Sunday, January 27, 2013

Studying Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala

A group portrait of the students at Ixchel our week

Alan and Jeanette Feuer on the shuttle up to El Tenedor del
Cerro restaurant

Heather and her Maestra Isabel at their work station

One of the beautiful churches still standing and in constant
use here in Antigua
First I should explain that we didn't start this sailing season alone. Our friends Alan and Jeanette Feuer joined us for the first two weeks. You all met them in our posts on our visits to their beautiful Ann's Point Inn the last two Junes. Ann's Point Inn is located in Bass Harbor on Mt. Desert Island right near Acadia National Park.
Scott flew down to Guatemala 1/3/13 to work on the boat, up "on the hard" at Ram Marina on the Rio Dulce. I spent a week in Washington and nearby in Maryland visiting our two younger sons and my sister Paula. On 1/10 I joined Alan and Jeanette in Ft. Lauderdale and the next morning we flew to Guatemala. Scott took the bus up from the Rio and we all met in Antigua. We stay at Chez Daniel there and it's a terrific place ( They let you use their fully equipped kitchen so we usually made either lunch or dinner there.
As you learned from my first two blog posts this year we met Bill and Mary at Pena del Sol restaurant and had a fun day there. They have live entertainment most nights and we enjoyed a number of meals there. Our other favorite places were Hector's and El Tenedor del Cerro, for our comments read our reviews on Trip Adviser. We just started doing this.
We chose our Spanish school from the internet. Ixchel ( worked out very well for us that week. We learned a lot and had a good time. We each had our own instructor for four hours a day, 9am - 1pm, Monday thru Friday. The following week our friends Alan and Jeanette continued with another week at Zamora Academy. They changed schools because our one problem with Ixchel was that it was crowded and therefore rather noisy. Zamora has a larger facility but otherwise the same methods. I think our cost was $30 per day (I'll check that but that's pretty close). Both offer many day trips in the afternoon and longer trips on the weekend.
The women mostly wear traditional dress 

Flowers are everywhere and are sold on the streets and in
flower shops. The rose petals made a carpet on the street

The colors of the houses are really lovely and sometimes
dappled in a lighter shade, as here.
During Alan and Jeanette's second week at Zamora they toured a coffee plantation up in the hills around Antigua to learn the process of growing and preparing the coffee beans. They enjoyed the coffee tasting afterwards too. Alan took another option, a bicycle tour, and ended up with his own teacher exploring 6 small villages around Antigua, just the two of them. His Maestro also took him to the hospital where he volunteers. They both highly recommend Zamora.
During our first week in Antigua we walked out of town and up to the prominent viewing spot with a large cross on a hillside. This is a popular picnic destination for both tourists and Guatemalans.
The details around this entrance to a private home are 

And I love the colors!

This functioning church had a nice park in front
A pretty brass detail 

Another smaller but lovely functioning church

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