A Spanish School That Gives Back
The Mountain School
Socially responsible language instruction at a non-profit school in the beautiful western highlands of Guatemala
The School opened in 1997 and is part of the Hermandad Educativa, along with our sister school, PLQ, in Quetzaltenango.
The idea behind the school was to provide some economic sustainability for the rural Mayan communities. We are committed to fair wages for our staff and offer paid leave benefits, which are not common in this industry. We use our profits to support groups and projects focusing on Guatemala’s social and economic problems. The school is managed by a collective of teachers, and the profits do not go into the pocket of a single owner – as is the case with many other language schools.
We offer high quality, affordable Spanish language instruction while generating income for the local communities and financial support for local projects.
Our students not only will improve their Spanish during their stay, but will learn about the social, economic and political history of Guatemala as well.
Students will take with them cultural sensitivity, long-lasting relationships and wonderful memories.
Language schools all have their own personalities, and it’s important to find one that works for you. Students who enjoy our school the most are people who:
- Want to get LOTS of Spanish conversation practice
- Want to be away from the cities and the tourists
- Prioritize social justice
- Want to learn the political, labor and social history of Guatemala
- Value relationships with the people they meet during their stay
- Are comfortable with basic accommodations
Teachers & Staff
All our teachers are trained and certificated in teaching Spanish as a second language. Their interests and backgrounds are varied, but all share a common vision of social justice, sustainable development, and a commitment to helping their students have an amazing Spanish immersion experience.
Staff who work in the school or provide meals for the students are from the local Mayan communities of Fátima and Nuevo San Jose, and are wonderful resources for practicing your Spanish when you aren’t in class.
The Mountain School is in the Western Highlands of Guatemala – lush, green, rain forest mountains. we even have a local volcano that spews ash (but no lava). We are a 90 minute bus ride southwest of Quetzaltenango on Departmental Road QUE-03 (13km past San Martín Sacatepéquez), which makes it easy to head into the city for the weekend if you’re staying longer than one week. Get more info about traveling to the school.
The School sits on several acres of an old coffee plantation, at an altitude of about 3,000ft, and is immediately next to 2 small communities of 80 families. They created these communities as a result of a long labor struggle.
The closest sizable town is Colomba, where there are internet cafes, banks/ATMs, a market, bakeries… and is 30 minutes by public transportation.