La Escuela de la Montaña

un proyecto de la asociación Pa Le Qanil

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Read what some of our former students have to say about us.

Student interviews on


Student reviews on

More student reviews:

I liked this place a lot, very nice and friendly people at the school and around in the small town. Good teacher, many interesting information, nice garden and a lot of nature. It is worth the trip.

--Jutta M., Neu-Isenburg, Germany


A place to call home – surrounded by beauty and culture, and steeped in experiences.

The teachers are intelligent, genuine, and know how to meet you where you are while helping you to grow in a both intense and natural way.

Taking meals with families in the community is a brilliant idea that benefits all. An opportunity for connection to the culture, the people, the food without being overwhelmed, and soon back to the comfort of your own space, laughing in the kitchen with interesting friends from around the world, off on an adventure, studying or taking a nap. A deeply rich experience.

--Bobi W., Richland, Washington, USA


I found the combination of tutoring, homework time, eating with the local families, and playing/hanging with other students in the dormitory to be perfect. Meal times were practice opportunities and yummy, tutoring was intense with great conversations and skill/knowledge building, homework was excellent practice (not overwhelming), and being with other students was great camaraderie in the glorious Guatemalan countryside.

Our weekend trips to the beach and Mayan ruins were excellent fun with our fellow students, and the short hop into Colomba was great to see a small town market, their new municipal building, and WiFi access.

--Scott W., Washington, USA


Attending the Mountain School is hands down one of the best things I have done in my life. I’ve come back three times!

--Steven S., Los Angeles, California, USA


La Escuela is a truly magical, special place, and a wonderful place to learn Spanish. I arrived with very little ability to speak, and am leaving (six weeks later) solidly conversational.

--Karen G., New Orleans, Louisiana, USA


I only spent a week there, but I would have spent longer if they weren't full. I ironically ended up going to the Mountain School for a week because PLQ in Xela was full my first week of three. I soon fell in love with the tranquility of the place and simplicity of life. I got to know how most Guatemalans live, and that was an inspirational experience. I became close with all the classmates because there are only 14 total. We would play nightly games together, and we just became close because it's such a small group and we share tricks of the trade as we learned how to get hot water in the shower or wash fruit.

The grounds itself are GORGEOUS, like a real rain forest feel and nothing can beat it. You learn in a small hut outside - one for each student and teacher. It's fabulous! You go have meals with your families three times a day, and they soon start to feel like your own. I didn't want to leave and hope to one day return to continue learning Spanish and explore Guatemala with the wonderful folks at the Mountain School.

--Grace H., Denver, Colorado, USA

I have been so inspired by my time here at the Escuela de la Montana. Not only by the improvements in my Spanish and the dedication of the teachers, but especially by the community that forms each week with new students and teachers and the communities. I’ve been reminded of the importance of imagining and creating the world that we want to live in and share with others.

--Lila C., New York City, USA


My husband, Aaron, and I spent three weeks at the Escuela de la Montaña, and benefited hugely from the experience. I'd studied Spanish extensively, but had lost a lot of my grammar, and Aaron was a beginner. By the time we finished our third week, I had had the opportunity to review and practice all the grammar concepts I'd forgotten, and felt much more confident speaking. Aaron could communicate the basics and understands an impressive amount!

The teachers at the Escuela are talented at what they do and were a pleasure to work with. My first teacher, Maria José, quickly honed in on where I needed to begin reviewing, and incorporated grammar review into plenty of conversation, so that classes were always engaging. Rony and Anny smoothly picked up where each last teacher left off. Each teacher has his or her own unique style, but the general approach and materials used are consistent, so that it's easy to transition between teachers.

The Spanish instruction at the Escuela is far more valuable thanks to the fact that it is contextualized. We learned about Guatemalan history, politics, and culture, and talked at length about the current social, cultural, and political realities of the country, as well as of the specific region where the school is situated. We learned from community members themselves about the history, struggles, and successes of the neighboring communities (which collaborate extensively with the school).

The Hermanidad Educativa's solidarity-oriented support for campesino communities in their struggles for social justice was the principal reason I chose to study there. My experience at the Escuela affirmed my appreciation for the work being done by the admirable staff and community members involved with these schools.

--Sari A., Austin, Texas, USA


Studying at the Mountain School was what I expected and more. I live in a large city, and desired a rural learning experience with focused attention on learning the Spanish language and exploring the history of the surrounding rural communities. I found the teachers engaging and excited to meet me where I was, linguistically.

The various activities throughout my three week stay were al unique and educational. The cooking class each week was a definite highlight! I found the families I shared meals with throughout the week warm and welcoming. Although I could not always communicate exactly what I meant, they made the effort to understand me, and fed me well with the local cuisine as if I were family.

My time at the Mountain School has excited me to continue my Spanish language studies, and I hope to return at some point, if only to say hello to the wonderful community here.

--Joshua L., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA