Xela is a great place to study Spanish, volunteer, or both! Here is a great article from XelaWho Magazine:
"But we love Xela mostly because not everyone does, and those of us who live here couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. It doesn’t have that gringo bubble-comfort that Antigua does, or the eye-popping vistas of the lakeside villages, but there’s something about Xela that if you get it, you really get it. Like an old friend and long-time Xela resident said “I’ve never met anyone that left their heart in Antigua, but have met plenty that left it in Xela.” Xela’s the ugly chick with the cool personality, the song you have to listen to 10 times before it starts to grow on you. We love its cobbled streets, its chilly nights, the bustling markets, adobe shacks and gaudy belle-epoque architecture. We love the little bars and cafés, the just-enough-but-not-too-much pace of life, the cultural activity and most of all, we love feeling like we’re actually in Guatemala, while still having a few comforts from home close at hand."
Read the full article, "Happy Birthday, Xela" from the May issue here: http://xelawho.com/