During our summer in Antigua, Guatemala we studied Spanish at a
school named “PROBIGUA”, an acronym for, Proyecto Bibliotecas
Guatemala. Betsey studied for one week, George two weeks, and I studied
for eight weeks. All of us enjoyed our time there.
||Luc and George at Probigua. The language
mostly one-on-one tutoring, from 2-6 hours a day. 6 hours is
grueling, 3 or 4 is about right.
PROBIGUA's director, Rigoberto Zamora Charuc, has great plans for
Guatemala and it all starts with education and literacy. Besides the
Language School, the main focus of the school’s effort is the
Biblioteca Movil, a standard bus partly converted into a book mobile.
Aside from bringing books to towns without libraries, the bus is used to
take the language students on field trips. Often the trips include
bringing recycled paint to small towns so the children can help
maintain their schools. Occasionally, the bookmobile delivers computers,
and PROBIGUA pays internet charges every where computers are
donated. By the end of my time with PROBIGUA I learned to enjoy carrying
instruction at PROBIGUA could not be better. In 100 hours of study, I
learned more than in two years of high school Spanish. One on one
instruction using only Spanish is the most effective way to learn. I
studied with several teachers and liked all of them. The entire staff is
friendly and helpful, from arranging home stays to general information.
This is Tomas, the general manager, and Teri, the accountant. We stayed at her
house for about ten days until we found our apartment.
One of the best parts of studying at PROBIGUA for the summer was
meeting other students. People come from all over the world,
particularly the United States and the European Union. I really enjoyed
the chance to make friends. Everyone has interesting plans and stories
to share. There is much to learn from people of so many different
backgrounds, the Catholic seminarians for example. The photo is of our
friends Benjamin and Paul, who joined us for curry one night.
|Luc: We stayed with Teri Enterianos and her
family when we first got to Antigua. My room at
Terri’s was small and furnished with a bed, a small desk, and a
plastic chair. My room had a view to the north. I remember a day
in particular. It had just started to rain. And sitting there in a bare
bones room I suddenly realized that I was happy.
||This is Teri with her three
children. Teri is a marvel, working full time as the accountant
for Probigua, cooking and caring for for
4-10 home stay students, three kids, a husband, her niece. We were all in awe
|This is the new parakeet, with Maria
Teresa and Dalila, Teri's niece and helper. All the adults held
their breath while the 4 children learned to manage the baby parakeet
without hurting it.
||Teri and Maria Teresa at dinner.
The meals at Teri's were fabulous, with careful attention to nutrition
and featuring tipico (traditional) Guatemalan cooking.
|Maria Teresa quickly learned how to be
friends with her new pet.