Homestay or Hostel? Learn Spanish Abroad @ Quetzaltenango (Xela)




Once again, i'm about studying Spanish in Quetzaltenango (Xela) in Guatemala.

While most of people chose stay in a homestay, I only stayed at the homestay for a week and moved into hostel.

I'm going to spell out my thoughts from both experience.

About homestay.

It's only one week experience,

It was my first homestay in my life.

Grandma, mother, and son(student in Uni) So three of them were my homestay family.

I lived in a private room with two beds and a shelf, a desk and a chair.

Three meals a day, I would not ask anymore I had everything I needed.

The food was excellent and the taste was delicious.

The problem was just Spanish.The people at home did not speak English of course neither Japanese.

Spanish only.I think there's nothing better if you are willing to learn Spanish.

I used translation and body language to communicate with them. Because my Spanish level was so far from able to have conversations.

But honestly We talked about a lot of things and enjoyed it.Not really talking though....


I used to lived with a lot of people and I felt bored sometimes.

I felt They were taking care of me like I am kid (my personal opinion)

For these two reasons, I decided to give up my homestay.

Another little reason,

I like to cook, so I also have the feeling that I want to cook my own meals.

Living in a hostel

I decided  to leave homestay in a week and moved to a hostel.

The hostel I moved to was probably the most popular hostel in Xela.

So, there were many tourists from different countries and life was really fun.

As I expected

I realized that staying hostel is better to me.

I had many opportunities to use Spanish during my hostel life.

Like me, people who goes to Spanish schools, travelers from Spanish spoken countries,

people who works in hostel.

However I spent more time using English than Spanish.

In terms of studying Spanish, I think homestay is still better.

I was studying Spanish, but I also wanted to use English in my daily life.

So I would say hostel life was perfect to me.

Another good thing is the hostel itself.

It's the best hostel I've stayed in in the last few years.

The room was clean and clean.This hostel will also be featured in other articles.

best hostel in xela

Check Casa Seibel on

Price differences between homestays and hostels

Again, Price! That is also important to concern about

The price of the homestay includes meals was Q450 (about $60) per week.

The price of the hostel is Q300 ($40) per week, excluding meals.

It is Q150 difference in the meal.

Speaking of eating, almost every day I cooked for myself

I sometimes went to buy tacos and fried chicken when I was drinking at night.

The cost of meals for most of the week was about Q60-70.

By the way, there are many places in Xela that are cheaper than the hostel where I stayed.

If we talk about only price, staying at hostel is cheaper than home-stay


Home-stay and hostel

There are advantages and disadvantages, i think different tastes vary from person to person.

I recommend a homestay for such a person.

  • who wants to focus on spanish studies only
  • who wants to learn about the lifestyle (culture) of the local people
  • who wants to live in a single room at a low price

I recommend a hostel for such a person.

  • who wants to live with travelers from various countries
  • who wants to cook
  • who prefers cheaper

In my opinion,

I think it would be a good idea to just try homestay for a week and then think about it.

Living in a hostel is also a great choice, except for those who only wants to learn Spanish.

Especially those who are thinking about traveling after that.

It happens many times that I met people who has same direction or had been to place where I will be.

Also you might run into friends in a different country.(It happened to me few times)

Well you might be thinking I am pushing hostel a lot.

I'm not denying home-stay because it's just my personal opinion.

I think it's a great experience to try a homestay.

I am glad to have had experience of homestay.

Both are recommended.

Hope those are helpful for you even a little.



-central america, guatemala, learnabroad, Spanish, traveling, xela
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