San Juan, Guatemala
Support Local Communities
Lots of travelers do a home stay in this area along with enrolling in a Spanish school. It's a great way to immerse yourself culturally, while cheaply and effectively learning the language. The bonus is that the money for the homestay goes to the families of this relatively poor community. Most people do it in San Pedro, which is definitely the most touristy area around the lake. But if you want something a bit more traditional, the small town of San Juan, though only a 10 minute tuctuc ride, is a world away. There is not much to do, but it's ideal if you want a cultural experience and a bit of peace and quiet. I spent a week walking about, taking photos and chatting to the friendly locals. Every person in this town wears traditional Mayan clothes and will never try and sell you anything, this is the real deal! For homestays in San Juan I'd recommend emailing email@example.com, this lovely US couple will hook you up based on your preferences.