?
    When you register for classes with us we will give you detailed instructions for your trip. When you arrive to Quetzaltenango, you can take a taxi to the school (Diagonal 12, 6-58, Zona 1) the cost of this will be $4-6 and takes 5-10 minutes. To further help you find your way check out this map.
  3. How is the weather in Quetzaltenango?
    Quetzaltenango is located in the altiplano (high plains) with an altitude of 2,333 meters above sea level. The days tend to be warm and sunny with high temperatures between 21-30° C (70°-86° F) and during the nights the temperature drops to around 10°C (50°F). With the variable temperatures and potential for rain, it’s good to be prepared and bring appropriate clothing.
  4. Where can I exchange money in Quetzaltenango?
    There are many banks and other local money exchange offices where you can change dollars and travelers checks into Quetzals. To do this you must have your passport at the time of the transaction. Debit and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are widely accepted and there are many ATM’s where you can receive Quetzals (Guatemala’s currency).

E. STUDYING SPANISH

  1. What Spanish programs does the school offer?
    “Sol Latino” offers a large variety of programs for students with special requirements and needs. We offer programs for volunteers, travelers, social workers, interns, university groups, medical Spanish, lawyers, missionaries, students of any age, children, families, and groups.
  2. How much time will it take to learn how to speak Spanish?
    If you’ve never spoken Spanish before, you should be able to have short conversations after one week, using the present tense in order to express your basic needs and feelings. After 3-4 weeks your Spanish level should be intermediate: you will be able to have conversations in the present, past, and future tenses and learn a fair amount of the most commonly used vocabulary. After the 7th week you will reach the advanced level. Gradually you will perfect the different tenses and grammar becoming closer to fluency. The time necessary to reach this level will vary depending on your interest and practice outside of the school.
  3. What happens if I know basic Spanish and would like to progress to a more advanced level?
    This won’t be a problem: all of the classes are customized and each teacher has experience working with students of every level of Spanish. The classes will be developed around your specific abilities and needs.
  4. How can I determine my Spanish level?
    At the start of your classes you will receive a short exam to determine your Spanish level: from beginner to advanced. If you prefer, we can also send you one of these exams via e-mail, which we will then review and send you the results.
  5. How long can I study?
    You can choose to study with us as long as you wish. We have 10 different levels and to complete all of them generally takes 10-12 weeks, depending on the student. After completing this it is still possible to continue to practice and perfect your Spanish with us.
  6. Can I contact other students that have studied at Sol Latino?
    Yes, feel free to check out: “REFERENCES” where you can read comments from some of our past students, the majority of whom you can contact via e-mail.
  7. When can I start my classes and start living with a family?
    For “Sol Latino”, flexibility is one of the features that distinguish us from other schools; you are welcome to start your classes and start living with a family any day of the week.
  8. How can I obtain university credits for my studies?
    Many universities and colleges grant credits for students that take part in this type of language study. To receive credit you must contact your university or college beforehand to obtain their requirements. We will gladly provide you the help you need to complete any additional information or requirements that you may need. If you need a special grammar content or other specific program to satisfy you university or college, we will work to help you satisfy these requirements.  At the end of your course with us you will also receive a diploma, which states the level of Spanish that you have achieved.
  9. Is “Sol Latino” open during the holidays?
    Unlike most Spanish schools in Quetzaltenango, Sol Latino works all year long, except for Christmas day and New Years day. During the other Guatemalan holidays the school pays our teachers overtime, but this will not affect your weekly fees.

F. ACCOMMODATION

  1. What are the families like?         
    Our families have many years of experience hosting foreign students, they are very friendly, and diverse (with or without children, pets, Guatemalan students, etc.) We will look for the family most suited to your desires and needs. The families all live close to the school and the center of Quetzaltenango. Remember when you are with a family there will be differences from your own home and culture, especially in their form of living, food, family atmosphere, etc. This is a beneficial part of your studies to learn not just the language, but also about another culture and their customs.
  2. What do the families of “Sol Latino” offer?
    • Hospitality
    • An ideal place to practice your Spanish
    • A private room
    • Keys to the house and your private room
    • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week
    • Typical Guatemalan food and meals specially prepared for vegetarians or -those with other specific dietary needs
    • Shower with hot water
  3. What types of food will I receive with the families?
    The diet in Guatemala is basic and unless you are a vegetarian or have other special dietary needs, you will eat the same food as the family. The main meal of the day here is lunch. Generally the families eat a lot of beans, tortillas, rice, potatoes, eggs, and chicken. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have food allergies, or special dietary restrictions; don’t worry. When you register for your classes simply let us know your preferences and we will choose a family for you that can provide you with the meals you need.
  4. Will I have privacy?
    Yes you will have privacy. The family will provide you with your own room and you will have keys for this room and the main entrance to the house.
  5. If I’m traveling with my family, friends, or as a couple can we live with the same family?
    Yes, if you would like to live together in a family there are homes that can accommodate your group.
  6. Are there other accommodation options during my studies?
    Another feature that distinguishes “Sol Latino” from other schools is the choice in accommodation. The school has its own guesthouse, “Casa Latina” or if you prefer another location (hostel, hotel, apartment) we can help you to arrange it.

G. ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS

  1. What activities and excursions does “Sol Latino” offer?
    Our activities vary from week by week. For example: helping social projects, visiting Mayan villages, typical Guatemalan dinners, international dinners, celebrations for holidays, conferences, cooking classes, conversation club, dance classes, movies, games, Latin nights, visiting natural saunas and thermal hot springs, hikes, sports, etc. On the weekends we organize excursions to some of the most beautiful destinations in the region including: volcanoes, lakes, mountains, coffee farms, Mayan ruins, beaches, water parks, etc.
  2. Do these activities and excursions have an additional cost?
    “Sol Latino” plans, organizes, and guides the activities and excursions. In general the activities are free, but some have a small cost. The trips generally do not include transportation or hotels, however students that participate in these trips will receive special discounts because they are studying with the school.

H. TUITION & PAYMENT

  1. How much do the classes cost?
    The students of “Sol Latino” benefit from some of the best package deals and prices of the region! Also we have seasonal promotions and special discounts for groups.
  2. What does this payment include?
    What your payment includes depends on the package that you select. For example: when you select the general package, the fee includes:
    • Personalized Spanish classes, 1 teacher per student, Monday through Friday.
    • Accommodation with a Guatemalan family including a private room.
    • Educational, cultural, and recreational activities related to local and Guatemalan issues, and trips each weekend with an experienced guide. (Trips don’t include personal spending or transportation).
    • Support of social projects.
    • Delicious coffee, tea and pure drinking water.
    • Free and unlimited access to internet and WIFI.
  3. When and how should I pay the school?
    In Sol Latino you can pay for your classes before your trip or during the week that you study using the following methods:
    • Bank transfers via internet
    • International bank transfers
    • Cash payments (Dollars, Euros, or Quetzals - Guatemala’s currency)
    • Travelers Checks (Dollars only!)
  4. How is this money distributed?
    Your tuition fee is distributed among the teachers, host families, guides, school coordinator, support of social projects, administrative costs (Internet, telephone, electricity, etc.), rent, taxes, activities, and other general expenses. 

I. REGISTRATION

  1. How can I register?
    You simply need to fill out the following application form and then we can guarantee your classes and accommodation will be reserved!
  2. Can I register in advance of my arrival?
    Yes, we recommend that you register early to confirm your space in the school, a teacher, accommodation, and the day you will start classes.
  3. Why do I need to pay a registration fee?
    A part of your registration fee is used to help social projects. Also it helps cover some additional costs during the registration period (emails, phone calls, etc.) and the maintenance of the website and promotional materials.

Reserve now!

J. VOLUNTEERING

  1. What types of volunteer work are available?
    In Quetzaltenango there is a wide range of projects in which you can volunteer. For example: educational (art, English classes, math, helping with homework, etc.); health related (medical assistance to rural villages, physical therapy, etc.); social work (orphanages, promoting artisanal Guatemalan products, etc.); and other projects such as ecotourism and reforestation.
  2. What is the minimum time needed to volunteer?
    This depends on the individual project, but generally you need to commit to work for at least 2 weeks.
  3. Is it possible to study and volunteer at the same time?
    Yes, the majority of volunteers study in the mornings and then volunteer in the afternoons. The students that wish to volunteer in the morning can receive Spanish classes in the afternoon.
  4. Is it possible to volunteer without studying Spanish?
    Yes, but the majority of the projects require a certain Spanish level and since communication is a fundamental part in participating in these projects, it is highly recommended that you study Spanish for a few weeks before starting to volunteer.
  5. Do I need to pay in order to volunteer?
    No, you just need to have an intention and desire to help out the projects with whatever tasks they need to accomplish.