Ratings and Comments for Cooperative of Guatemalan Spanish Teachers
Student ratings for Cooperative of Guatemalan Spanish Teachers
Evaluation from alexbyrne:
I had Mynor for my tutor- he was excellent! My husband had Luis who was a little more relaxed in style. a good combination of reading, writing and speaking made me much more confident. I was only able to learn for 3 hours per day as there was so much going in. We volunteered informally at Hijos del Lago- a school for kids with disabilities up in the town centre which we really enjoyed- the only thing is that we volunteered in the pm where there was no structure up there- I'd recommend voluntering in the am when there is a teacher present to structure your work.
Evaluation from sohal:
I had a week of spanish lessons with 6 hours a day. Although this was a very short period of time the mixture of grammar and free speaking helped me a lot to get into the language and at the same time I learned much about social life in San Pedro. I can recommend Mynor as a very good teacher. Also the commitment of the cooperativa to a school for poor kids in the village is a very good reason to choose this language school. The "classrooms" little huts with view over the lake are just amazing!
Evaluation from altheareu:
Great teachers Griselda, Lorenzo, Antonio...beautiful outdoor location with awesome lake views, wonderful families and volunteer projects. After studying 4 months at 4 schools (Xela, Pana, Todos Santos) my favorite in the country. I've made good friends for life.
Evaluation from barryevans:
My wife and I enjoyed our time with the Cooperative. Friendly, competent instruction. We particularly liked the outdoor environment. Barry Evans
Evaluation from caro79:
I highly recommend this school as a great place to study Spanish in Guatemala. The cooperative is different to the other schools in San Pedro in that it's very ethically run and non-profit making (all the teachers have an equal say in decisions and profits are put into funding charity projects). I also didn't see another school with better views - you study under your own individual palapa in a lovely garden looking down over the lake and up to the volcano. The atmosphere is relaxed and the teachers are all very friendly. They'll teach you salsa, show you movies, lend you music in Spanish, and party with you if you want! And as for the actual teaching, I definitely have to recommend it too. I found the approach flexible and varied, with a lot of focus on communication, an essential for learning any language. And it is certainly effective. I studied for 7 weeks with Mynor, pretty much all the Spanish instruction I've ever had, and that was enough to become fluent after a couple more months living in the Spanish speaking world, so I suppose that speaks for itself. Go there, tell Mynor that Caroline sent you!
Evaluation from Leigh:
I highly recommend this school for anyone who wishes to study spanish and experience a friendly, truly "cooperative"-ly run school with excellent teachers and diverse teaching materials. The view is the best in San Pedro--the volcanoes dipping into Lago Atitlan, blue skies, sunsets, colorful birds, and the beautifully designed garden that the small, grass hut classrooms are situated around. I have been studying with Mynor for 4 weeks, and will definitely return to this school later in my travels. Mynor is very flexible in his teaching style, and caters to my learning needs. He is very attentive to my strengths and weaknesses with the language, and directs the lessons appropriately, while including topics that keep me engaged and interested (and laughing) even when the lessons are difficult. He is very patient and understanding of newcomers to the language. My boyfriend studies with Luis, who is also a wonderful teacher versed in many languages--with great knowledge and personal experience in the changing culture and languages in the region. Today the four of us visited a local midwife for an interview for part of our class session! The teachers enjoy hands on learning opportunities like this for their students, so I suggest taking advantage of this when you come. The ambiance here is very pleasant and the teachers all have a good sense of humor. Teaching is taken seriously, but during after-class activities and breaks, the teachers are happy to kick back and enjoy along with the students. Good presentations, movie selection, group activities, and the group dinners are great! The outdoor classrooms can´t be beat. Enjoy! Leigh
Evaluation from pippa:
Teachers were happy and it showed - we were very happy with our experience and the family with whom we lived. The activities were well planned and fun, and I have recommended the school to every traveler going through Guatemala. My Spanish improved GREATLY after a mere week of classes. My tutor was Lorenzo - knowledgeable, informative and helpful. HIGHLY recommended.
Evaluation from kellyrojo:
I cannot say enough great things about my experience at this school. You can essentially design your own program to fit your ability level and the teachers are all super friendly. If you weant to push yourself you can or if you want to take it easy they will let you do that to. The town is great. The shore is touristy but walk 2 minutes up into town and you can practice your Spanish endlessly. The school gave me an opportunity to teach at a kindergarten as a voulenteer as well. Also, you learn outside in little huts with views of the surrounding volcanoes. There is a free activity in Spanish every night and this school is very active in helping out the local community. All of the teachers own the school so they end up doing what is best for the students and the school. One more thing, there is a party (all in Spanish) every other week. Mynor was my teacher--I would highly reccomend him. Like I said--great place to learn Spanish--if you have some questions you can contact me about my experience at email@example.com ----Buena suerte chicos!
Evaluation from juttachristmann:
Very friendly and competent teachers, best location in San Pedro, every second week on fridays: teachers are cooking for students very good meals! Social projects for poor families in community San Pedro - all together: a great experience!
Evaluation from carter:
This is a superb school. One-on-one is the way to go. My teachers, Laya and Mynor, were the best. Skilled, patient, not bored, answered my questions in depth, only one break in 4 hours of class. Real professionals. Well organized and on time events. Beautiful location in a garden over looking the lake. My 4 weeks were amazing. San Pedro is a friendly island of peace. Worth every cent. A real coopertivo with a deep commitment to their community.
Evaluation from ronny_belgica:
Evaluation from danny0772:
About as good as it gets. Excellent teachers. Everything geared around the specific needs of the pupil. Dirt cheap, and lovely garden surroundings on the hill overlooking a beautiful view of the lake. Everyone who has been here always says its the best one and I totally agree. They also work as a co op giving food to the poor families and sharing the wealth. They show movies, do salsa lessons and all sorts of other stuff as well. Mynor was our teacher and I couldn´t be more grateful to him. Danny and Rachel (UK)
Evaluation from rajanbrown:
Very mellow setting with nice teachers. the school is very involved in the community through education, food programs, environmental programs and more.
Evaluation from jamiehuggins:
I highly recommend Cooperativa in San Pedro! I received a quality education there, and you cannot beat the price or location. Each student-teacher pair gets their own grass roof cabana, most of which overlook the gorgeous lake and volcanoe that is home to San Pedro. My teacher, nicknamed ¨Chino¨ was INCREDIBLE. Very, very nice guy, intelligent, and extremely knowledgeable of the language. He has over 7 years of experience and it shows. Muchisimas gracias por todo, Chino y Cooperativa!
Evaluation from Andrea:
I had a great time in this school, all the teachers are cool and friendly even if they don't teach you... Activities are great, my spanish improved so much that I can now talk in spanish by phone, and I've encontered friends and more...! You've got to go there!
Evaluation from jeannetao:
Studied here for a week in July 2012; the garden is BEAUTIFUL, the teachers nice, and they even have yummy snacks during the mid-morning break. The feeling at the school is good because it is a cooperative of socially conscious teachers, not like the money-grubbing owner of the school I attended in Antigua. Our homestay family was nice, but be aware that accommodations can be spartan; the economy around the lake is not quite what you can find in Antigua.
Evaluation from Mariehelene:
J'ai adoré la coopérative. L'enseignement y est excellent! Les profs sont accueillants, l'atmosphère est géniale; les cours se déroulent dans un magnifique jardin! De plus, les activités en dehors des cours sont nombreuses et très agréables (film, vidéo et conférence sur la culture maya, cours de salsa, kayac, BBQ, etc.). En plus de tout ça, la Coopérative redistribue une partie de l'argent dans la société afin d'aider une vingtaine de familles dans le besoin ainsi qu'une école primaire. Je vous conseille fortement cette école d'espagnol!
Evaluation from coolaid2u:
I HIGHLY recommend the Cooperative School! The teachers are all very friendly and the atmosphere around the school is very serene. The school has a lovely view of the lake and the mountains from where it is located which also enuciates the mood. I walked passed a nearby school while there and the view wasn't nearly as beautiful. My teacher, Delia, was very pleasant to talk with and also very experienced at teaching. Before arriving at the Cooperative School I had difficulty pronouncing, speaking and comprehending Spanish spoken by a fluent speaker. I was impressed when she managed to fix these difficulties! I attended the school for 3 weeks and spent 4 hours a day studying Spanish with Delia. During this time my speaking, writing, and comprehending skills improved far above my expectations! I was enthusiastic when I realized I was able to communicate with the native Spanish speakers! Now I am 100% certain that I will receive A+'s in Spanish throughout my high school years :)! The Cooperative School also holds many activities and projects during the week. They have salsa lessons, movies and dinner every week and also help to support the poor families and the schools. I had brought many school supplies with me from the USA to give to the children, but was very discontented after going .5 mi/hr on the cobblestones with a wheeled suitcase. However, when I visited a school with my teacher, family and their teachers to hand out the supplies, the children there were so delighted when they saw us! After that, I decided I would lug an enormous suitcase on cobblestones anytime ;)! The school set up a homestay family which my family and I stayed with during the 3 weeks we were there. The family was very kind and the food of Rosa, the wife and amazing cook, was delicious; I was slightly afraid I would leave with 20 lbs more :)! The Cooperative School also helped my family and I with volunteering in a school with the younger children. I taught English to a 2nd and 3rd grade class and I enjoyed teaching both classes tremendously! The experience was great for my entire family and I :). I recommend this school to anyone looking for a Spanish school located in a safe village with many projects, activities and friendly, experienced teachers.
Evaluation from christina:
Studying Spanish at the Cooperative was such a great experience for me. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn Spanish in an immersion program in Guatemala. There are so many cities to study in it was hard to decide where to go, but after researching the options I decided on San Pedro La Laguna and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. The town is tranquil and relaxing, situated at the base of a volcano with the lake lapping at its border. Additionally, there are many lovely restaurants and a fun nightlife scene. The locals are super friendly and eager to help you practice your newly acquired Spanish from your school of choice. Another decision I am very pleased with is going to the Cooperative. Some of the highlights of the Cooperative include; an unbeatable location amid the flora and fauna of a lovely garden overlooking the lake with personal palapas for one-on-one instruction with knowledgeable, fun and friendly staff in a structured, yet flexible manner that I found to be inspirational, the weekend excursions and nightly activities are also entertaining (I fell in love with Salsa dancing!). I had such a wonderful time here, I hope you will too!
Evaluation from airjane:
Lorenzo was a remarkable teacher!
Evaluation from MeganB:
I heard about the Cooperative long before I actually arrived at San Pedro la Laguna. Two of the people, a English man in his 30's and a French Canadian girl in her 20's, who lived with my 'family' in Antigua told me about this amazing school in San Pedro. They said that the school was a cooperative where the teachers seemed really happy and that they cared deeply about their community. They told me that the families that took in the students at the school were warm and friendly. Once I arrived in San Pedro, I found out that all of this was true. I had the pleasure of staying with Rosa, Domingo, and their two sons. I couldn't have asked for a more fabulous family. Rosa is the nicest lady on the planet. She bent over backwards to please. And Domingo was just as nice. Both of them took the time to talk to me at all three meals so that I could practice my Spanish. Her cooking was amazing and I had to beg her to feed me less food. It was a fantastic experience living with them! The school itself is beautiful. It is located in a well tended garden that overlooks the lake. There are little palapas surrounded by flowers and fruit trees where you and your teacher study. I was lucky to study with Mynor. His knowledge of the Spanish language was impeccable. He had a ton of resources to use in our lessons and would find just the right exercises to help me practice whatever concept I was learning at the time. He was able gauge when it was time to practice grammar and when it was time to practice dialogue. On top of that, he was really funny(!) which made practicing my conversation skills fun instead of a chore. After three weeks of lessons with Mynor, I was able to travel around Guatemala and communicated with ease - often translating for fellow travelers. I became friends with other students at the school and I know they felt the same way about their teachers. Everyone seemed to feel that their teacher was the perfect match for them which goes to show how lovely each and every person at the Cooperative was and how well each teacher adapted to his or her student. During the week the school hosted interesting activities such as conferences about Mayan culture and education, movies about the war in Guatemala, salsa lessons taught by Luis (who is HILARIOUS and fun to dance with!) as well as fun hikes or kayak rides on Saturdays. In addition to all of that, on every other Friday, you and your teacher visit a family that needs a helping hand since the Cooperative supports families around San Pedro by bringing donations of food. If it sounds like little slice of paradise, it is. I really fell in love with the town, the people, and the school. You will DEFINITELY learn a great deal of Spanish and have a lot of fun while you are learning should you choose the Cooperative. I can't say enough nice things about it!
Evaluation from dawnbruno:
I had a great experience during my week at this school. The location can not be beat -- individual thatch cabanas set in a luscious garden overlooking beautiful Lake Atitlan. Sometime I would get distracted by the scenery. The majority of the instructors are Mayan women, some of whom speak Spanish as a second language to their local dialect. I learned a lot, although if my level had been a bit higher I probably would have wanted or needed a more experienced instructor. My instructor did use memory games and tricks but also spent a lot of time having me do exercises in the workbook, which got tedious. However, the quality of the school is high and I do not think the location could be any better. I recommend this school, although I do think the teaching quality in my case could have been slightly higher. However, the friendliness of the staff, beautiful location and the fact that the organization is a well-run cooperative give this school high ratings in my book.
Evaluation from SignorinaG:
This is a fun and friendly school with a really good focus on the community. You pay a bit more than at other schools, but the teachers are really good and get paid a better wage, plus they contribute to the community.
Evaluation from wooster:
I think this is definately one of the best schools in san pedro and i learnt a lot in my 2weeks, whilst enjoying myself importantly. Chinto is a great teacher full of enthusiasm and very good at picking out the needs of the student. All the teachers seem to enjoy working at the cooperative which really shows in the standard of work they provide. i definately recommend anyone considering this school.
Evaluation from Earthoria:
Hi, I spent six weeks studying at the cooperative school and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about studying in Guatemala. My teachers were Lorenzo and Mynor, and they were both excellent. Good luck, Tom
Evaluation from cmcleish:
This school has excellent teachers and a learning programme that really helped me to pick up a good level of Spanish quickly. The school's garden is one of its best features, creating the perfect environment for keeping relaxed and focused. The community ethos is also very appealing, with much more of the money going to teachers and local families than at other schools.
Evaluation from jeffharvey:
My wife and I studied at the Cooperative of Guatemalan Spanish Teachers for one week. The instructors were awesome, identifying what our needs were and addressing them specifically thru the use of a pre-examination. I would like to commend my instructor, Mynor, for keeping the lessons fun and sharing so much of the language with me. As for the homestay, we stayed with Domingo and Rosa. Rosa's food was exceptional and Domingo's hospitality was the best. The only criticism I would have about the entire experience is that we were not aware to bring our own towels to the homestay. As a result, we had to purchase towels. Other than this small inconvenience, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in San Pedro and we definately recommend the school to others wishing to learn Spanish. Jeff and Lori Harvey
Evaluation from WilfBean:
I studied at the cooperative spanish school this January and the experience surpassed my expectations. The teachers were excellent, well-organized and really cared about my learning. They are also socially aware and concerned about the well-being of the local community. There is a strong spirit of caring and connection among the teachers and between the teachers and staff. Accomodations were great. It was a really good learning experience for me, and I strongly recommend the school to anyone wanting to both learn spanish, and to enjoy the experience. Plus I really like the fact it is cooperatively owned and operated by the teachers themselves - they genuinely care about making it a great learning experience for every student.
Evaluation from Emilee:
I had Mynor as my teacher, he was great, a lot of fun and very informative. I didn't think I would learn so much, I didn't know any spanish before I came, and by the time I left I felt I could understand a good amount and get myself around the town easily. The setting the school is in is beautiful. The garden is well kept and it's right above the lake. The family I lived with was great, three great, delicious meals a day, 6 days a week. My family was very helpful and excited to help us learn our spanish. I loved the school and would most definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning spanish.
Evaluation from sunsparkle0718:
We couldn't have been more happy with our studies at the coopertive. It features not only excellence in its teachers but also in its outreach programs in San Pedro. We were very happy with our teachers (Mynor and Chino) who proved that they can teach at any level, be it beginner or advanced. Mynor was very flexible in his teaching style, altering it from day to day based on my goals. Although I didn't immediately improve by leaps and bounds, I certainly did after my experience, building on all the great review and fun lessons I had with Mynor. By the end of my trip in Guatemala (and in large part due to my attendance at the cooperative), I was fluent. I ALWAYS recommend the Cooperativa to anyone hoping to improve their Spanish. You won't find a better location, staff, program, country. Don't forget to partake in the weekly activities and soak up every minute of the experience. What you put into the program is truly what you reap from it. Thank you Mynor and Chino!! -- Bethany and Evan :0)
Evaluation from Koshwallis:
I can't say enough about this program! I attended the school for 3 and a half weeks and lived with a host family the whole time. I had my own private room and bathroom that locked but had plenty of time to socialize with my wonderful host mom Rosa. The food was INCREDIBLE! The classes at the school are one on one and the teachers are very professional and cater to your level of Spanish. I had Marlon and couldn't have been happier. The school is different from others in that they really pour into the community. If you want an authentic Guatemalan experience while learning to speak better Spanish go to this school!
Evaluation from ArcoIris:
I studied at Cooperativa for 5 weeks... I had planned only to stay for a month - I'd just finished a year of doing my masters abroad and was completely traveled out; I just wanted to pick up a bit of Spanish and get home to Canada. But I had such a fabulous time at the school I didn't want to leave! I extended my ticket home to study another week and then worked with an organization (in Spanish!!) in another part of Guatemala for a couple weeks before going home. Cooperativa was very organized, way exceeded my expectations. The teachers were great - professional and fun, (and patient!) and really know how to help you learn. I told my teacher a couple times as I was stuttering for 5 minutes through a sentence that if I were doing what she was doing in English right now, I'd be super bored! But she never seemed to mind! :) They have a whole set of books, flash cards, board games, etc and you can choose with your teacher whatever you like doing to learn... they work with everyone from kids up to seniors, travelers just looking to pick up some basic Spanish to lawyers and professionals needing some brush-up on their Spanish. And they've got stuff organized in the evenings that's free for students - movie night, salsa dancing night, presentation night about different Guatemalan themes (culture, peace, history, etc), group dinners, Saturday excursions for ziplining, hiking, kayaking, etc - always super well organized. And a snack break with coffee/tea and cake or stuffed tortillas or something everyday too! :) Part of tuition goes to helping families in need in the community, I had the chance to go a couple times to help deliver some basic goods to the families. I stayed with a family and loved it - they were really welcoming and accommodating, cooked good food (vegetarian's not a problem!), helped me practice Spanish, the kids were lots of fun but let me have my own time when I needed a nap or had homework to do. I had my own room. And San Pedro in general - it's safe, small enough to get to know people, tourist-friendly enough to have internet, wifi, night life, cafes, western/asian/indian/italian,etc restaurants (all usually $3-$5 for a giant meal!), laundry, yoga... very charming Mayan town! Cooperativa was cheaper than some schools in Antigua I'd looked at initially...and I'm glad I picked San Pedro! I visited Antigua and Xela on weekend trips too... there were lots of Spanish schools there, but I was bored by the city blocks after a couple days - mostly just buildings and tourists, not as much sense of culture. San Pedro was SO beautiful, volcanoes and a giant shiny lake (that you can swim in, kayak in, etc), a really sweet Mayan culture, and the studying under a grass-thatched hut in the gorgeous school garden with the open view was much more fun than studying inside all day! :) "Paradise" was one of the first Spanish words I learned there! Nothing but good things to say about Cooperativa! I've traveled and lived in many countries and continents, but my time in San Pedro was definitely one of my top favourites. If you want to ask me some questions feel free to email me or find me on Facebook (I've got lots of pictures!) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Evaluation from hopefulist:
I travel to Latin America every summer and the Cooperative School keeps drawing me back over and over. The school's setting is gorgeous - individual palapas in a beautiful garden overlooking Lake Atitlán. The teachers are friendly, accommodating, and experienced; I have been taught by Lorenzo (also the director) and by Mynor and have been very pleased with their teaching and my progress with the Spanish language. My host families have been wonderful - interactive and helpful with my language acquisition - and I've loved the food. The homes vary in amenities - my favorite was one of the more humble homes I've stayed in and I can't wait to go back. The school was started by a group of experienced teachers with strong social purpose - part of the tuition money goes toward assisting local families in need; visiting several of the families to learn their stories and take supplies was a life changing experience for me. The school also contributes to education programs in San Pedro and is raising money to provide a home for a local family. The town of San Pedro has a reputation as a hippy/rasta hang out; I only saw that element by the docks and not in the traditional part of town around the school and host homes. Unlike many Central American towns, this one isn't built in the usual colonial mode with a central square and NS/EW avenues and streets; the main streets heading uphill from each of 2 docks combine up by the market near the top of town and are connected by a labyrinthine series of alleys and walkways. Women wear traditional wrapped skirts and older gentlemen are seen people watching in their traditional striped and embroidered pants. Most locals are native Tz'utujil speakers, a Maya tongue. As a beginner and now as an intermediate speaker I have found them to also be clear, concise speakers of Spanish and likely much more empathetic to my language learning because they've been down that road themselves. The town is justifiably proud of the emphasis they place on the education of their young people and there's a program for individuals with disabilities, relatively rare in Central America. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Evaluation from neu19osu:
I had a great time learning at this school. They have a great step by step process that makes learning easy and fun. Everyone at the school was very friendly and eager to help. I originally signed up for a week of classes and ended up staying for three weeks. They put money back into the community and provide coffee, tea and food for the breaks. My teacher was a major reason that i decided to take additional classes. Chino (nickname) was great to work with. He is a very intelligent and has a great sense of humor. I would recommend this school to anyone who is looking to recieve a great education and have some fun in the process.
Evaluation from melody:
I attended this beautiful school for 3 months with my 4 young daughters (aged 9,8,7 and 5). I have nothing but wonderful praise for this school and the teachers. My girls each had their own teacher who made learning fun through arts, crafts and field trips. The town is stunning and very safe. I truly miss the smiling faces of the people as you walk through their town. We stayed with 2 families during this time and it was excellent. They cooked beautiful food for us, entertained us and spoke to us a lot to enhance our learning. Our girls had fun playing with the children in the family. I travel a lot and this place has a very special place in my heart. I hope to return one day to do some volunteer dental work. Please try this school where the teachers are paid fairly and the host families are properly compansated.
Evaluation from vivavita53:
This school was recommended to me by a friend that lives in San Pedro. Originally I was going to go to the San Pedro school but found out that most of the teachers at Cooperativo were from SP school and left b/c they weren't properly compensated, thus the "co-op" began. And the fairness shows in how the teachers treat each other and the town they live in as well as the interest in their students. The teachers are so friendly and they have a structured lesson plan but are flexible to your needs. Plus, the school is nestled in a beautiful garden with stunning views of the lake and a yummy snack at break time as well. While I was there there weren't many students and so not that many activities, but I gave 5 stars anyway b/c I am sure the activities would have been fun had there been some. There were however, weekly salsa lessons and movies even for the small group of students that were there when I was attending. As a single older female traveler, the first few days in San Pedro took some adjusting to, even though I have traveled in Latin America. But once I was acclimated, I did not want to leave, especially the school. I cried when I said goodbye to Griselda my teacher and the others too, even the gardener Del Fino. The town is charming, though I stayed outside of town at the Hotel Villa Cuba, which is also very nice (and basic)-ask for a discount if you will be there for a long stay. It was peaceful and I enjoyed my morning walk to school every morning, and I was greeted with a "good morning" by everyone I encountered on my way into town. Staying outside of town gave me a feel of the true village life, away from the touristy stuff. I am back in the U.S. now and miss San Pedro so much. When the weirdness of U.S. life gets to me I simply think of San Pedro and the life there. Instantly I am back there in spirit and remember the simple life many live there: peaceful, no money and extremely friendly and happy people-go figure!
Evaluation from dougherucci:
I spent two weeks at the Cooperative School in February/March 2010, with Mynor as my teacher for four hours a day, and the experience was wonderful. As an ESL tutor who does work in New York very similar to the work done at the Cooperative School, I was happy to find that Mynor was highly knowledgeable and skilled at both evaluation and targeted conversation practice. With me, the grammar explanations tended to be systematic and thorough, which suited my knowledge base and learning style perfectly, but I am certain that Mynor (or any of the other teachers) could have adjusted quickly and effectively to other styles of teaching. All of the teachers were highly professional, more so than I might have expected from other schools, i.e., serious but amiable without being overly chummy; these are not just college students looking to make some extra money with a part-time job, but real teachers working hard to help their students and community. The school itself is on beautiful grounds, centrally located without being in the crush of the more touristy parts of San Pedro down at the lakefront. The promised activities were not always so well publicized or attended, and indeed at times seem to have not materialized at all, probably because it was a slow period without as many students as usual, but this meant that the lectures or excursions could function as almost extended lessons, with opportunities for one-on-one conversation with the leaders. For example, the groundskeeper Delfino led a group of five students up La Nariz del Indio on a Saturday morning and was happy to share his extensive regional botanical and historical knowledge with us. You can have a variety of experiences in San Pedro, depending on whether you spend your free time in the foreign-owned establishments down by the lake, or elsewhere in the more traditional parts of town or with your host family. The town is poor, but not at all backwards, disconnected, or dangerous. It is true that you often hear Tz'utujil spoken in the streets, but everyone I interacted with switched to Spanish upon seeing a non-native face, and of course every member of my host family (headed by Rosa and Domingo) spoke Spanish clearly and slowly. The accommodations were simple but adequate, and the food was ample, fresh, and delicious. I hope to return to Guatemala in the future, and any trip there will surely include at least some time brushing up on my skills at the Cooperative School.
Evaluation from Rainbow:
I studied at Cooperativa last summer and absolutely loved the learning, fun, culture, and beauty that is Cooperativa Spanish School in San Pedro!
Evaluation from vnichols:
My teacher, Ligia, was more than I could have asked for. She was incredibly patient and her lesson plans were well thought out. The school treats their teachers very well. This is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn Spanish and in my opinion one of the best. There are also wonderful yoga classes offered in San Pedro and lots of good food.
Evaluation from rossmcl:
If I could give this Spanish school 6 stars I would. The school was first-rate, my teacher (Clarita) was first-rate and my homestay family (Felipe and Rosa) were absolutely first-rate as well. You can read more about my fantastic experience at the school here: http://rossmcl.blogspot.com/p/cooperativa-spanish-school-san-pedro.html If you would like further information,feel free to contact me via Facebook link on my blog.
Evaluation from lauref:
I just returned from three weeks studying at the Cooperativa school in San Pedro. I can't say enough wonderful things about the place and am already fantasizing about my return. The school is really a lot like a family where they take excellent care of the students, the staff, and the local community. The school administration (rotating members of the teaching staff) is dedicated to meeting the needs of everyone involved, and I felt very comfortable and secure. The school grounds are impeccably cared for and a haven for countless butterflies and birds. The weekly activities are designed to help you connect with Mayan and Guatemalan culture and history. The local market place and town of San Pedro is full of happy, kind people, and the setting on Lago Atitlan is indescribably beautiful. I studied with Marlon for three weeks at six hours a day and can't believe how much I learned. On my last day in town, a local shop keeper even complimented me on my progress. Marlon is an excellent and flexible teacher who understood and adjusted to my learning needs. He used a solid amount of grammar and vocabulary instruction and also a great deal of conversational practice to build up my spoken language confidence. After introducing a new concept, we almost always played a game to practice. If I felt tired or distracted (nearly IMPOSSIBLE in the amazing garden setting), we took a field trip somewhere in town. If I needed repetition with a skill, Marlon asked a million questions in Spanish to get me using the constructions and vocabulary. As an educator myself, I know it is difficult to maintain focus and structure without burning students out. The teaching methodology at the Cooperativa is thorough and effective. I would also like to mention my wonderful host family of Maria and Manuel who made sure each day to make me feel connected and to help me practice my Spanish language skills. Maria's excellent home cooking kept me feeling healthy, happy, and (very) full. I even had to ask her for less food every day to avoid a major weight gain! If you are looking for a safe place where you can study and live in a community, the Cooperativa School in San Pedro is an excellent choice.
Evaluation from clairendale2:
Hi quality 1 on 1 tuition in a beautiful garden with gorgeous views. This school is run extremely well with great tutors, accommodating students of all levels. Teas and evening activities create a good social environment and our wonderful homestay reflected the amazingly generous spirit of the people of San Pedro. thank you for an incredible experience
Evaluation from bhuggins:
Evaluation from wendecrow:
Evaluation from robinread:
I studied here for 5 weeks and was very happy with everything. I had a great teacher by the name of Mynor Cortez, who was very easy to get along with and conducted the classes in such a way that I spent plenty of time practising all aspects of the language. My homestay was very good also. When I wanted to it was possible to spend up to 2 hours a day conversing with them, and they frequently offered polite corrections when I made silly mistakes. Basically I would recommend this school highly to anyway interested in learning Spanish. I had read countless glowing reviews prior to arriving so had high expectations, yet was not dissappointed in the least.
Evaluation from nospeakamericano:
The time that I spent at the Cooperativa Spanish School was well worth it. I took classes for 4 hours a day for 6 weeks. I had Clemente as my teacher. He was excellent and implemented various things into the classes like grammar, vocabulary, reading, conversation, idioms and cultural aspects of San Pedro and Guatemala. We also discussed differences between Spanish and English which really helped deepen my understanding of Spanish and English as well. I stayed with a very pleasant and helpful family. Overall, I was very pleased with my experience.
Evaluation from flyingdragon:
I completed 3 weeks at La Cooperativa in November 2011 and it was a wonderful experience. It in impossible to put it into words, but I will do my best below because I myself read a lot of reviews before traveling to Guatemala, and so I hope that the description of my experience will make a difference for others. The school location: The location of the this school is stunningly beautiful. The view of the lake is amazing and not just something you see here and there, but each day from the sitting area at the school. This was a great place to meet other students, travelers, and to check your wi-fi. The "classrooms" are beautiful huts with excellent views of the lake or cozy tables surrounded by lush vegetation. I love that you can walk out of the school and uphill and be right in the midst of the local San Pedro fruit and vegetable market, or you can walk down from the school and end up in the more touristy area of bars, shops and travel agencies. The staff: My teacher was Marlon, who was truly the perfect fit for me. I arrived with some Spanish and was pleased with the opportunity to take a quick placement test and then view the "plan" that Marlon had created for me. I put plan in quotations because it was clearly a fluid piece of work that Marlon was willing to change, adjust, modify in any way necessary to meet my needs. I am very happy with the amount of guidance I received in terms of what my teacher felt would help me, but also feeling that what I wanted to learn, or what I need as a learner was absolutely heard and supported. I spent 4 hours a day with Marlon for three weeks (it was supposed to be 2 but I loved the experience so much I changed my plane ticket to stay an extra week!) and learned a great deal of Spanish! He is an excellent, educated, patient and skilled teacher, who also happens to be great fun to talk to! I felt there was a good balance of him helping me to remember the correct use of tenses and verbs without feeling like he was constantly correcting me. I am a TESL teacher and I understand how important encouragement, risk taking and opportunity to talk are to learning a second language and Marlon as well as the school provided a safe, encouraging learning environment. I also supplemented a few hours of additional conversation with Clemente, who was also a great teacher and easy to talk to. I was a bit shy at first, and he used a game of sorts to get the conversation rolling, which worked perfectly. The staff as a whole is very friendly, though again, I was shy at first and didn't get to know very many people. By the end, I was having conversations in Spanish with a variety of different teachers and this of course provides more opportunity for listening and speaking practice. If I had it all to do over again (and I might because I want to go back) I would spend more time talking to and getting to know the teachers during the day time, because the students are available to talk to all night in the tourist bars. The homestay: I am sooooo thankful that I chose to live in a homestay as I feel this experience/opportunity changed my life! I lived with Maria and Miguel and their beautiful, helpful and fun loving daughters, as well as Abuelo Ajejandro for 3 weeks. They were very personable, welcoming, helpful, thoughtful and entertaining. Each member of the family made efforts to speak with me in Spanish and help me learn along the way. Even extended family members who were just stopping by chatted with me and provided further opportunities. The value of the homestay for the purpose of practicing Spanish is incredible. Perhaps more importantly, the experience was humbling from the perspective of an American who has lived pretty well. This family, and the locals of San Pedro are hard workers! My three weeks there taught me to be more appreciative of what I have and also super impressed at the efforts, talents and ethics of another culture and way of life. I highly recommend staying with this host family for a great deal of Spanish interaction. I visited two other homestays (just to see my student friends) and they were also nice. Because my intentions were to learn as much Spanish as possible and to make every effort to really know the people and culture of San Pedro, the homestay was imperative. I do not feel I would have learned nearly as much or understood San Pedro if I had chosen a hotel or hostel. Activities: I participated in the delivery of food to a local sponsored family, student/teacher dinner, salsa lessons each week, and the kayaking trip. With the exception of paying a little bit for the dinner, the other activities were free (included with tuition to the school) and well worth it. Luis, the salsa dance teacher was wonderfully patient, fun, helpful and encouraging. I would take salsa classes every day from him! This was also a great way to meet other students. The kayaking was very fun and we were taken back along the shoreline which provided a great opportunity to see the amazing variety of birds as well as the life of the families that live on the shore-complete with over the water clotheslines, and the opportunity to see the devastation that an excess of water can cause. The teacher/student dinner takes place when there are enough students enrolled. The teachers cook for the students and all eat together. This is again a great way to meet other student travelers, but I encourage you to talk to the teachers! I met some wonderful fellow travelers that I will be friends with forever, but I can also say the same about some of the teachers. Their stories, insights, experiences and enthusiasm for life are inspiring. 10% of your tuition at this school helps to feed 22 local impoverished families. My teacher and I took a field trip to deliver food to one of those families and it was again, an eye-opening and powerful experience that I would recommend. I loved this school and hope to return to round out my use of Spanish. I hope San Pedro, and particularly this school continues to thrive. I can honestly say that at this school I know my tuition fees are well spent. For those searching for a school, it is important to find one that is right for you, and this one is one well worth looking into. Good luck!
Evaluation from DPablo:
I studied at the Cooperativa for 8 weeks - which should indicate the direction in which this review is headed. I came to the there with no Spanish at all but for a few polite phrases. By the end of my 3rd week, I was able to head to Antigua for the weekend on my own, and I got along well. I even had a few conversations in Spanish with the desk manager and the security guards at my hostel. By the end of the 5th week, I found myself having more meaningful conversations (local and US politics, history, the news, etc) with my awesome teacher, Clemente, new local friends and my hosts, the Batz family. Of course, the results of private lessons in any area depend a great deal upon the time one is able or desires to put in. I stayed with the same teacher, Clemente, for all 8 weeks. This was a good decision for me. He was very good at explaining things, open about the direction of the course and open to modifying his plans to fit my needs and interests. He was very friendly from the start, and quite patient considering that I came in with no Spanish. I would highly recommend studying with Clemente at the Cooperativa.
Evaluation from eyespyheather:
Loved it!! This staff and grounds are amazing. My teacher for 3 weeks was Clemente who is extremely good (and patient). I love that they give back to the community through donations of food and supplies and also helping rebuild homes. Thank you for an excellent course. I hope to be back to do another 3 weeks someday soon!
Evaluation from joelio:
When I came to Antigua about 2 months ago I had no understanding of Spanish and having never studied another language before I knew I was in the deep end. My I spent my first week at a school that gave me lots of new words but they never told me how exactly I could use them. So after feeling disappointed with my minimal progress I decided to try Cooperative of Spanish Teachers. The difference was huge. I was given new words and the tools to use them. Within a single week I could communicate lots of useful things with crucial words and in no time I was giving it a go out on the street. Jorge Mario (the coordinator) would call it building a firm base on which to build from. The school provides lots of materials to study with and a structure to the learning. Something that many other schools don't seem to offer. I found this to be crucial to my learning because without it I believe I'd still be learning random words without the ability to construct complex sentences. It's amazing what you can do with a few well placed words. I've now been studying with the school for over 7 weeks and I can't believe how far I have come! The teaching is truly professional, the classes are fun and the satisfaction is well and truly through the roof. I highly recommend this school to anyone, but particularly to those who want to get the most out of their time. I guess that's why I'll be hanging around for another few months!
Evaluation from mmoore84321:
I have studied at several foreign-language schools -- in Guatemala and elsewhere -- and the Cooperative Spanish School in San Pedro la Laguna is the best I have encountered. I think the Cooperative School offers exceptional value if you are serious about studying Spanish in a one-on-one learning environment. Whether you only have enough time to learn Spanish for travel in Latin America or you intend to work toward fluency in the language, the Cooperative School will give you a strong foundation in Spanish. Of course, you will need to put forth some effort in the process. But the rewards of being able to speak with, and learn about, the local Mayan people make it all worthwhile. In addition, you can live with a local family during your studies. It's a great way to work on your Spanish and learn more about the local culture. And it's a screaming deal; it is much cheaper than staying at a hostel. (You can use the money you save with the homestay to travel around Guatemala on the weekends.) You owe it to yourself to check out the Cooperative School. Cheers. Marty Moore Logan, Utah
Evaluation from Jovian:
We really enjoyed our lessons at what has to be the top Spanish School in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. The office staff are helpful and friendly and keen to get you started at the right level to progress quickly. The teachers were conscientious in helping us master grammar and sentence structure, and whilst we felt they could have tested us and reviewed our progress more often, we definitely had a lot more confidence in speaking Spanish by the end of the month long course. We studied in the morning and stayed with a homestay family living by the beautiful lake to get the full immersive experience, which on reflection was definitely the best option (we couldn’t have managed to concentrate in the afternoon after one of our mum Maria’s gutbusting lunches!) and our family were really welcoming and hospitable. There were a lot more students in the morning sessions too, which led to a good camaraderie between us, aided by a wide range of activities and trips in the evenings and weekends, which are well subsidised by the school. We particularly liked the way they encourage you to take food parcels to local families in need every other Friday, as this helped us see how our fees were being out to good use in the community. Overall the best value one-on-one Spanish lessons you will ever take, period.