Lake Atitlan is home to multiple Mayan languages. In Panajachel they speak Kaqchikel and in San Pedro, Tz’utujil. While most local people do speak Spanish, it is not their first language. Spanish is spoken out of necessity and is more of an afterthought.
Although Lake Atitlan isn’t an ideal place to learn Spanish, there are still plenty of Spanish schools and opportunities to practice.
As a speaker of four languages, Norwegian, French, Japanese, and of course English, I’ve tried out dozens of language learning books, and techniques. Below you will find a list of the most effective Spanish language learning resources as well as an overview of Lake Atitlan’s Spanish schools.
Spanish For Visual Learners
There’s no better resource for visual learners than Rosetta Stone. Although it’s an investment, it’s the most effective way to build your vocabulary.
Spanish For Auditory Learners
My number 1 learning resource is by far Pimsleur. I’m actually using it to learn Spanish right now. This program consists of 90 lessons each 30 minutes long. It sounds like a lot but if you manage 1 lesson a day, you’ll be speaking at a high level of conversational spanish in 3 months. Definitely worth the investment.
Teach Yourself Spanish
Teach Yourself Spanish is another program that can complement Pimsleur in terms of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. It’s another program that will get you speaking conversationally and even writing.
Spanish Schools On Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is home to many Spanish schools. You can generally choose from a 1 week course to a full 1 to 3 month course. Some Spanish schools even include a home stay.
Panajachel Spanish Schools
Jamel Tinamit– is one of the most established Spanish schools on the lake. They provide everything from 1 on 1 tutoring, to home stays, to class lessons.
More Schools coming soon!