Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I participate if I have a special diet?

Yes, depending on each person’s needs, we can find a homestay that can fulfill them. Having students with allergies, food intolerance or sensitivity to certain meals is common. Homestays are experts and available to offer a special diet if requested. In some cases there would be an extra fee to cover depending on the diet.

2. I’m vegetarian, will I find food options while I’ll be living in Merida?

Homestays can offer vegetarian options. Also, Merida is a city that is growing and offers many different services, among those, there are vegetarian and vegan places. Recently there has been an increase on vegetarian restaurants.

3. If I use a wheelchair, can I participate in a program?

Merida is a flat city with no mountains and that facilitates the use of a wheelchair. However, not all the streets and sidewalks are equipped nor adapted to use it. Local transportation is not equipped either. We could however find a homestay that would be located near school and most important places. Taxis are also affordable.

4. How much is a Spanish course and housing with a family?

The cost will vary depending on the program’s length and the optional activities chosen. All of our programs are unique and tailored to each group so we don’t have a fixed cost.

5. How do you select the homestay families?

Tsikbal has a rigorous and careful selection process. We work with families that have experience receiving students and we always have the priority to look for comfort, safety and location.

6. ¿Do homestays speak English?

Generally they speak very little English. Homestays are an active participant in language learning. The daily interaction is an important resource for the development of communicative skills. However when the purpose of the program does not include Language development and immersion, it is possible to find a homestay that speaks English or any other housing option that would be suitable.

7. Could I learn Maya language in one of your programs?

Of course! We can develop an exclusive program of Mayan Language or a hybrid program where students could learn Spanish and also have Maya Language classes.

8. I would like to do an internship in Merida, is it possible?

Yes! One of the most valuable experiences for students is to do an internship abroad. Students would be able to have professional contact with businesses or institutions and they could feel what is like to be immersed in a working environment in Merida. Depending on the academic field Tsikbal can make it happen.

9. My parents are concerned about the safety issues in Mexico, is Merida a safe city?

Yucatán has been granted to be the safest state in Mexico three years in a row and Merida the safest city. Even though Mexico has experienced violence in some places, these have happened in focalized regions and Merida is not near these places. In the past recent years Merida has been considered one of the best cities to live according to many magazines and newspapers. The US Consulate in Merida is always open to answer any concerns or doubts regarding safety in the region. The US State Department’s travel warning is available on the following link, where current events and safety is described according to the state and/or región: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/mexico-travel-warning.html

10. What places of interest can I find near Merida?

Mérida is located right in the middle of a zone that has a very rich history and culture. Close to the city less than two hours away driving, there are exquisite archeological sites like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, EkBalam, among many others. The Yucatan Peninsula has the fortune of having hundreds of cenotes (or sinkholes) where peace and tranquility are attractive to many foreigners. The Gulf Coast and the Caribbean Ocean are some of the most important destinies for a large population of visitors. Also cities like Izamal or Valladolid as well as Colonial buildings and Haciendas are unique and characteristic places of this wonderful culture.