References & Reviews

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Development and Education in Minneapolis MNGoing Green in CasaXelaju, click to seeGoing Green in CasaXelaju, click to see

It is with great pleasure that Casa  Xelaju celebrates its 27th anniversary of operation since our founding in 1987. We are proud to announce that we are currently able to offer 40  different Spanish programs, making us the most dynamic language and cultural institution in Latin America. Currently, we are the only  school in the country with academic agreements with two universities in the USA and  also the only school whose Spanish curriculum is in alignment with the  American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages standards. After 25 years of operation, we have had over 10,000 satisfied students from all over the world.  Below, you will find a partial list of former students who are willing to  share their experience at CX with you.

Please try to avoid contacting only the first students on the list so that they do not receive all the calls of perspective students.

Two married  former students blog about their learning experience with Casa Xelaju, 11/2013.

There is a good comparison of studies in Antigua vs. Quetzaltenango by an ex-student of Casa Xelaju and a school in Antigua

A former student blogs about her experience learning Spanish with Casa Xelaju, P. 1

A former rmer student blogs about her experience with Casa Xelaju, P. 2 (Beautiful pictures)

Video and written testimonials about our immersion program.

Valerie Harleg, an English teacher from Pensylvania,
talks about her learning experience in Xelaju.  vharleg@fandm.edu
Joanny Campbell took the Spanish test  preparation for the OPI. jcrosita@gmail.comReview from two students who took classes in the summer of 2012.

 

"A great place to learn Spanish", Tripadvisor.com                                  Follow us on facebook

Excellent! Casa Xelaju is a great school with very qualified, competent teachers, Studyabroad101.com

CX's programs have been featured on The Boston Globe, The Albuqurque Journal, Eco Travel Magazine, Transitions Abroad, ABCNews, Google, Bing and Yahoo News  sbwire.com and more.

My name is Sam, and I studied at Casa  Xelaju for three weeks in August of 2015. I was enrolled in the Oral Proficiency Interview class. I had taken the OPI many times before and started to feel extremely discouraged that I could not reach my goal of the Advanced-Low score. I researched some of my options online, and luckily I found Casa Xelaju in Guatemala. I decided to take three weeks of classes there to improve my Spanish and gain more confidence speaking the language. I worked with their amazing professors and staff to create a curriculum toward passing this test. During my time there, I lived with an awesome host-family, went to classes and cultural activities during the week, and participated in other cultural activities on the weekends. By the time my test day arrived, I felt confident and prepared to do my best. I am thrilled to say that I finally achieved the Advanced-Low score on the OPI thanks to my experiences, professors, and staff at Casa Xelaju. Now I'm working as a Spanish teacher! breithsam@gmail.com

As a former student, (the best month of my life) I periodically visit your website. Congratulations on your terrific upgrade. I currently work as an ESL teacher in Asia, and though I no longer get to utilize El Espanol, the wonderful attitude of your faculty has stuck with me and served as a model for my own work here in the Far East.
Ken Judson, Pattaya, Thailand, kjudson30@gmail.com

Ich verbrachte 13 Wochen an der Casa  Xelaju. Der Unterricht wird den Fähigkeiten un Wünschen des Studenten angepasst. Auch das Leben in der Gastfemilie war aine wertvolle Erfahrung. Un des Beste ist, jetzt spreche ich Spanisch!
Stephan Strahm, Switzerland

I studied Spanish in CX for a total of 3 months. Since there are other Spanish language schools in Quetzaltenango, I could have easily changed and tried out some of them. I chose, however, to continue studying in CX for the entire time because the one on one instruction there was so professional and so well suited to my needs. I am an elementary school teacher who had nearly no background in Spanish. I enrolled in the Spanish for Educators program at CX. The school's philosophy in total language (conversation and written) immersion is just what I needed to feel comfortable with the language after only a short time. My teacher was very professional yet very friendly and very willing to go at the pace that was best for me.

The cultural trips that the school offers each week and the opportunity to attend conferences, watch Spanish language movies, etc. all added to the immersion experience. There is no pressure to take part in any of these activities but it is to every student's best interest to do so. This is the opportunity to meet other language students, share experiences and practice Spanish. I made a multitude of friends from all over the world at CX. Every effort is made by the school to make new students comfortable in this new setting and it works!!

Studying a language at my age (57) can be intimidating and overly challenging, but instruction at CX is truly fun and highly professional. I compliment the staff and teachers at this school for the fine job they did in teaching me Spanish in such an engaging fashion.
Elizabeth Walsh, New York, USA

"I chose CX because a good friend recommended the school to me. "It's a bit more expensive than some of the other schools," she said. "But it is worth it because the teachers are well trained and well educated. Your Spanish will improve tremendously - and you'll have some great conversations along the way."
She was right. My Spanish skill and confidence grew by leaps and bounds during my time at CX. And, when we weren't reviewing the intricacies of Spanish grammar, the teachers and I did have some terrific conversations - on topics ranging from Robespierre and the French Revolution, to Brad Pitt, Tolstoy, Guatemalan political parties, and geometry. (I kid you not.) Thanks to the language ability I acquired at CX, I am now working with Latin American immigrants in the US.
Clare DiSalvo, USA  

"CX is an excellent school in which to learn Spanish. There are teachers here with much experience in the school. They are professional, but the atmosphere is relaxed and fun, a perfect learning environment.
I have learned muchisimo en CX during my seven weeks and have made many friends in the school. I´ve also seen much of Guatemala around Quetzaltenango through school trips and have learned about the culture and political situation in Guatemala.
I´ve enjoyed myself immensely during my time here and would recommend CX to anyone. La Pedrera is an excellent opportunity to be working with the children of the community while studying.
Melissa Chilcote

"I came for two weeks and I am still here two and a half months later. My experience in Xela has been phenomenal and a large part of the credit has to go to excellent staff at CX and the great family I was placed with. A word of advice: be careful if you have an open ended trip as it is very difficult to find a reason to leave ..."
Andy Thornton, England

I am having an extraordinary experience here in Xela. It is one of the best ways to experience a culture, learn a language and meet others who have a similar purpose. I have stared volunteering at La Pedrera and it is wonderful to be a part of child´s education.
Sondy Koch, Oregon, USA

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Take a Ride on the Chicken Express exploring Guatemala the native way.
by TJ Parmele
This article was printed on Broadside student newspaper
02-10-97 George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Have you ever been blessed with Rum? Made an offering to a patron saint of a small village? Asked for cats with rice? If so, then you are familiar with San Simon and a student's attempts to master Spanish, and must have been on the Guatemalan study tour with the rest of the thirty students from GMU. Led by Resident Directors Dr. Brenda Burchett from the Communications department and Professor Luz Curet from the Spanish department, the goals of the trip were to learn and have fun at the same time. Whether it was studying Spanish or performing intercultural communication research, the students who attended learned a lot and have memories that will last a lifetime. "It was excellent, I would recommend it to anybody." said GMU student Katherine Schneider.

Cosponsored by the Center for Global Education, and CX in Guatemala, the Guatemalan study tour consisted of two separate programs, Spanish and Communications. The Spanish program coupled students with private instructors for intense one-on-one sessions five hours long. Afterwards, the students were free to wander around the city of Quetzaltenango with their tutors to hone their newly acquired Spanish skills as well as experience the beautiful architecture and scenery of the city. Having weekends free, the students went to places like Panajachel (known to the locals as Gringotenango, or place of the gringos). Panajachel is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan, a cerulean lake towered by extinct volcanoes.

While the Spanish section was brushing up on their conjugation skills, the Communications program was in full swing. Involving intercultural communication field research, the students traveled all around the surrounding areas taking the local transportation which was an adventure in itself. The buses are known to the locals as chicken buses, because it is not uncommon to see poultry or even iguanas sitting next to people. The communication students also interviewed local people about the new peace treaty and absorbed the sights, sounds, and smells of Guatemalan culture.

Everyone got something out of the trip, the Spanish students came out sounding like natives, while the Communications students came out with a new view of the world and a deeper understanding of the Guatemalan culture. If you would like some further information regarding future tours, or would like to go down to Guatemala.

The school has a really friendly staff and lets you work at your own pace. There´s a sense of belonging. They also have really interesting field trips and expeditions. Our family was also wonderful and warm!
Nicolas M. Orozco, USA

My experience at CX and in Xela has been wonderful. I have made wonderful, life-long friends and have learned so much about Spanish and the culture. Something about it just keeps pulling me back!
Therese Krogman, Maquoketa, IA, USA tckrogman@hotmail.com

Thanks everyone at CX! What a warm and welcoming environment the school has. My teacher, Victor, taught me more than any teacher at any other Spanish  school ever has. He knew exactly what to anticipate when it came to difficult-to-understand concepts and tailored our time together exactly to my needs. I´ve gone to three other Spanish  language  schools and CX was by far the very best one I´ve been to.
Mary O. Howard

I can't think of a more rewarding cultural experience for my students. They not only learn Spanish at an accelerated rate, but return home with life long memories.
Michael Mirabella, Assistant Principal, Albany, CA

E-mail References

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travelingkat@hotmail.com
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Updated 07-04-2014