Summer Studies Program

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La Escuela Español San José El Viejo
Antigua, Guatemala

The Cordell Hull Foundation targets targets La Escuela de Español San José el Viejo for its Summer Studies Program in Antigua, Guatemala.   In one-on-one sessions with individual instructors, students can learn Spanish, totally immersed in a Latin  culture while living with a Guatemalan family.

Summer Studies Program Courtyard 99 Antigua (168655 bytes)The outdoor casita, where each student works with an individual, expert instructor.

The year-round springtime climate makes possible quality one-on-one instruction situated in unique, individual outdoor casitas set in a courtyard rich with verdant greenery and abundant colorful flowers.  The Cordell Hull Foundation is seeking grant monies to send teachers of Spanish and other businesspeople for short-term Spanish fluency intensives.  The San Jose del Viejo school,  set against the backdrop of the ancient San Jos? hermitage, imposing ruins, and abundant foliage,  attracts students from all over the world who travel to study Spanish in this idyllic environment.  Antigua, a town of 40,000 just 45 minutes by car from Guatemala City, enjoys a year-round spring-time climate and a matching warmth emanating from its friendly citizens. For twenty-seven years, local historic-preservation laws have prevented any new construction within the city limits, thus preserving the unique flavor of the town with its original cobblestone streets.

This one-on-one intensive method of Spanish instruction was originated and perfected in Antigua, and is enhanced by the even, unaccented Spanish spoken by Guatemalans.   Students further benefit from the fact that Guatemalan speakers use fewer idiomatic expressions than is the case in most Latin American countries.

This location is an ideal spot for Americans to become fluent in Spanish in a minimum amount of time.   In addition, the school is located half a block from the Hotel Antigua is within easy walking distance of the town square and places of scenic interest.  Surrounding the area are numerous tourist spots, including the magnificent Lake Atitlan, Rio Dulce, Chichicastenango, Tikal, Pacaya Volcano, Quetzaltenango and villages with textile markets of traje indigena.  There are numerous other adventures available as well, like Mayan mountain tours, and whitewater rafting and kayaking.

An incoming student’s level of proficiency is determined by interviews and/or tests.  Students may arrange to attend class for up to six hours a day for several days or a week at a time, depending upon individual needs.   A student may request a teacher-directed tour of the many interesting sights in the village to learn about the culture and history while communicating in Spanish.  A student may also choose a different teacher each week if he/she prefers, to experience a rich variety of expressions.  This experience provides the opportunity for total immersion in the Spanish language and appeals to an increasing number of businesspeople who need Spanish in the workplace.    Participants are able to combine valuable vacation time with the learning of language skills while absorbing the fascinating culture of Guatemala.  Advisory Board Member and Louisiana State Treasurer Ken Duncan took advantage of the opportunity in Christmas of 1997 when he studied with family and staff during the holidays.

Garcias (174703 bytes)Students have the option of staying with a Guatemalan family and practice speaking Spanish while enjoying delicious home-cooked meals prepared from fresh products at local market.  Pictured here are the charming Garcias in their lovely courtyard a few blocks from the school.

The Cordell Hull Foundation is actively seeking funding to grant scholarships to cover cost of tuition and lodging.  Students would be required to pay for their own transportation to the school, including airfare from the United States.   The cost of instruction and lodging is quite reasonable and the quality of one-on-one instruction unparalleled, in our experience, and from the reports we receive.  Feel free to contact the school directly for more information about classes, fees and lodging.  Detailed information may be found at:

One of the Cordell Hull Foundation’s former exchange teachers has established another one-on-one language school in Antigua.  Though CHF has not personally experienced this training, if you wish to compare the program, here is the contact information:

    Jos? Taj
Academic Director, Ciudad Vieja Spanish Academy
504-701-3856 (New Orleans)

From what we know of Jos? Taj, we would expect the Ciudad Vieja to be innovative, well-organized, and effective in helping you attain Spanish fluency.

Plans for the Summer Studies Program include more exchange students, additional teachers and locations.  The twenty-first century will bring countries together in a global community requiring multi-cultural communications in languages other than English.  The Cordell Hull Foundation hopes to continue offering the Summer Studies Program so that teachers may bridge the language communications gap and promote understanding through cultural exchange and mutual cooperation.