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The “jocote” is flowering again.

Mother Nature has its own ways of letting us know when the time to be reborn has come. Our beautiful “jocote” trees are flowering again, getting ready for the red, yellow and crown mombin harvest that will happen a few months from now.   These delicious fruits will accompany our community during the “Jocote Festival” in... read more

Kindergarten students cooked delicious “tamalitos de chipilín”

Our kindergarten students had great moments while making “tamalitos de chipilín”; following teacher’s directions, the students mixed, shaped and wrapped this delicious Guatemalan traditional dish. Cooking is one of the main activities for the kindergarten groups at a Escuela Caracol, it helps students develop self-confidence and their will, as well as their psycho-motor and social... read more

Children enjoying math class?

One of the biggest concerns of parents when sending their children to school is whether they are going to learn what they need to overcome all the difficulties that life can place on their path as adults or not. The biggest concern of children is having a boring and difficult experience while learning. At Escuela Caracol, we work towards forming students through three main dimensions, the head (academical knowledge), the heart (the human part of the child), and the hands (their ability to create and express through making and doing). On each and every lesson, our teachers do their best to apply all the tools and techniques they have on hand to make the learning experience complete and fun, so children can feel the joy of learning; all of these without leaving the academic content aside. We want our students to feel the joy of learning. Our teachers, through Waldorf Pedagogy, encourage students to enjoy the whole learning process. We want to share with you a short video where the fifth-grade titular teacher, Carmen Alvarado, explains a brief exercise used on the elementary level at Escuela Caracol to teach math (Spanish). Enjoy, share,... read more

Building model scale houses.

Following the construction of shelters that marked the beginning of the block, the third graders learned how mud-bricks are made and the basics of how constructions are done, all this by building scale houses. Teacher Ervin guided the whole process; the students begun by making the bricks, being really careful they shaped one by one those that, a few moments later, would form the tiny houses’ walls. The children had a great time playing the role of builders and engineers while learning. This kind of activities help teacher nurture the heads, hearts and hands of students by letting them understand the world, feel useful and capable of doing great... read more

First day at the garden

Our first grade caracolitos had their first day at the garden. Following their gardening teacher’s directions they learned how to prepare the soil, water the plants, recognize the plants, among many other incredible things. Being in touch with nature through gardening lets the students develop respect and love for nature. They also learn about responsibility, each of the students is in charge of a specific chore and of the tools needed to perform it. While working on the garden, children learn directly from our gardening teacher, Santiago, he teaches them through the use of tales and stories, anecdotes and direct instructions. Every time the go to gardening class, children have the chance to work their brain, by knowing new terms and developing their motor skills; their hands, by performing all the physical tasks required in a garden: and their heart, by getting in touch with... read more

First day in elementary.

In a magical activity, first grade students were welcomed to their first day in elementary. Followed by their parents, each of the students passed across a welcoming tunnel made of older students and the elementary teachers. After that, a special moment happened. Parents left their children at the door of their new classroom to be welcomed by their teacher, Sonia. This was, without a doubt, a moment they won’t forget for the rest of their... read more

Finding Balance.

By Carmen María Alvarado / fifth grade teacher. To keep a bamboo stick over the head and walking without dropping it is a balance exercise we all should do at least once a day. Performing every day a balance exercise helps students from many different perspectives; for example, they achieve full concentration and have the chance to find themselves. While performing this type of balance, children must ignore all external influence and find the silence inside themselves, an approach to their “own self”. This exercise helps by providing calmness to the group, it also finishes the rhythm and movement parts the quietest way possible before the cognitive part of the journey... read more

Here we go again!

After the holiday break, students and staff came back to school. With deep happiness we contemplate how the trails and classrooms get filled with energy and happiness through the laughter and movement of our students. The first day of classes went by normally, school’s new students easily adapted to their groups and teachers couldn’t hide the joy of having their caracolitos back. 2019 will be a year of growth and success to all of us, here, at Escuela... read more

A Magical Shelter

As part of this year’s first block, third graders learned about using and building shelters in the wild. Using materials gathered in the gardens, our Caracolitos built two shelters with branches, flowers and leaves they found on the trails of our school. Having their teachers guide as a reference, our students built the structures to fit a few students inside. As a special detail, boys and girls decorated their shelters with flowers and leaves, giving the structures a more warm and homelike feeling. The stories the gardening teacher, Santiago, told them about the way bees and ants work, gave them inspiration to work as a team. Our Caracolitos had a great time while learning about construction and basic survival techniques. Now and for a few weeks on, third grade students will have a small place that can become a fortress, a castle, a house or a school, where all their dreams can become real through the... read more

Escuela Caracol, school year 2019.

Recently, with the help and coordination of all grade teachers, the students photoshoot took place. We took an image for each of the groups as well as one with all the students and staff of Escuela Caracol. We are thrilled to see how, year after year, Caracol family keeps growing. We want to share with you the final shots. Grupo de estudiantes y personal, ciclo 2019. Grupo de estudiantes y maestras de kinder para el ciclo escolar 2019 Primero primaria, ciclo 2019. Segundo primaria, ciclo 2019. Tercero primaria, ciclo 2019. Cuarto primaria, ciclo 2019. Quinto primaria, ciclo 2019. Sexto primaria, ciclo 2019.... read more

The reunion

Everything is ready… The time to reunite has come. From the entrance to the classrooms, the stone trail leads them, smiles and laughter walk by their steps. Those that come for the first time might be shy while grabbing the hands of their parents, some might have lost a tooth or two, and the blank space on their smile that tells us that the time to elementary school has come; among the older students, some tall and thin young ladies, some smiling and looking gorgeous. Boys always jumping, climbing, screaming… It’s a pure expression of happiness what is always experimented when coming back to school. Teachers and staff gratefully celebrate the reunion achieved despite all difficulties. Welcome to a new cicle at Escuela Caracol.     Gloria Elena Londoño Pedagogical Advisor.... read more

Today is the day! watch our campaign launching video!!!

Today is the day! We are kicking off our holiday giving campaign and we need your help to make it a success! We have an ambitious goal of raising $50,000 to ensure Escuela Caracol continues to grow and remain a learning haven for the children of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala! Every week we’ll be giving you a glimpse of “A Day in the Life” here at Escuela Caracol. This week, we are excited to introduce you to Teresa, who is finishing sixth grade and Andrea her teacher!   We believe that through education we can plant the seed of transformation in one of the most vulnerable places in Guatemala. Escuela Caracol is the first Waldorf school in Guatemala. It facilitates K-6 education to children in San Marcos La Laguna in Lake Atitlán. 90% of our students are indigenous Mayan children from the lake. 80% of them students have the opportunity to study at Escuela Caracol thanks to our scholarship programs made possible by private donations from generous individuals and institutions in the U.S. and Europe. In this video we meet Teresita who is 12 years old and is currently in sixth grade, and Andrea, her sixth grade teacher. They share with us a glimpse of their experiences at Escuela Caracol.   Check it out and make your gift here: http://escuelacaracol.org/make-a-one-time-donation/ “A Day in the Life”  2018-2019 Holiday Campaign Escuela Caracol Lake Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala  ... read more

Travis, the man who makes things fly.

During the last few weeks we had as a guest an incredible person, Travis Whitfield; an American aerospace engineer, who paused his trip across the American continent to share with us his charisma and knowledge. He worked as a volunteer doing endless tasks such as translations, helping Chico in the garden and making video recordings with his incredible drone; He also shared with the students of a great workshop in which our boys and girls learned about the work of an engineer and much about physics, in this same workshop the students built some “rockets” propelled with a kind of slingshot. We had an amazing time. Thank you very much for everything Travis! Have an incredible trip, we hope to see you soon back... read more

Theatre, an important artistic discipline at Escuela Caracol:

On Waldorf Schools around the globe, one of the many artistic disciplines integrated on a different way to each class is theatre.  Starting from kindergarten, as a part of the weekly rhythm during specific moments, children have the experience of participating together with their teachers using puppets; and of playing different roles from the fairy tales listened during class. And altho the kindergarten experience is quite different from the one with elementary and high school, it is a small step to what will be, in the future, the staging of stories related to the curricula studied at the time. These theatre plays variate depending on the age and come as a result of the development of our students. These theatre plays are picked to complement the stories told during school year; so, they go hand to hand with the curricula and with the nurturing needs of each of the students need according the development stage he or she might be at the time. I can clearly remember the first play I staged at Escuela Caracol, it was an amazing experience to adapt a play about Nordic Mythology that had been narrated in fourth grade class. And so, during elementary years we’ll begin by staging small plays about fairy tales; after that, the Fables, Hebrew stories, Saints and Heroes, Nordic Mythology, Local Mythology; until reaching fifth grade, where the plays are meant to represent an historical stage of one of the main civilizations studied in the classroom (India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Etc.), but the traditionally picked is Greece; on sixth grade, it should be a play related with Rome or... read more

Kaqchikel Language in Escuela Caracol

The most valuable inheritance from our mayan ancestors is the culture that has developed surrounding our language. At Escuela Caracol we look to promote it to strengthen the communication process with the local kaqchikel population in San Marcos la Laguna. At Escuela Caracol, action and exchange has build up based on respect an appreciation of cultural diversity, thats why the study of mayan languages is taken as an educational process within the life of children with the idea of strengthen our cultural roots with the purpose of achieving common wealth end the growth of our people. On each grade or level the pedagogical approach used to teach kaqchikel depends specifically of the age and phase the students are passing through. During the first three grades of primary school, students enter the classroom listening, singing and playing; they develop creative crafts among other activities through which the learning of the language is socialized in a very special and natural way. As from the fourth grade, children write and read the language, understand and communicate in Kaqchikel; they learn through the development of a more complex creative process that involves thinking, feeling and wanting, both in social activities inside and outside of school.   Ervin Quiacain Sajbin Maestro titular de segundo... read more

This post is also available in: Spanish