Stories from Central America

This academic year, my family and I are living in Central America. I’m busy working on a young adult novel set in South India, but I’ve also recently started a blog about life south of the U.S. border. Warmer Than Canada is a website designed to inspire other families to explore living abroad (not permanently, of course, but for a spell). I’ll be posting regularly about Central American politics, culture, nature, and travel.

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For avid readers, there’s a link at the bottom right side of Warmer Than Canada where you can sign up to receive email alerts when I post new stories. If you have friends who are infected with wanderlust or who simply might enjoy some armchair Central American travel, please send them to Warmer Than Canada. I’d also be delighted to see your comments on my stories there. Thanks so much for your interest!


About katiequirkauthor

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3 Responses to Stories from Central America

  1. Edith says:

    Hi Katie,

    I read your LA times article about Spanish school in Guatemala and you inspired my teen son to sign up for two weeks of school at la cooperativa and in Xela.
    We plan to spend all of Saturday in Antigua on day we arrive. Any suggestions as to activities there. Also what time should we plan to arrive at la cooperativa on Sunday?
    Any suggestions you have in terms of handling money (dollars and Q’s) plus keeping valuables secure. We plan to pack light and only carry travel backpacks.
    I’m a huge fan of your la times articles and your blog. Thank you for educating and inspiring me to travel to Central America.
    Thank you!

    • I’m really excited for you and your son, Miriam. What a wonderful experience you will have–and I envy you the opportunity to study in Xela as well. To answer your questions:

      In terms of Antigua, I would plan to spend the day walking around the old city, people watching in the central park, and exploring on foot in general. We also really enjoyed the Casa Santa Domingo (museum within a hotel), and the chocolate making class if you are looking for a place to concentrate your time.

      I would plan to arrive in San Pedro in the mid afternoon–I imagine the school offers suggestions about when someone will be there to meet you. You will be on your own for dinner that night, so it’s good to get in town in time to get your bearings and to figure out where you want to eat. To get to San Pedro, we arranged a very affordable shared shuttle through the Yellow House travel agency and hotel in Antigua. It worked well.

      In terms of money, we carried a lot of USD on us (enough to pay the language school in large bills) and then we got quetzales out of the cash machine wherever we were. We brought cable locks for our backpacks, but because we didn’t travel a lot, we didn’t end up using them. Our host family gave us rooms with keys to lock up when we left, so we felt secure leaving things in the house.

      Buen viaje!

      • Edith says:

        Wow! This is such useful information. Appreciate your prompt response. I will continue to follow your blog as I hope to explore more of Central America in the future.

        Thank you!

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