why xela - Spanish School, Languages School, CBA Spanish School

Go to content

Main menu

why xela

Why xela



San Andres Xecul

Market of Almolonga

Iglesia de Salcajá

Why choose Xela?



Quetzaltenango, also known by its Mayan name of Xela (pronounce Shay-la) is the cultural and intelectual center of Guatemala. Quetzaltenango is Guatemala´s second largest city but still manages to retain a peaceful atmosphere. While Xela is a modern city its narrow cobbled streets, colonial architecture, and magnificent central square give it an air of antiquity. The city is surrounded by high mountains and volcanoes which are accessible for a nice weekend get-away.

With seven major universities, the city has a long-standing literary tradition. Xela is also a center of marimba music (the marimba is a traditional Guatemalan instrument, similiar to the xylophone). Marimba concerts, given by some of the country´s leading musicians, can often be heard in the central town square.

Many students travel to surrounding indigenous villages to admire the busy markets, colorful handicrafts, and amazing colonial style churches as well as to enjoy sulphur baths and hot springs. During weekends you can travel all across the highlands; visiting Chichicastenango, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, or even the beaches on the Pacific. And for those who feel inclined to stay in Quetzaltenango, there is more than enough to do: there are art exhibitions, movie theatres, live music and poetry readings, concerts, bars, nightclubs and cafe´s. You can also attend a sensational soccer game and cheer for the Super Chivos of Xelajú, the popular soccer team of Quetzaltenango.

Learn Spanish or Mayan Languages

Quetzaltenango is an ideal place to study Spanish or a Mayan language, because students can be fully immersed in their elected language. They will hear and speak it everyday on the street, in restaurants and night clubs, as well as in the school and with their host family. At CBA we make sure that our students are surrounded by native speakers so they can get a taste of Guatemalan languages and culture.

Cultural and Intellectual centre Quetzaltenango
, with a population of approximately 150,000. It is also known as one of the most important cultural and intellectual centres in the country. As such, we have access to a lot of amenities that are not found in other centres:
Live music and poetry readings
Art Exhibitions
Typical and international cuisine
Bars, night clubs and cafes
Concerts (Inside and outside) Movie theatres
Satellite tv in local bars (for sports and movie fans)
Internet access
Markets (artisan and otherwise)
Spectator sports (like soccer)
Climb nearby volcanoes (there are organized treks every weekend offered by local non-profit groups) Sulfur Baths
Hot Springs
Check out our parks and country side
Local indigenous towns

Back to content | Back to main menu