I spent a week at the Guacamaya Spanish School in Copan Ruinas in February of 2018. I have studied Spanish in a few countries over time (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Ecuador) in order to learn medical Spanish, which I use regularly in clinic. I chose to spend a week in Honduras to brush up and to try to reach a higher level of Spanish, and my only regret is that one week was such a short time.
My home stay family was incredibly warm and friendly. They would invite me to join them for whatever they were doing in the evening or in my free time. I ate 3 meals a day with my family, and there were always people around to talk to.
At the school I had one on one instruction every morning with Enrique, the school’s owner. The classes were excellent, with a good variety of new instruction that was very well organized and conversation time to practice old concepts. The teaching at this school is probably the best I have had out of all my Spanish school experiences.
The town is small, relaxed, and feels very safe. Even though I was only there for a week, by the end of my stay I was running into people I knew while shopping in town. It seemed half the town was related to the family I was staying with. At previous Spanish schools, I was accustomed to being home by dark (or taking a taxi) and making sure I had nothing of value on my person because robberies and pick pocketing were a problem. I was quite surprised the first night in Honduras when I inquired about a way to use the internet and my host mom suggested I walk to a nearby coffee shop with my laptop around 9pm. I did, and there were children and families playing in the streets and locals with their laptops at the coffee shop when I got there. This safe, small town atmosphere was probably the most surprising and pleasant part of my visit. Plus, locals were more than happy to stop and have conversations, so I got in extra Spanish practice.
There were also nice tourist options when I wasn’t in class, including the incredible Mayan ruins for which the town is named, several very good coffee shops, and a fun bird sanctuary. Enrique was happy to help me figure out the best ways to enjoy my afternoon, and always had great suggestions. In the past I have tried to visit a different country each time I travel, but I think in the future if I have a chance to study more Spanish, I plan to return to Copan Ruinas in Honduras.