This is my third Semana Santa in Antigua and each year is even more exciting than the last one!!!
For 51 weeks out of the year, Antigua is a “mellow” and tranquil place to
just “be” instead of “do”. Residents greet both locals and visitors on the street with a smile and good wishes. We have visitors come here from all over the world and one can sit in parque central and listen to a variety of dialects, as well as basic Spanish with many
different accents! Year round, Antigua is a small and safe place to walk around and enjoy with a variety of “international” cuisine to taste!
During Semana Santa Antigua turns into an International “place to be” to soak up the blend of the Mayan and Catholic religion and ritual. One marvels at the intricate “alfombras” or rugs created on the streets made out of flowers, colored sawdust and sometimes fruits and vegetables. They are truly works of art to be viewed in person that can not be captured in a photo.
Since hotel prices are higher and rooms difficult to find during Semana Santa, a good idea is to spend the week in a Spanish School and stay with a family. This gives someone the opportunity to really experience the Guatemalan culture during its most important and festive time of the year.
Even if it is not Semana Santa, the opportunity to live with a Guatemalan family is a unique experience. There are Spanish language schools all over Guatemala from which to choose.
One big difference about studying Spanish here in Antigua as opposed to other places in Guatemala is that being so close to Guatemala City, many of the Spanish School teachers have university experience and training. Folks can learn basic Spanish, as well as more advanced and technical Spanish language skills.
Although there is a “Spanish School on every corner”, students can experience a high level of learning in Antigua not necessarily found in other locations around the country.