A Life in Guatemala

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maes_07Patricia Ruiz Asturias is the Director of the Modern American English School, known to its students as El MAES, in Antigua, Guatemala. Patricia goes by Patty or Ms. Patty, which reflects her youthfulness and energy despite her 60 years of age (born April 1952). She founded MAES 34 years ago in 1978. MAES is the largest and oldest continually existing English-language school in Guatemala. Patty is also an investor in Antigua who has achieved a level of success that is unusual for a woman in Guatemala without a college degree. In this personal and wide-ranging conversation, she discusses her achievements and compares life in Guatemala to life in the United States.

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Here are a couple relevants facts we looked up after the interview:

Antigua, Guatemala was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is a popular tourist destination in part because of its well-preserved Spanish Baroque colonial architecture. Guatemala as a whole is overwhelmingly Christian, split almost evenly between the historically dominant Catholics and the growing Protestant (or “Evangelical”) movement.