The City of Quetzaltenango is called by the local people, Xela. It lies in a mountain valley at over 7,600 ft above sea level in the southwestern portion of Guatemala. The population is over 224,000. Quetzaltenango is known in Guatemala as “The City that is the Soul of Culture” because of its lively music and art scene. Xela, the center of Quetzaltenango, is a major tourist destination (the second largest city in Guatemala after Guatemala City) and attracts many students seeking to learn Spanish. There are many universities in the city.
The climate is subtropical highland with a rainy season from May through October and a dry season from November until April. In general, the climate can go from mild to chilly with occasional warm episodes. There is rain daily during the rainy season and not for months on end during the dry season. Average temperatures range from upper 30s to upper 70s.