Being a student and volunteer at El Nahual allowed me to grow as a person while positively impacting the children of Xela. The experiences I had at school richened my understanding of the beautiful culture, people, and history of Guatemala as did the opportunities I had as an English teacher. The people I met will always touch me and will continue to impact my life now and in the future. If you want an experience where you feel alive everyday, El Nahual is the place to study, serve, and learn!
Read the personal experiences of past students below for a better idea of what experience awaits you studying and volunteering at El Nahual. Please note that these students are happy for you to contact them with any questions or concerns you may have about coming to El Nahual.
I spent a little over 2 months at El Nahual and recommend it to anyone interested in volunteering, learning Spanish or both. My Spanish improved by leaps and bounds thanks to the patient, professional and knowledgeable teaching staff. Also, Xela will present you with many opportunities to practice your Spanish daily.
When I arrived in Guatemala I planned on doing some trekking but those plans changed after a week of volunteering at El Nahual. Suddenly I had 25-35 new "amiguitos" that made everyday at El Nahual, well, great. (By the way, I'm returning in May)
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After sifting through the many options, I have no regrets in choosing El Nahual. I´ve learnt a great deal from friendly and knowledgable teachers. El Nahual rotate you through different teachers which has broadened my listening skills and also helped to keep things fresh and varied. Another plus is the environment here, the coordinator is very helpful and friendly, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy and the school itself is very conducive to learning, especially the upstairs room with a view of volcan Santa Maria. Highly Recommended!
I came to Guatemala all alone on a grant from my school, completely clueless, scared, and with no idea what to expect from my month in Guatemala. The folks at El Nahual provided me with a great homestay and made me feel instantly safe and at home. I also made great friends with my fellow volunteers, and we took many trips together, to markets and around the country. Many volunteers received private Spanish classes at El Nahual and I was amazed to see how much their Spanish improved in such a short time! But perhaps the part of the El Nahual experience I found most fun was the volunteer work we did. Teaching English in the external schools and volunteering in the Manos De Colores program in the afternoons were always exciting and challenging activities, and they gave me valuable teaching experience. When I look back on my stay in Guatemala, it is with regret that I was not able to stay longer. One month later, I am already yearning to go back, because volunteering at El Nahual was one of the best experiences of my life so far!
With only a few Spanish language classes, I have significantly improved my speaking skills, making my speech more sophisticated and fluent. I´m an overall more confident Spanish speaker thanks to El Nahual.