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The love for our Caracolitos will keep us together.

We cannot let the current circumstances tear us apart and break with the affection, love, and trust that we have built within the classrooms. Our kindergarten teachers have been very aware of their Caracolitos, the role they have taken now focuses on accompanying the parents. Teacher Sandra Pérez tells us in a short text, how the relationship between the youngest students of our school and their teachers have continued developing: The emotion of the boys and girls when seeing and talking with their teachers is of pure happiness. Upon receiving the call, they talk about what they have done at home lately: taking care of the gardens, caring for the house’s animals, and helping mom and dad with other chores. In some children, shyness appears when they see or listen to their teacher, it is at this moment that we ask mom or dad about what is going on, they, in most of the cases answer the same, the Caracolitos are missing Escuela Caracol, their classmates, and their teachers. Some parents also thank us for being aware of what is happening with their children and for guiding them with activities to do with the children. We have tried to continue as planned. Recently we sent the tale “La Semillita” in audio * and text to all our students; the parents, kindly read the story and sang the songs to the Caracolitos. A question has been constantly being heard in our student’s homes: Mom, Dad, when will we return to Escuela Caracol? We want to thank our families for the support and interest in continuing with the nurturing of their... read more

Escuela Caracol does not sleep.

The gardens and paths of the School are impatiently waiting for the return of our Caracolitos and Caracolitas, the silence, even though it has been of great pleasure for our wild friends, is not something that the soul of our school enjoys. The gardens and pathways have been in constant repair; We will all see and enjoy the long-awaited return when the processes of nature allow us, as long as we can be sure that our boys and girls will not be in any extraordinary danger. Our dear Chico has done a great job. The front wall has been remodeled, the gardens cared for with great love, and the paths have been widened to allow our growing number of students to move comfortably within the beautiful gardens. Very soon we will return to play and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of this magical corner of the... read more

Every challenge has a solution

“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” R. Steiner. Moving between towns around the lake has turned out to be a very difficult task since the measures to prevent Covid-19 from spreading in the region began. Even though the official command only reached the prohibition to mobilize between departments, the municipal governments have taken more drastic measures with the sole intention of protecting local populations. Escuela Caracol students come from different towns in the western region of Lake Atitlán and have very limited access to the technologies proposed to be the communication channels to continue with the pedagogical processes of learning-teaching. These conditions have made the communication between teachers and students a difficult task, however, after analyzing the situation and investing lots of effort, our teachers found the channels and ways to continue with this labor. The way adopted to execute this plan was to continue using the materials traditionally materials found in the classroom; notebooks, crayons, pencils, among others, sending them to our students through some kind of mail were the teachers would act as messengers, designating a region or destination for each one in which they would be in charge of distributing the “pedagogical packages” for boys and girls, as well as visiting the homes of our little Caracolitos to learn at first-hand about the current situation of our families*, and to resolve possible doubts regarding the content or the assignments; always following each of the measures of distancing and care recommended so as not to endanger our communities or ourselves. * If... read more

Friends and ambassadors.

Kim D’Angelo is a person who has earned a very important place in the heart of Escuela Caracol. She is a Spanish teacher at the Emerson Waldorf School in North Carolina, Year after year she organizes a trip with students from various Waldorf Schools from the United States to visit our school, Kim is also an unofficial ambassador of our School, sharing information to students and parents in their community whenever she can. A few months ago we received an email from Kim, in which he told us about one of her students, Niki Chan, who promoted a beautiful pottery project from which all the earnings were destined to support Escuela Caracol. Next, we want to share with you an e_mail Mr. Henry Chan, Niki’s father, sent to Kim. — Hi Senora D’Angelo! Thank you so much for being the advocate for such an important Waldorf school for Guatemala and that region.  You have planted the seed in Niki’s heart to help ever since the Spanish Market at the Gazebo a few years ago and various lessons and school activities. Ikumi and I are so touched by Niki’s serving heart and generosity to contribute his work to supporting that school’s need in order to provide Waldorf education to so many children.  I wrote up a little summary, feel free to share or paraphrase. Throughout the Summer of 2019, Niki worked as a junior mentor at the summer camps at Sarah’s House of Clay, each weekday from 9am to 3pm, often stayed longer.  Niki has used over 90 pounds of clay to craft dozens of exquisite pottery items, from mugs and bowls to... read more

Escuela Caracol will never be left alone.

“Love starts when we push aside our ego and make room for someone else.” R. Steiner These times have been difficult for everyone in the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected, some way or the other, each of the activities carried out by all of us. These are strange times, but as difficult as they might get, they have also brought out some of the best of most of the human beings. During recent times, the sensitivity, that we would have to see as a norm, decreased due to circumstances such as the rhythm of life and technological isolation. Now we can see it again, showing the light that can emanate from humanity; expressions of solidarity and empathy have become a constant.  From the first days of the restrictions, the main concern for Escuela Caracol has been the safety of our students and their families, as well as finding ways to continue with the pedagogical process of our Caracolitos while respecting and following the precepts given by Waldorf Pedagogy, keeping the personalized accompaniment of each of our students. Another concern came up soon after: could Escuela Caracol survive the financial crisis? We were aware of the global situation, we knew perfectly well that our families would not be able to make their contributions as they used to and that many of our international sponsors would see their finances hit by unemployment issues or a decrease in their income due to the impact on local economies of the pandemic. This is why, after considering the dangers and reviewing the finances, the Board of Asociación Caracol decided to launch a call... read more

An oasis for the Bees.

One of our priorities regarding the nurturing of our students is to promote the connection they can achieve with nature by being in constant contact with the environment that surrounds us; This contact helps them develop highly important academic knowledge as well as a special sensitivity regarding our Mother Earth. Our primary students had a wonderful experience at the beginning of the school-cycle. Together, with their teacher Santiago, they began a journey to the world of bees. It all started when students researched and shared, with their classmates, many interesting facts about such important beings. They read and researched a lot, they also consulted their parents, grandparents and other relatives; The region in Lake Atitlán where San Marcos La Laguna is located is recognized for its apiaries and for the quality of the products derived from the bees it produces. A few days later, many of the groups visited a local apiary, where they had a glance at how bees live and work. The students also planted a diversity of flowers in our garden, this, in order to turn Escuela Caracol into an attractive place for our little friends. The original plan was that throughout these first months of the year, the first-grade and second-grade groups would plant the flowers, third-grade would collect honey at a local apiary, fourth-grade would make various products derived from the hive, and fourth and fifth would carry out various projects researching more information related to bees. We hope that once the restrictions are over, our little Caracolitos will continue with this wonderful learning... read more

We’ll be back in the classrooms soon. (Song)

A few weeks after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the beginning of the restrictions, our Pedagogical Director, Gloria Elena Londoño, and our Music  Teacher and Primary Director, Diego Sacach, came up with the idea of ​​recording a song as a gift for our students and their families. We meet one morning in the school following all the suggested distancing recommendations; Gloria and Diego already their parts of the song. With the usual equipment limitations (we only used an old iPhone and a lavaliere microphone) we embarked on the adventure of recording the base for the song that the rest of our teachers would then complete with their voices, each of them recording their part of the choir with their own cell phones as voice notes. A few days later, all that material was gathered and edited, now we want to share the final result with you. What you’re about to hear is the version of Escuela Caracol’s teachers of the song “Volveremos a Brindar” (We’ll toast again) by Lucía Gil. This is also a gift for all our friends who are experiencing this strange times away from us in other countries or regions of the world. A big hug filled with hope and light for each one of you from everyone in Escuela Caracol... read more

Kindergarten, cooking and eating tortillas.

We want to give you a glimpse from our students point of view of a regular day at our kindergarten classroom. Today, our Caracolitos and Caracolitas will be cooking tortillas to be eaten later accompanied with tomato sauce and cheese. Zoe and Carolina will be the journey’s narrators, you will easily realize why Escuela Caracol is the place where children are happy.     Become part of our community and help us continue nurturing heads, hearts, and hands of children form the wester region of Lake Atitlán within an environment off love and respect, donate now following the link below: Give Now Learn more about Escuela Caracol here: Our mission and name Learn more about Waldorf Pedagogy here:... read more

Teaching fractions in fourth grade.

Waldorf Pedagogy aims at integrally nurturing its students according to the development stages they are passing through; these stages are divided into septenniums matching with physiological, psychological, and mood changes. The fourth-grade group is currently passing through the second septennium. Some of the students are still on an authority confronting stage, the rest already passed through this and began with a small resting period, showing more interest in new subjects.  Overall, boys and girls are on a stage where they look for new knowings and ways to express. They are focussing on doing their jobs in a good way and on being proud of their performance. Fractions are a very important subject in fourth-grade, they include academic teachings that will help develop the intellect, and ethic teachings, like justice; both are basic tools we provide to our students looking for them to holistically develop as human beings. To live fractions as an integral experience teaches that things can be shared and leaves a very important message about justice. When you share, a healthy moral feeling of community and unity arises. Escuela Caracol’s fourth-graders are currently studying their math block; In the classroom, fractions are presented in two ways, a conceptual and a practical way, in both ways, blackboard drawings are an indispensable tool. We can see a beautiful tree drawn on their blackboard representing the units, each of its branches representing a fraction. One way to encourage students into practicing fractions is to use objects that are regularly divided, such as cakes, bread, or pizza; these were the subjects of study for this particular lesson. We deeply appreciate the... read more

First group’s reunion of the year.

From the 24th to the 26th of February, We had the first round of 2020’s grade meetings in Escuela Caracol, in which we had the participation of our Caracolitos’ families. These meetings are the ideal moment for our families to be familiarized about what is currently happening in our school and about the students’ development; these are also ideal occasions to clarify personal topics regarding the school, as well as to grow within the learning of the Waldorf Pedagogy and as a community. Very relevant subjects were covered during each of the meetings, that could be resumed as pedagogical subjects, general group subjects, and coordination and organization subjects for upcoming activities. During each of the grade meetings, the teacher explains de spirit’s and physiological’s development of the group, as well as the pedagogical approach and the best academic contents regarding the current stage.  It is also common to have the teachers conducting rhythms that are usually performed in the classroom, and explaining the stage the group’s children are currently crossing, and how this could bring special characteristics that can be perceived by the specific attitudes and conducts presented. We deeply appreciate the constant commitment and support shown towards the school’s labor. If you couldn’t be present during your grades meeting, don’t hesitate and schedule an appointment with your group’s teacher to keep up to date, and don’t forget, Escuela Caracol belongs to all of... read more

2020’s Harvest Festival

Last Saturday, February the 22nd, took place the Harvest Festival, a cultural activity where a good bit of the San Marcos La Laguna’s community and the tourist’s population gather to enjoy a journey packed with music, culture, and fun times. Our staff had the chore of welcoming all the attendants and receiving the donations at the gate; all along the journey, our team had shifts assigned were we shared very special moments and information about the labor Escuela Caracol is doing to benefit the community through education. We also were represented by our dear teachers Carmen, Diego, and Nacho, as they guided a series of activities and games, usually used in our classrooms, with the youngest assistants of the festival.  This year’s edition had Escuela Caracol as one of the main beneficiaries.  We deeply treasure the constant support of the festival’s heads, Tim Reher and Osnat Rafaeli, towards our school, and the honest concern and actions they constantly manifest for the wellbeing of our dear... read more

What a way to enjoy our free time! (Gallery)

Kindergarten students enjoy a full hour of playtime in the School’s gardens and open spaces every day. During these periods, children have the opportunity to explore their environment and to develop their space and movement senses. During the first septennium, children develop four basic senses: movement, balance, touch, and vital... read more

Teachers and students celebrate the Mayan Solar New Year.

The Mayan Solar New Year, Waqxaquí Toj, was celebrated with a Mayan Ceremony, where every student delivered an offering according to their very own Nahual. All the teachers and students were part of this celebration in which the teachers guided a small but very significative ceremony.  When the ceremony ended, everyone enjoyed the local tradition of a delicious cup of hot chocolate and bread. In Escuela Caracol, Mayan Culture and Cosmovision are very important and basic on the classroom’s daily activities with subjects such as the nahuales, being widely known by our group of students. One of many Escuela Caracol’s goals achieved is founding ways to include local culture’s aspects such as the language, stories and tales, and the Mayan Kaqchikel’s customs, as an integral part of the curricula. The solar Mayan Calendar, AB’, has 365 days and is configured based on the earth’s orbit surrounding the sun. Mayan priests, many centuries ago, defined this cycle with a duration of 365.2420 days, current technology determines it in 365.2422 days, the variation between this two numbers is of only two-thousandths of a day; this becomes a very relevant number if you realize the technological differences between the tools and technics used by our ancestors and the current technologies. Something that makes of this fact even more incredible, is knowing that the earth’s orbiting speed is constantly decreasing, this fact could explain the very small variation between back then’s and today’s day length. Become part of our community and help us continue nurturing heads, hearts, and hands of Mayan children from the western region of lake Atitlán. Go to the link... read more

Science is fun!

Our Sixth-grade students, within their mechanical-physics block, have learned many different principles using amusing and fun scientific experiments as tools. On this occasion, within the subject: states of matter, they conducted an experiment using a balloon, a glass bottle, hot and freezing water. The idea was to inflate a balloon taking advantage o the reaction between the gas volume and temperature. This is how, with highly fun and entertaining activities, our students achieve very important knowings, that, by other means could turn into complicated and hard to comprehend subjects.   http://escuelacaracol.org/wp-escarweb/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/experimento-globo-sexto-feb-2020.mp4   …   Want to become part of our community and help us continue nurturing heads, hearts, and hands of Mayan children from the western region of Lake Atitlán? Click the link and donate or become a monthly sponsor for one of our students, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter and share our information with your friends and family.... read more

First assembly of the year, Asociación Caracol.

Recently, we had the Asociación Caracol’s first assembly of the year. During the meeting, the board presented very important information regarding the finances of the school.  Colleen Donovan, the treasurer of the board, presented the 2019 financial report as well as Escuela Caracol’s budget for 2020 and the highlights of our recently concluded Annual Campaign. We encourage all the members of the association to attend to all the meetings to keep up to date with the current situation of Escuela Caracol. We warmly invite all the members of our community (parents, friends, supporters, sponsors) to enroll as members of Asociación Caracol; as a member, you will get influence through your voice and vote to define the road our school will take. Stop by the school’s office or ask your class teacher for more information regarding how to become part of Asociación... read more

This post is also available in: Spanish