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San Jose el Viejo Spanish School

by Matt Berry

Nov 8, 2014

Main Square Plaza of Antigua, Guatemala © Pablo Hidalgo | Dreamstime

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Antigua, Guatemala, is a beautiful colonial city that’s rich in natural beauty, stunning architecture, welcoming people and a lively nightlife. In fact, Antigua was once the capital city of all of Central America. For many, the 17th– and 18th-century architecture, cobblestone roads and cool mountain air make Antigua the perfect setting to learn Spanish. Tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world travel to Antigua to study Spanish each year. Although there are now numerous Spanish school options in Antigua, San Jose el Viejo is considered one of the best and most-respected in Antigua, if not in all of Guatemala.

 

Established in 1989, San Jose el Viejo was the first Spanish school in Guatemala to be accredited by both the Ministry of Education of Guatemala and the National Tourist Commission. Located three blocks from Antigua’s Central Plaza, the school is situated among the ruins of the Chapel of San Jose el Viejo (viejo is Spanish for “old”). In fact, the Spanish school’s grounds actually used to be part of the adjacent chapel.

 

Guests have multiple options during their minimal week-long stay. For students who prefer to make the most of their learning experience, classes are available for six-and-a-half hours each day. However, taking as few as two hours a day of one-on-one instruction is also available. No matter how much or how little instruction you choose, the instructors are considerate, flexible, affable and effective.

 

Along with the world-class, one-on-one Spanish instruction, the amenities of San Jose el Viejo are also world-class. From the immaculately landscaped school grounds filled with indigenous foliage, to the coffee beans grown on site, to the charming on-site apartments, San Jose el Viejo is learning in Guatemalan luxury. When not attending class or exploring Antigua, you can even work up a sweat on the on-site tennis courts or relax by the school’s pristine pool area.

 

While a full day of classes costs $150 for the week, the on-site apartments are available to accommodate a range of budgets. While all apartments feature free WiFi, daily housecleaning, cable television and king- or queen-sized beds, the Castle Room, on the top-tier of accommodations at $525 weekly, will provide you with a fireplace, volcano views and an indulgently spacious living room. For budget students, the Entrance Room, at $240 weekly, is still luxurious lodging compared to other week-long options in Antigua.

 

In short, San Jose el Viejo Spanish School is beautiful, educational and probablemente la mejor en Antigua.

 

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