It has been thirteen years since Escuela Caracol opened its gates and began working.
It all started with seven students and some teachers working with the kindergarten and primary groups. It was nothing but an office, two classrooms, a kitchen, and a lot of green space as a recreational space.
As time went by, more local and international children were slowly integrating into the body of students, as this happened, the number of classrooms and staff members increased.
The gardens grew smaller altho they were still big enough to see our group of students playing and running around where they feel the freedom they need to develop, climb the rocks and jump from them to land in the small trails, or the green grass; get on top of the jocote, mango, lemon, or the hazelnut trees to play, imagining they are traveling in a “cayuco”, a house, or a spaceship; or simply to have a quiet moment to read, meanwhile in the dirt lot some other children play volleyball, dodgeball, soccer, or marbles.
In the classrooms, some will stay to finish their assignments, to later join the games played by their friends, having no worries about what might be happening in town or the country, they focus on one thing only, to enjoy being children in this space called by many a Paradise.
Teachers surrendered to their labor of teaching and learning, sometimes they play and sing, sometimes they cry, but they are always devoted to walking along with their students along each stage of development as human beings.
Today, we have a specific classroom for each group of students; two rooms for the kindergarten, and six for the primary groups. This improvement has been possible thanks to people that believe and support education as a tool through which our students can achieve integral development, not only of a child but of a community, a country, or the entire human race.
When this year began, we had 92 students enrolled in our school, during 2019 we had 100 students, counting the international students that stayed in town for a short period. We believe that in 2021 we will welcome even more students than in the prior years.
We have been walking under grey skies, but the weather is clearing as the storm slowly fades, leaving some rubble behind, but leaving space for the shining warm sun, letting us continue working towards a better future for our children and our community.
In the future, we want to continue securing our kindergarten and primary groups as a strong base in the educational record of our students. We also have our eyes pointing at opening the highschool level to continue with the nurturing process of our children, nevertheless, we must keep our steps steady.
Many incredible people have left their contribution to our school, and many are currently doing it; incredible people that have become members of our community, friends, and part of the family of Escuela Caracol, which turns to be much more than just a school, it is our home.
New days will come, some gray and other sunny, Escuela Caracol will keep its mission of nurturing towards freedom, with plenty or scarce resources, always aiming at doing and achieving; adapting to the upcoming circumstances and applying austerity measures, this whole process is more encouraging when we know that everyone in our community keeps supporting our home, regardless where you are, with prayers, contributions, donations, sponsoring, mentoring, and above all, by having our school in your hearts and thoughts, feeling that something is and will keep us together.
Soon we will return to our school and see those smiles again, the ones that are food to our souls, and that make all the efforts worthy, we will feel joy in our hearts once again.