Ratings and Comments for Flor del Maiz
Student ratings for Flor del Maiz
Evaluation from ebpool:
learn spanish while learning about eco-living. jose and javier are great teachers who are also passionate about helping the community and the local environment, both of which are facing very difficult times on lago atitlan. my favorite project they have going on is tree planting -- so critical right now. it's pretty indisputable that last year's mudslides during hurricane stan which killed around 900 people on lago atitlan were a result of severe deforestation. get involved while you travel and learn spanish! you can also stay at the school in a private room for some of the cheapest rates in town!
Evaluation from bretjturner:
This is a WONDERFUL school with incredibly kind, helpful, funy, and knowledgeable teachers. Sit at lovely tables among coffee beans, looking out over lake Atitlan and talk in Spanish! San Pedro is a beautiful little town, and being on the far side of it gives you a great feeling of quiet and solitude. Flor del Mais is a HIGHLY recommended school. I formed a personal friendship with Jose that went beyond simply learning Spanish.
Evaluation from billrobson:
Jose and Javier do a great job here. They match a students needs with the right teacher. The excursions and activities were designed to match our interests and included an overnight hike to the top of a local mountain, a trip to an as yet unexcavated archeological site.The home stays are an amazing way to become connected with the community.The schools level of commitment to improving life for their village is obvious in every way.
Evaluation from Teresa:
I spent 1 week at this school, but did not live there. The staff were friendly and helpful, the garden is a work in progress, but will be very nice soon
Evaluation from leroywatson:
An inspirational independent school with only the best teachers and accomodation on the lake. Not just a Spanish course but an experience of Mayan culture and daily life.
Evaluation from greengirl:
The teachers at For del Maiz are very friendly and helpful. I´ve been there for two weeks so far and am really enjoying my lessons. I´m surprised at how quickly I am learning Spanish and at how friendly everyone has been. San Pedro is so beautiful and Flor del Maiz gives a wonderful insight into the lives of local families and mayan culture. They also offer students an opportunity to volunteer in their reforestation project and garden.... further insight into the issues that challenge the people of Guatemala. For those who are a little nervous about taking the bus from Guatemala city ... me for instance... they can meet you at the airport. I thoroughly recommend studying at Flor del Maiz and might still be here when yu get here!! Via con dios
Evaluation from griles:
Instructors are young, interesting and experienced folks and provide lots of unique local activites for their students. Do think about what you want from your lessons and be ready to ask for it.
Evaluation from neilwat:
A really great place. Not only are the teachers great but teaching is in a lovely enviroment. The owners of the school offer a hands on approach and they became friends who I would also like to support because of what they are doing to help the community.
Evaluation from joelfrancis:
this school has a real family feel it also has some extreemly worth while side profect. the people that run and work there are extreemly friendly and helpful. i would definatly recomend a trip here as the experience is excellent. i would also recommend staying with a family as they too are extreemly friendly and welcoming. you also get alot better feel for the town and what really goes on, not to mention it realy helps with your spanish. all in all a readly well run and friendly school that i would recommend to anyone.
Evaluation from madgelena:
This is a great new school in San Pedro that is run by excellent people that really include you in their lives and their families. My homestay experience was very special. Flor Del Maiz also supports worthy projects with the garden and also sponsoring disadvantaged children in the community. I feel it is very important to support emerging new schools in San Pedro, and I highly recommend this as a choice. The instruction is very attentive to your needs, and classes are lovely and peaceful in the beautiful garden of the school.
Evaluation from kcfisch:
I just came back from 2 weeks of study at Flor del Maiz. It was amazing! I stayed with Javier's family who were very warm and welcoming. Great food and great people. I took lessons with Tosho, who was an incredible teacher and had a great amount of patience with my limited Spanish. After 2 weeks, I feel that I'm able to get around and understand quite a bit. San Pedro is a beautiful, safe town with gorgeous scenery and is less tourist-y than cities like Antigua or Panajachel. If you want a truly cultural experience go here. The other teachers were great as well and the dinners at each other's houses were a really fun way to interact. Jose even took some of us students camping on a volcano to watch the sunrise above the clouds. It was a truly magical experience. The people at Flor del Maiz are wonderful and also support important social and environmental projects. The only thing I regret is only staying 2 weeks!
Evaluation from pabo1:
i studied here 3 months ago for 5 and a half weeks. it was a great experience and the spanish i learned has been very useful for traveling in central america. i had a teacher with a lot of experience, who although was not perfect, was able to adjust his teaching style to my level and manner of learning and who was quite effective in helping me improve my spanish. i had a great experience staying with the navichoc family who works with flor del maiz. it was a great way to learn spanish, and i had a lot of fun with them and the accomadation was really good. the school is a small school, and it felt good supporting a smaller school and there were many advantages to its smallness. the vibe was great. usually there were about 4 or 5 students studying at a time, and we all hung out during coffee breaks and spoke spanish with each other and with the teachers. the teachers were more like friends who were happy to chat with you during their free time, which i heard is different at some other schools. we also had dinners together and there were organized overnight trips and presentations. the school has a volunteer project for reforestation and helping disadvantaged children in the local schools. i volunteered a few days with the permaculture project in the school´s pleasant gardens and had a great experience. it´s a good opportunity to work with your hands, do some good, and learn spanish in the process. the location of the school is a little bit outside of the main tourist area which i thought was a great advantage. it feels more like a village where the school is located, which i liked, but the town and tourist area are close enough. all in all it was one of my best experiences of my trip, and i am a much better spanish speaker for having chosen this school. it´s not a perfect place, but most people i met studying here really enjoyed it, and many stayed on for weeks and even months.
Evaluation from pablo63:
The level of instruction is better than most. Much has been made of the fact that the instructors at the lake do not speak Spanish as their first language. They speak it very well and they teach it well. They are smart and quick to look up anything that they might not know. They enjoy the two way street of learning while they teach and this may be one reason that they seem so fresh and into their work. I liked the spread out grounds. Study stations at Flor del Maiz are located in a lovely gardin, out of sight and earshot of one another. (The larger schools often have student tables spaced very closely together which can be distracting for the instructors). This problem did not exist at Flor del Maiz. The rating system does not allow me to not rate an item which I did not use (accomodations in my case) so I left it at the default level (5). The teachers at Flor del Maiz are flexible and go the extra mile to address students' needs. The school is small so students have total access to administration. I have studied at four other schools in the past four years (two in Xela and two in San Pedro). All have been good for me. Flor del Maiz is my first choice for a return visit.
Evaluation from iank1:
I attended here for 1 week in March/07 with my family - 4 of us in total, from Canada. Home stay was at the home of Javier, an owner of the school, my instructor was Demiss. We were all beginner spanish learners - at different levels and the teachers accomodated well to our different needs. This is a small school - they are probably full with 5 or 6 students. Home accomodations were simple and exactly what we needed. Rooms had lockable doors, purified water was always available, and a hot shower was available. Vegetarian food preference was accomodated. A very friendly family with a fun little 5yr old girl who entertained my teenage daughters endlessly. San Pedro is not too big and we felt safe on the streets even at night. You get very good value for the price you pay here - but don't be expecting luxury and high comfort - tortillas and rice will be the base of your diet! On the weekend an overnight mountain hike was offered for additional cost of 100Q each but well worth it - if you're reasonably fit. Afternoon activities were not really outings but - things like a movie, a presentation on Mayan Cosmology, and a group dinner with all the students. San Pedro has most of what gringos want such as nice restaurants/coffee shops/bars without being overwhelming touristy.
Evaluation from caligirl:
Good school. Bring insect repellent as you will get bitten. The classes are held outside. Also, no activities were offered to me during the week.
Evaluation from sideshowsi:
Really freindly staff and teachers, excellent tuition, and very hospitable homestay.
Evaluation from melanie_98_21:
I am very pleased to complete my one month study at Flor Del Maiz. I was at the beginning level of Spanish; now I can communicate comfortably in Spanish with little difficulty. Along with very friendly and talented teachers, private lessons, homework, and the homestay with a family made learning quick and easy. I never thought it was possible to learn a language in one month, but it is! Besides learning Spanish, I had met friendly local people and students, and built strong friendships. I'll never forget this milestone in my life. A few words of advice: bring lots of insect repellant, and extra cash (the atm didn't work and no places take credit cards). :)
Evaluation from ashuaansuk:
I attended Flor del Maiz from Jan 14 until Feb 13 2012. The school and staff were excellent and the setting was perfect, far away from the turista area but not so far that you felt isolated. The school can handle any level of experience that a student might have. There is a family homestay program that I took advantage of personally. The homestay program will give you an insight into the day to day life of a Tsutujil family. Oftentimes,the home will be that of one of the instructors. The school supports a project that helps 9 in need students who would otherwise drop out of school at an early age severely limiting their future opportunities. The school provides these students with school supplies, tuition and food for their families enabling the student to continue in school. I met 6 of the students and all 9 of the mothers and found all of them more than deservng. The school also has a reforestation program that drew volunteers from around the world during the month I was at the school. There was a weekly dinner at a home of an instructor, trips and overnight stays to a beach and a mountain, films, and opportunties to interact with the administration (Jose or Javier). All the students at the school were very happy with their choice of Flor del Maiz during the month I was there. The school is small (no more than 12 students a week split into morning and afternoon sessions). At the beginning of 2012, it seemed that the school was averaging about 7or 8 students a week but had to turn away 2 students one week as the reputation of the school spreads by word of mouth. San Pedro, itself, is a lot of fun. San Pedro can be easily reached by bus or shuttle. The town is extremey safe and very friendly. The physical setting of San Pedro de Laguna is strikingly beautiful. Restaurants and hotels are the cheapest I have seen in many years. I enjoyed myself immensely at the school and hope to return there soon with my wife and 20 year old son.
Evaluation from krisjenkin:
After studying spanish for two years at university in Australia, I took a trip to Guatemala in January of this year and studied for 5 weeks at Flor Del Maiz. My experience at this school was fantastic, not only did my spanish improve 100 fold, but I also had an amazing time hanging out with the teachers and the families connected to the school. Nico was my teacher and I can honestly say that his teaching standard was equal to that of my professors at university. Any one thinking of visiting this school will be happy with any of the teachers, but speaking from experience, Nico is truly excellent. During my stay in San Pedro, I lived with Javier and his family, and had an equally good time eating my delicious meals (thanks to Lola, Javier's wife) with them, especially due to the awesome sense of humor that they all possess. I didn't go on any of the excursions offered, but after seeing the photos of some of the other students that attended these outings, I can say that I wish that I had. Another good thing about Flor Del Maiz is that it is situated a little further away from the other schools, so you get more of a traditional experience, especially if you choose to have a home stay, which I highly recommend, as the families connected to this school all live in the centre of town with the locals and away from the other tourists. I highly recommend Flor Del Maiz, if you are thinking of studying spanish in Guatemala please email Javier and get to know him a little, not only is he an extremely inteligent man, but he also possess' a giant heart.
Evaluation from vagamoto:
A good, small school with great teachers.
Evaluation from Terryk:
This Spanish school is so student friendly and so professional I totally recommend anyone interested to attend there. It deserves more than five stars.I attended recently from May 21 to June 1 2011. Besides the beautiful garden park area with beautiful trees plants and nature my teacher Demiss was outstanding. I am a beginning student and i learned a lot amd it was enjoyable too.Javier and Jose who own and run the school are so fantastic you will emjoy the experience and conversing with them in Spanish or in my begining spanish attempts. I know for advanced students it will be ideal also..I attended the school 10 days and was so impressed. I also stayed with the family of Javier and besides being so warm and friendly we had lots of laughs and conversation every afternoon and night it was a blast or fantastico. Javiers wife is a great cook from many homemade soups, paella,vegetable plates. homemade tortillas every night and day and meat or carne if you like .All her food is homemade and i will never forget the food and its taste along as with the chili, lime, sausa or rice and beans dishes, Their little one seven years old has so much fun energy, you will be entertained .Javier as the host is just great to talk to and laugh with.Additionally he works hard for his students.I will never forget the school, the family and i will return again in the future. i will keep in contact also with school and family.San Pedro De Laguna is a great town with lots to do and see.you will enjoy ir so much too.
Evaluation from caitlinkwan:
I spent one week at this school and I could not have asked for a better experience, both in learning Spanish and experiencing the culture. My instructor was Demiss and he was very professional and was a very good teacher. I only knew a little bit of Spanish from high school(years ago) so I was pretty much a beginner. I had class 6 hours a day, and I learned very quickly. I was a lot more confident with my Spanish after a week. I stayed with Javier and his family for my homestay and it is definitely recommended. I spoke only in Spanish most of the time and was able to practice the things I learned in class. Also, Javier's 6 year old daughter was like a teacher in the evening. Besides that, I was able to make tortillas with Javier's wife and was even able to help prepare food for a fiesta. I also watch her weave, so it was a wonderful cultural experience for me as well. I could not have asked for a better school or homestay. My lessons were tailored for me, so that we spent more time on what I needed more practice with, and less time with things that came easy for me. Part of the lesson was spent to talk about world issues and other issues happening around the area, so it was great practice. The accomodations are fine, you just have to know what to expect in Guatemala. I had a lot of fun with everything, and I really respect and admire what Javier is doing for his People. Ask him about his projects! He's a very passionate person with a great big heart. I would recommend this school for people who are serious about learning or improving their Spanish.
Evaluation from amina:
I was during a whole week... that was really perfect to refresh my spanish... The teacher was perfect and the environment of the lessons were kind of cool. Moreover, I stayed with a family, which was really nice too... The food which were cooked was really fine and the family too... I recommended to everyone this school.. It is a pretty small school where the ambiance and activities are really good. Thanks for everybody from Flor del Maiz
Evaluation from francbert79:
I have studied there 1 week with a family stay in june 2013. My experience has been great. The atmosphere is friendly and laid back. We had a coffee break with real good coffee and some home made snacks (Chuchitos!! Sooo good). The garden were the classes are given was very peacefull and private, it also shows the different experience they are working on in organic agriculture. The teacher was a bit too tough at first but when he understood that I was mainly looking for a laid back mixture of conversation and learning with no stress, he got into it and we became good friends. Unfortunatly I was in the low season and the extra activities were not happening. Otherwise they have hiking and cooking, among others, and part of any profits goes to their community projects. I apreciated their commitment to the community a lot and although I believe they were a bit more expensive than other schools I felt secure that they were serious about giving back through their help programs. Javier is a dedicated person with hope for the mayan kids of the village that they can get money to go as far as possible in school and come back to help others. The home stay made me discover San Pedro in a different way, outside the chaotic tourist area (which is quite something at night in San Pedro, you will see). One of the highlight of my trip. ¡Claro!
Evaluation from kruger:
Javier and his business partner who run the school are amazing people. Incredibly friendly and generous. If you want to learn Spanish, understand a different culture and meet real local people, then there is no better school in Flor del Maiz. Highly recommended! K.
Evaluation from saffo:
I had a great week of lessons at Flor de Maiz, a small, friendly school with a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere, in a peaceful, beautiful setting. The two men who run the school are excellent people with a strong commitment to social activism and a vision of how they can work toward positive change in their pueblo. My teacher was a lovely young Mayan woman with a good sense of humor and a lot of knowledge about her culture and current events in Guatemala. We had some interesting discussions and I learned a lot of Spanish while building my conversation skills. The family we stayed with was warm and welcoming and they fed us well. I learned how to make tortillas and taught my house mother how to make pesto. There were good snacks and delicious coffee every day and a few fun activities in the afternoons. My godson and I also volunteered in the organic garden, learning about the reforestration projects and growing local local produce. The total experience was wonderful and I would recommend this school highly for anyone interested in an authentic immersion in Spanish language and Guatemalan culture.
Evaluation from jeanchristophe:
A very calm and friendly place! I spent one week at Flor del Maiz in the beginning of june 2013. I stayed with Javier (the school director) in his house, where I was truly received as a member of the family. Even though I was far away from it, they really made me feel at home. We had deep, interesting discussions during almost every meal, and Javier taught me a lot abuot the Maya culture. I had a lot of fun with my teacher (Demiss), who was very efficient during class and focused on my wishes and needs. Both Javier and Demiss went out with me a couple of times; to go the fields, or go watch a soccer game. Flor del Maiz is one of the smaller schools in San Pedro. And since I was the only student during my stay, I got to practice my spanish a lot. I think staying at this school, is a unique possibility if you want to improve your spanish in short time, but can also become boring very fast if you want to socialize with other people. But whenever you start to feel lonely, just head down to "Gringolandia"...
Evaluation from westcornersville:
I enjoyed my time and learned a lot during my studies at Flor del Maiz. You're very engaged since it's one-on-one instruction (so be prepared for 4 hours of speaking Spanish per day--or for however many hours per day you elect). The surroundings are nice too--a covered study area outdoors within an orchard of coffee and fruit trees and tropical plants. They're flexible with the time of day of your class, so if you want to hike Volcán San Pedro during one of the mornings, you can arrange to have your class during that afternoon instead of morning. Of course, be prepared for a little homework each day too!
Evaluation from edmacs:
Floe del Maiz was wonderful, an actual cooperative school (some say they are but aren´t be sure to check) with great staff and great teachers. The manager Javier is very helfpul and if your lucky enough to stay with his family you will love it. His wife Lola is great and her food is a delight, much better than any of the restaurants in san pedro and great for a chat and laugh to practice your spanish after your meal. Their daughter Chusita is fantastic, lots of fun and will help you with your spanish too. we wanted to do 20hrs in 4 days not 5 which was easily accommodated. i would def recommend Flor Del Maiz to everyone.
Evaluation from EduardoP:
Excellent school with dedicated teachers and a strong commitment to good teaching in a very pleasant environment. Highlights, other than being in a very friendly and hard-working environment (my choice, to which the school responded very well), were: - the excellent homestay with Ines and her family, - the experience of the town's amazing basketball fever (including an all-night basketball competition), - an afternoon swimming in Lake Atitlan and diving with very welcoming and friendly local kids, and - the highlight of highlights, a walk (well, hike really) to the top of a volcano, where we camped the night. The walk was organised by the school and led by Javier and José, the former being the dedicated school manager/owner and the latter being one of the excellent teachers. What a treat to wake up with a view of the glittering lake and to sleep under the moon (and, in fact, above the wispy clouds and mist). Hard walking, but despite the odd worry, manageable by me (first tough hike after major back surgery) and a gentleman in his 60s. We sang songs and eat wonderful food (mine provided by Ines). Great. The only reason I don't give 5 stars for everything is that I've not experienced any other schools and have no benchmark against which to compare. I can imagine better might exist somewhere, but for value for money and overall enjoyment this would be very hard to beat. Big thanks to Demis, Javier and Jose for making this a great experience for me, and also to Ines her entourage, nephew, son and the lovely gemelas for looking after me so well.
Evaluation from DEFRANCE:
Si vous voulez apprendre l'espagnol et vivre une expérience humainement enrichissante, allez dans cette école.Les profs sont compétents,ils auront à cœur de vous faire découvrir et aimer la culture Maya et vous serez dans un cadre superbe.L'idéal c'est certain.
Evaluation from reinarosa:
Flor del Maiz is a wonderful school. I spent 2 weeks there with my boyfriend in January and stayed with Javier and his family. We both got a great deal out of the instruction. I was a beginner when I started and after working with Jose for 2 weeks felt I had the rudiments of the language. Enough so that I feel confident that I can travel alone and generally communicate. The staff are marvelously fun and sweet and they offer all manner of cool activities in the evenings and on the weekends. I would definitely recommend them to anyone heading for San Pedro.
Evaluation from mperisho:
This is a wonderful school. I spent 4 weeks studying here in January (2011) as a complete beginner, and just returned for 2 more weeks in July to learn some advanced grammar and clear up questions I had. All the instructors here have years of experience and I felt that they were as effective at teaching advanced material as beginner. (I have studied at other schools in Central America, and this was the best). The instructors are all proud Tz'utujil Mayan and learning more about their culture and environment through the school's lectures, activities and excursions was one of the highlights of my stay. The school moved to a new location in June and is now the only school in the uphill center of town which creates a better immersion environment than the schools in the downhill tourist zone (a five minute walk away). The school is small (6> students) and on a side-street so it is best to email or call in advance.
Evaluation from CarlosZienty79:
My dad and I came down to this immersion school in Guatemala for two weeks during the summer. He was just beginning to learn Spanish and I, after majoring in Spanish in college, came down to improve my conversation skills as well as learn more about Central America, Guatemala, and Mayan culture. The program and its directors and teachers were all incredibly accomodating and worked with my dad and I to suit both of our personal needs and help us reach our goals for the summer. Let me just say that this school provided me with much more than just an opportunity to learn or practice another language. The cultural experience was well rounded and all inclusive. For two weeks, we were able to live and interact with the people of San Pedro. We not only saw, but lived the realities of the community for a time, and that is, in itself very rewarding and memorable experience. During my two weeks living with Javier and his family, I found myself pitying the other students in town, because as they stayed in resort hotels in the tourist district, they were missing out on the most important aspects of studying in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. Living with the locals and sharing their lifestyle is not only a more authentic cultural experience but it is also better for learning and practicing the language, because you are constantly surrounded by it. If I wanted to practice Spanish 3 hours a day and spend the rest of my day playing xbox or chatting with friends on Facebook, I would just stay at home. But I was looking for a true immersion experience, and that is exactly what I received by studing at Flor del Maiz Spanish School.
Evaluation from dzienty:
I attended Flor del Maiz Spanish School for 2 weeks during the summer of 2011. It was a truly wonderful experience! All of the instructors are highly experienced. My instructor, Demiss, was excellent! He tailored the coursework to my level of Spanish. He was very diligent and well-prepared for each and every lesson. Its amazing how much you can learn in an immersion setting! In addition to the actual formal corsework, I opted for the home-stay option, which gives you even more opportunity to speak Spanish! You stay with a local family of Mayan descent, which also provides an opportunity to observe first-hand the daily life of the people of Guatemala. I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the thought of traveling to Guatemala for the first time to attend the school, but working with Javier, the director of the school, via email made it all very easy and comfortable. He arranged for a taxi direct from the airport in Guatemala City to San Pedro. San Pedro is a great place with many activities available during off-times. Javier was always happy to take us out hiking, to a museum or to a nearby market. An the views of Lake Atitlan are amazing!! I heartily recommend Flor del Maiz Spanish School!!
Evaluation from mlupien:
I really enjoyed this school. I studied there for a month and learned lots of Spanish! I'm going back, and this time to learn Tzutujil! :)
Evaluation from dandy:
i studied here for 2 weeks and now i am able to travel around central america a lot easier and actually talk to locals where before i would just walk by. When i was there i felt like i was part of their family and Javier would help me with anything and would organize a free activity for me almost every day. Whatever i wanted to do. We went for hikes, i had lessons in spanish from Jose and on fridays i had supper at Javier's. I lived with a host family which was very interesting. i loved seeing how people live here and the food was delicious. i highly recommend this school and if i get a chance i will definitely come back.
Evaluation from danran:
I studies at Flor Del Maiz for two weeks in December 2011. It was one of the best experiences of my life. My teacher, Damise(i think that is how you spell it), was great and very friendly. I learned a lot of spanish in the two weeks I was there and at the same time learned a lot about the country, the people and the culture from all the stories Damise told. Javier was amazing too. When I arrived he asked me what I wanted to do in San Pedro and almost every day he had something planned for me (hiking, watching movies, lessons in spanish on history and Mayan culture with Jose) and on Firday we had supper together with his family. I lived with one of Javier's friends Ines(again not sure about spelling) and her two daughters. Although since it was close to christmas a lot of her family was there and the kids were off school so it was a very busy house. I loved it. Flor Del Maiz is much smaller than other schools which I think makes it easier for them to pay attention to you and know what you need to learn and it also means you get to know each other a lot better. The school is also higher up on the hill which I liked because i got an awesome view of the lake and it also meant it was further away from "Gringolandia" and I got to see a lot more of the local activity. I would recommend Flor Del Maiz to everyone who wants to study in Guatemala.
Evaluation from rooon:
After 3 weeks of strugling with my Spanish in Mexico i decided it was time to take some lessons. Found flor del maiz through couchsurfing.. and im really glad to have studied there the first week of February. The school is really nice, small relaxed and away from the touristic places in town. After one week i felt much more confortable speaking Spanish.. it has really hwlped my skills and my traveling so far. Everyone at the school and the family i stayed at were really nice people.. i can really recommend this school to everyone who wants to improve their Spanish in guatemala. Mucus gracias por todos! :D
Evaluation from susanmarie:
I booked at Flor de Maize Spanish School for two weeks because it was in a town with all the amenities I wanted. And the school supported a local program, Trek for Kids, as well it was owned and operated by Mayans. I stayed my entire visit in Guatemala, 9 weeks in total, at the school because the family was so amazing. Lola taught me how to prepare tortillas, chichochitos to name a few. We ate market fresh food daily. Their eldest daughter took me to local events like soccer and strolls around her beloved San Pedro. Magna, the baby, simply took my heart. The teachers and administrators are socially alive, so aware of the country's great gifts from ruines to cosmogenesis. The school hosted lectures on the Mayan culture as well as films and discussions. Demis Bixwl, my teacher, rocked! Oh yes, hablo y escribo espanol gracias. Susan Larder
Evaluation from Canchito:
First of all: We loved the school, our teachers, Javier's family and of course our co-students! Javier and the others do everything to make you feel comfortable and very welcome. There are some extra-curricular activities (weekly student/teacher-dinner, Maya ceremony, hikes, visit to lokal markets...) which change every week. You can always ask if it's possible to do something with the school. Since it's a very small school (8 students tops) they're very flexible. If it's not possible you can always ask for information about the best way to get somewhere, what to do there and what this usually costs (helps avoiding tourist traps...). The one-on-one Spanish classes take place in the morning or afternoon (depending on when you want them). Since there where many students the week we came we could only take our lessons in the afternoon. In the end we wouldn't have wanted it any other way since the life in Guatemala takes place in the morning rather than the afternoon.... The classes are tailored to your individual needs. You can always tell your teacher what you would like to achieve and they will try to make it happen. Every day after 2-2,5h of learning Spanish all the students meet for the "pausa" with coffee/tea and some panitos dulces (sweet rolls, cupcakes,..) or sometimes chuchitos and a lot of chatting in Spanish with the co-students and teachers. We really enjoyed "pausa" because it was just talking informally with everyone and you heard about the newest San Pedro gossip which you wouldn't have known otherwise. It's really a lot of fun and you pick up some Spanish without really noticing it. I can't imagine any way the teachers could be any more student friendly than they already are. They really try hard to make any of your wishes possible. We felt very much at home. I even celebrated my birthday at Flor de Maiz. We had Tamales (a special Guatemalan birthday meal) and Tara, a co-student, baked a birthday cake (thank you!). We even had a piñata which was great fun since the children enjoyed it very much. We stayed with Javier's family and loved it. Lola is a great cook, I think she spends almost the whole day preparing delicious meals. Their daughters are extremely open and very happy. The whole family makes you feel at home. I think it's a great advantage that Flor de Maiz is such a small school. After two days you know everyone and feel very welcome. It feels like you're part of a big family. Muchisimas gracias Demiss, Juan y Javier! Nos gustó mucho. Vamos a regresar otra vez!
Evaluation from JoSolins:
I had a wonderful experience at Flor del Maiz, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants an intimate learning environment and more of a cultural immersion experience than the other schools in San Pedro can offer. The location has moved since any reviews that mention a garden setting for classes, but the views from the new location at Javier's house are gorgeous, and it's both fun and valuable to be situated well away from the tourist part of town. My teacher, Demiss, was just fantastic, and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the other teachers during breaks and activities, too. Every single person at the school--students included--was someone I felt lucky to meet, and I also got to stay with a lovely and accommodating host family. A truly exceptional school all around!
Evaluation from silvano69:
I really enjoyed my three weeks (30 hrs a week) at this rooftop school (Flor del Maiz). For me, the fact that the school is away from the touristic area of San Pedro la Laguna was a big plus. I stayed with the family of one of the co-director and truly enjoyed it. I studied with the other co-director, Jose, and found him extremely well prepared, patient, intelligent, interesting, and interested in my learning. I do not hesitate in recommending this school. I believe that all the instructors (teachers) have many great qualities.
Evaluation from jankoski:
5 Stars all around for Flor De Maiz! I traveled for three months from Costa Rica to Mexico and studying at Flor De Maiz in San Pedro was the highlight of the trip! Javier and Jose are very accommodating and make sure that you have an authentic experience. The teachers are phenomenal, the classes were just what I needed to push through to the intermediate level and on my way to fluency. Talking to other students in the area it seemed like they did not get the same experience!
Evaluation from neilwat1:
Amazing place to stay. I have studied at the school twice and both times stayed with Javier and his family. It is a great experience and the best way to learn Spanish. The school is small so you get a very personal approach. The school is located at one of the higher points of San Pedro with a superb view of the lake. Living with a Mayan family allows you to see the true heart of Guatemala and I hope to return here again in the future.
Evaluation from saraloe:
Just a great school. Teacher are friendly, helpful and good in teaching. And just good people. And they have a great view over the lake.
Evaluation from nessa636:
My husband and I recently spent a week studying at Flor del Maiz and had a great experience both at Flor and in San Pedro la Laguna. We also did home stay here which was slightly more rustic than what were used to coming from Antigua. However, I think it was the best way to really experience a town like San Pedro which is very divided between natives and tourists. One could easily spend a week in this town and never leave "gringolandia" which is filled with good restaurants, bars, and hippies. However, you would really be missing out on some of the most friendly people in all of Central America and the interesting Mayan culture that they are happy to share with you. Do the homestay, even if you are out of your comfort zone. FDM is a small, small school located in the loft above Javier (the owner's) house. Students get really personalized attention. Activities included a couple of great hikes and a really fun school dinner which we all pitched in to prepare. On the whole a great experience.
Evaluation from sbush116:
Flor del Maiz is a top notch Spanish immersion experience with a fantastic host family in a veritable paradise of a location. I attended class for 4 hours each day over two weeks with two other friends, and we all had very knowledgable local teachers who tailored their lessons to our needs and provided lots of opportunities for conversation. Furthermore, they were all from indigenous heritage, which provided for a culturally rich experience when paired with the local homestay. Other spanish schools in San Pedro simply can't beat Flor del Maiz because it is a true immersion experience around locals up the hill from "Gringo Lane" where most other schools are located. Oh, and the snacks, meals, and activities are not to be missed!
Evaluation from Lenoramajor:
After arriving by boat to San Pedro La Laguna some people came to help me with my luggagge and to help me get off the boat and find a tuc tuc to go to my family's home. This was a mayan family with mayan traditions Ana, the head, warmly greeted me and welcomed me to her home. Javier, the head of the School, was also there to greet me and make feel at home. When I attended my spanish classes, I felt special with Javier the teacher. He has an excellent program in spanish and taught some important factors in spanish. One important feature is the dinner in an informal setting. The students met and ate guatemalan food, preperated by Lola and Javier. Lola made homemade "TORTILLAS DE MAIZ" ¡Qué buenas!. It seems the school was located in the clouds because it was raining and there was clouds but in reallity it was a school upstairs with amazing view of almost the entire city. This Comment wrote 31-05-13
Evaluation from Phil:
Javier was incredibly accommodating of my last minute request to attend Flor Del Maiz. Demis was my instructor and tailored the lesson to my needs. The accommodations I had were at the school/Javier's house, so very convenient for lessons, just wake up, eat breakfast and walk upstairs! The family made me feel like they were my family. I can't recommend this school highly enough. Great people, great location, great value for money!
Evaluation from morganwhalen:
I studied at Flor del Maiz for two weeks, taking one-on-one Spanish lessons with Javier. He set me up with another family that I lived with in San Pedro. All the teachers at the school were wonderful, and Javier's family is fantastic and incredibly welcoming. I highly recommend the school and a homestay!