Na’atik Cultural and Language Institute

Na’atik Cultural and Language Institute is a social enterprise language school located in the Zona Maya of Mexico.

Our name comes from the Maya expression “to’on na’atik” meaning “we’re understanding each other”.

 

Language Learning in the Zona Maya

We provide high-quality English classes to local students, which are kept affordable through funding from our  Study Abroad Yucatan (SAY) Program. Designed for foreigners, expats and school groups, we provide a truly immersive language and cultural experience here in Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Mexico.

Na’atik is a social enterprise language school located one hour south of Tulum in the heartland of the Maya Resistance. We teach high-quality English to local students and immersive Spanish and Maya language to foreigners. Our name comes from the Maya expression “to’on na’atik” meaning “we’re understanding each other”. We believe that cross-cultural exchange is the key to true understanding. It is only once we understand each other that we can see what is really possible.

Through our affordable, encouraging English language classes (Cursos de Inglés), we aim to teach students in the local Maya community the skills to visualize and achieve their dreams. Our English classes are helping students access well-paid jobs, study for careers like medicine, engineering, and education and to travel the world. Donations to Na’atik Projects, our US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, help us keep English classes affordable and provide scholarships to bright, deserving students in our community.

Our Study Abroad Yucatan (SAY) program teaches Spanish and Maya language through homestay immersion and cross-cultural activities. We help students achieve their language goals and introduce them to the real Zona Maya (it’s not just ruins!). We reinvest 10 percent of the proceeds from our SAY program into the English program, enabling us to offer low-cost English education to the local Maya community.

 

Where we are

Felipe Carrillo Puerto—or “Carrillo” as it’s called locally—is a hidden gem rich in Maya history. Located in Quintana Roo, in the Yucatán Peninsula, we are just an hour south and inland from the stunning Caribbean beaches of Tulum.

Carrillo is a small city of 70,000, but has a small town feel. We are truly in the heart of the Zona Maya—where the fierce Maya held out the longest against Spanish conquest and eventual inclusion into Mexico.

The culture is alive and you will hear Maya spoken on the street and in the market, encounter women wearing the traditional huipiles (white cotton dresses with intricate embroidery) and see thatched-roof houses in which modern families live in much the same style as their ancestors.

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