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Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

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London, United...
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Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

Hi,

I am 42, male, originally from India and have been living in Europe for a long time now. I speak fluent English and German and would like to learn Spanish as well. I have about 10 weeks between jobs as of mid April. Aside from the language, I am also looking for an environment which offers local immersion and insights in to culture, history, traditions and literature. In general, I want to stay away from big bustling metropolises and head to smaller cities.

A friend of mine suggested Guatemala as a potential destination. I wanted to solicit views on safety in Guatemala in general and Antigua in particular. I have had mixed reports on that.

I am Sikh which means I wear a turban and therefore tend to stand out.

Apart from Guatemala are there any other countries in Central or South America you might recommend?

Many thanks

Malvinder

Bethesda, MD
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1. Re: Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

I'm not sure what mixed reports you're getting. Antigua and other tourist areas in Guatemala are generally safe for tourists, as long as they use common sense and take reasonable precautions.

You'll find plenty of culture, tradition, and history in Antigua. You can also find these around Lake Atitlan. There are plenty of schools to choose from in Antigua and I think five or so in San Pedro on the lake. Many of us here are fond of the Cooperativa: http://www.cooperativeschoolsanpedro.edu.gt/

I have come across some positive comments about Spanish schools in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but I don't have any experience with them.

For all the time I've spend in Guate, I don't recall ever having seen a Sikh there. But locals in tourist areas are accustomed to, and quite tolerant of, all sorts of foreigners and our "strange" ways. I doubt it would cause you any problem.

If you're traveling on an Indian passport, I'm pretty sure you'll need a visa.

Port Richey, Florida
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2. Re: Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

Well I'm sure he is a german citizen by now after living there as he says for many years. If not, luckily even holding an indian passport, according to the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Relations' site www.minex.gob.gt/Visor_Pagina.aspx…

effective June of 2011 indian citizens holding a valid visa from the USA, Canada or one of the Schengen signatory countries in europe are visa exempted to visit guatemala. But I agree regarding safety in guatemala. Guatemalans are very curious but at the same time very friendly towards foreign tourists. You'll be fine there.

London, United...
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3. Re: Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

That's very helpful and reassuring. I do have a EU passport so visas are no issue. Looking forward to heading out to Antigua and have already been in touch with Cooperativa

4. Re: Learning Spanish in Guatemala as a turban wearing Sikh

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