Alumna Family Returns to Help with Class Play

The Devoe-Talluto Family — Kristin, Jim, Sienna, Willow & Kai — came from Vermont to Escuela Caracol in 2009 as a part of their family sabbatical. They stayed the entire year and took with them memories for a lifetime. In February 2014, the whole family decided to come back for a visit using “pay-it-forward” money that they received. They were impressed by how much the school has grown, and were eager to find ways of helping out while they were in town.

One of their contributions while visiting was to design and help make the costumes for the 2nd-3rd grades class play. It was a short play based on the fable, El Velorio de Tio Tigre (“The Wake of Uncle Tiger”) by Venezuelan writer, Antonio Arraíz.

Click here to read more about and see some pictures of the play.

Thanks Devoe-Tallutos!

Sculpting Rocks in 6th Grade

The sixth grade students at Escuela Caracol are not only learning about rocks in their Mineralogy block in main lesson, but in their handwork class they are also learning how to sculpt rocks. What better way to connect with stones than by learning how to bring a form to birth from them? Working in the tradition of local Maya stone carvers, our handwork teacher, Ignacio Porón, is immersing the sixth grade in this ancient art.

Central American Waldorf Kindergarten Teachers Gather at Caracol

Escuela Caracol is proud to be hosting this week the fifth annual Conference of Central American Waldorf Kindergarten Teachers with over 40 participants. The guest lecturers this year are Inés Spittler, from Peru, and Tamara Chubarovsky, from Spain. Inés is presenting the principal seminar on the 12 senses and their development in early childhood, and she is also leading a workshop on doll-making. Tamara is leading the morning rhythm, speech and singing, as well as presenting a seminar on the art of the word (working with Rudolf Steiner’s formative speech).

In these photos you can see an assortment of images from the week thus far.

Advent Spiral 2013

Since Escuela Caracol was founded in 2007, each year we have celebrated the Christmas season with the Advent Spiral. It is a special candle lighting ceremony for the younger children, ages 3-9. The day before the event, families and teachers come together to make and adorn the spiral, which is always a warm and special Saturday afternoon. Then on the first Sunday of Advent, parents, teachers and other friends and family come to watch in silence as the children find their way into the spiral (or “caracol”), light their own candle and make their way back out to the world again. Along the way each child chooses a special place to leave his or her candle, culminating in a beautiful spiral of candlelight. At this dark time of the year, when the days are shortest and the nights longest, this event gives us all courage to find the light within and share it with the world.

This year we were fortunate to have Terry Rubin, local San Marcos resident, accompanying the event with her enchanting collection of flutes. Thanks to all who contributed to make it a special evening in December.


Roma Amor – A Roman Comedy

Last Friday the children in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades presented the play, Roma Amor: A Roman Comedy. Over 100 people were in attendance for what was Escuela Caracol’s first full night theater performance. It was an exciting experience using our homemade light system in our large palm dome.

The play was written by Eugene Schwartz for the sixth grade (when Waldorf students study Roman history), and the fifth and sixth graders took the lead parts, while the third and fourth graders played supporting roles and helped with scene changes.The fifth and sixth graders have been preparing for over a month memorizing their lines, studying their characters, preparing their costumes, blocking scenes, and the third and fourth graders began helping in the last weeks. The performance truly benefited from all of their hard work and dedication. Thanks to everyone who came out to support them!

Hasta Siempre, Juanmi



Our good friend and the brother of our one our founding teachers, Juan Miguel Arrivillaga, ended his struggle with a brain tumor today at 5:16pm. He was a journalist, an activist, a graphic designer, a musician, a father of two boys, and a lover of Lake Atitlán.

Juanmi embodied a rare combination of passion and poise; he was idealistic and carried a profound sense of justice, and yet he was easy-going and a pleasure to be around. No matter the circumstances and perhaps differences of opinion, he always made a good impression with those who met him because he took a sincere interest in everyone he met. The sweetness and strength of his character was unforgettable. He was loved by so many and he will be missed dearly.

In honor of Juan Miguel, as well as his sister and our companion, Andrea, Escuela Caracol is canceling classes for Thursday, November 7.

¡Hasta siempre, Juanmi!  We will miss you.



School Play this Friday • Obra de Teatro Escolar este Viernes




RomA AmoR – A Roman Comedy

School Play presented by the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th grades

This Friday, 8 November at 5:00pm at Escuela Caracol

Q10 entrance; Q5 for EC parents; kids free (to support the 6th grade class trip next year)

RomA AmoR – Una Comedia Romana

Obra de teatro presentado por los niños de 3ro, 4to, 5to y 6to

este viernes, 8 noviembre a las 5:00pm en la Escuela Caracol

Q10 entrada; Q5 para EC padres; niños gratis (para apoyar el viaje del 6to grado el próximo año)


Teachers from Retalhuleu visit Escuela Caracol

Yesterday we were visited by teachers of “Escuela Mixta Sinaí” from Retalhuleu in Guatemala. They received a workshop on Waldorf pedagogy, rhythmic movement in the classroom, and form drawing. As you can see in the following photographs, it was a sizable group that came to experience something of the Waldorf way. We are grateful to the Sinaí school or their interest in Escuela Caracol as an example of integral education.

Chalkboard Drawings

If you walk into any Waldorf classroom in the grades, one of the first things to strike you is probably the chalkboard drawing. Chalkboard art has become a time-honored tradition in Waldorf schools. It is how the teacher brings to imaginative life the content of the lessons. In a day when dry erase wipe boards (and their fumes) have taken over, Waldorf schools remain a sort of classic throwback to the days of chalk and slate. Dry erase boards, however, simply do not lend themselves to the artistic sensibility and emotional range that bright colored chalk can bring to a classroom.

It is also an important part of how the teacher’s own artistic activity — his or her own development and activity — relates both directly and invisibly to the child. Children experience great anticipation of the teacher’s next awe-inspiring image, which they later have a chance to recreate in their own books, in their own way. The images connect to the curriculum content and take the child deeper into the experience, through his or her feelings.

Here you can see a few of our teacher’s recent chalkboard drawings at Escuela Caracol. We cannot get slate chalkboards here, so we have to make our own using plywood and homemade chalkboard paint. Sometimes the grain of the wood is a challenge for the teacher, but the overall experience in the classroom is worth it.


You can also see the video of one of the most famous Waldorf Teacher Brian Wolfe in action With Some chalk.

Escuela Caracol in the newspaper “Prensa Libre”


The national newspaper Prensa Libre recently published an article about Escuela Caracol and our pedagogic method.

We reproduce the text below. You can also read the entire article here.

Escuela utiliza sistema pedagógico Waldorf

Helen Estrella Celeste Porón Cuc, de 8 años, sale temprano de su casa, en San Pablo La Laguna, Sololá, para ir a la escuela Caracol, donde cursa segundo primaria. Camina hacia el establecimiento, a un kilómetro de su vivienda, en San Marcos La Laguna. Como las clases empiezan a las 8 horas, la niña toma mototaxi si va retrasada, ya que no le gusta faltar ni llegar tarde.

En la escuela Caracol, Celeste Porón comparte clases con 48 niños de comunidades de varios municipios de Sololá, que hablan kaqchikel, tz’utujil o k’iche’, y con hijos de extranjeros de Estados Unidos, Francia, Alemania, España y otros países de Europa que radican en Sololá.

La pluriculturalidad que se vive en la escuela Caracol no es su única peculiaridad, algo que la distingue del resto de establecimientos del país es también que es la única donde se práctica el sistema pedagógico Waldorf, que al contrario del sistema educativo tradicional, no es jerárquico, dirigista ni competitivo.

Sistema novedoso

El sistema Waldorf estimula la libertad, creatividad y el conocimiento desde una perspectiva integral y holística. Los niños relacionan lo aprendido con la propia experiencia, para lo que utilizan cabeza, corazón y manos.

El director de la escuela Caracol, el estadounidense Joshua Wilson, detalló que el sistema que utilizan es diferente: “Vivimos en una era de información. Todas las respuestas están a unos clics de distancia. Saber la respuesta correcta no es lo importante. La pregunta importante no es ¿qué sabes? Lo importante es ¿quién eres?”.

Wilson indicó que el sistema se enfoca en las preguntas: “¿Eres una persona que sabe manejar la información, cómo aplicarla de manera efectiva y responsable?”.

Según Wilson, otros cuestionamientos que deben responderse son: “¿Eres una persona con confianza en sí misma para manejar la vida con la voluntad de hacer algo, de producir algo? ¿Eres una persona que puede ver varios lados de un problema? ¿Una persona que puede seguir aprendiendo? ¿Eres una persona que se siente responsable al mundo, que cree en un mundo mejor, que puede imaginar un mundo mejor, y que se siente que puede tomar un papel en este mundo?”.

El maestro Erbin Samuel Quiacaín Sajvín contó que cada docente hace su propio currículum, y los niños elaboran sus propios libros, de acuerdo con la necesidad en el aula.

Las evaluaciones se llevan a cabo de manera técnica y con métodos de observación, para determinar el desarrollo del niño en su manera de expresión, aprendizaje, forma de actuar y relación con los demás.

La maestra Sandra Pérez, maestra cakchiquel, indicó que son ocho docentes y a los niños de primaria se les imparte danza, música, arte, jardinería, educación física, matemáticas y los idiomas inglés, español y kaqchikel.

Los alumnos locales son becados hasta en 97 por ciento, mientras que los extranjeros pagan colegiatura completa.

La administradora Mercedes Franco comentó que los padres de familia interactúan con sus hijos. “No solo vienen a inscribir a sus hijos, sino deben mantenerse cerca para participar en el desarrollo estudiantil”.

Manuel Tuch Sancoy, padre de familia, expuso que la educación que recibe su hijo es distinta a la que él recibió y tiene más enfoque en la naturaleza.


Siete años  

La escuela Caracol está aprobada por el Ministerio de Educación y  es una de las más de 900 que   utilizan la pedagogía Waldorf   en 83 países, la cual   fue promovida por el austriaco Rudolf Steiner.

El director   Joshua Wilson  recuerda que la  escuela fue establecida en Guatemala en el 2007 por él y su esposa, Corina,  con el apoyo de  Nicolás Sacach Mendoza, albañil;  Amarilis Sancoy, cocinera, y Andrea Arrivillaga, quien este año se gradúa como la primera  maestra guatemalteca Waldorf. Para más información consultar el sitio