In Escuela Caracol, everything is done with love and the honest commitment of hearts dedicated to the holistic development of our students and our community. Today we want to share this letter, written by Carmen María Alvarado Benítez, a teacher who accompanied our recently graduated sixth primary group for the last few years.

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This year brought within many challenges and new experiences for the whole world, each of us lived and overcome the circumstances with the only guide of the lived experiences. This year was the last year at Escuela Caracol for my students and myself. We had to adapt to the idea that this year would be different from what we imagined and waited for years, with a lot of courage to accept that we, and only we, were the ones destined to experience this situation in our last year. We would not have trips or astronomy nights together, but we knew that we already had baggage loaded with experiences, anecdotes, happy days and moments, lifelong friendships, and a lot of new knowledge about the world and that all this will live with us for the rest of our lives.

This group, graduating from Escuela Caracol, was always characterized by being joyful, always willing to do anything, happy, understanding, capable of assuming challenges and responsibilities, so even though we were sad about the things we lost this year, the whole group dared to accept it and likewise enjoy what we could have together according to the possibilities. So we finished our round at Escuela Caracol, full of courage, full of hope, and full of will and love for what we lived together.

Our group spent so many years in our school, several of the children began this path when they were only three years old, they enjoyed so much what they lived in the company of the kindergarten teachers and their classmates of other ages, with whom they lived and played; here they learned and they developed the will, which still accompanies them. The group was consolidated when they turned seven and started primary school, ready to begin to discover and learn the world. The other half of the group joined, and over time, colleagues from all over the world were arriving, some stayed and others left, but each one of them left a special mark, and they are remembered and mentioned almost every day by their peers. The group was received by the teacher Ervin, who laid the foundations for a group of children so committed and sensitive to the world, with impeccable rhythms and way of working.

I joined the group in third grade. I arrived just at the moment of the “Rubicon”, when the children were at the moment of approaching the real world, knowing about time, about practical life, we did so much! Little by little the children discovered the world surrounding them, and I accompanied them so that on their own they could discover how our world works. This curiosity grew year after year, becoming more observant each day, more motivated to discover the world through, what would become, science.

We learned from humans and their secrets, from our animal brothers, from our relationship with plants in botany, from what it means to be a human being in the world and the beautiful responsibilities we have. Each time the children discovered something new, it was felt like a conquest, an achievement, a moment of amazement that lives in them and in their ability to discover and wonder, until we get to the reasons, causes, and effects of the magic that surrounds us. Physics, astronomy, the history of the earth, and vestiges in the rocks with mineralogy. With a desire to discover the world and with great creative capacity, this is how these children were formed.

We hear so many stories, from remote and nearby places, from our grandparents, from our grandparents’ grandparents, from great people and great civilizations, how the world came to be the way it is today, because of everything in the past, we knew that the world is huge but that we are all the same, that we all seek the same thing. In children, stories and characters resonate, whom they gave life with my help but using their imagination, their wonderful minds, and hearts.

Listening and sharing with my students, now a group of young teenagers, is seeing people who are growing in a rich way, who have grown up with the ability to be free, to wonder, to do so many things with so many talents cultivated during these last few years; people with purpose and responsibility for the future and for their communities, people aware of their responsibility to the world, but above all with the gift of freedom, with admirable confidence, even with so much nostalgia for what we finished, each one expresses having these years as a gift that will always be carried within their more profound selves.

Approaching the teenage years, the sometimes gloomy vision of some, the nostalgia and sadness of others for parting from their friends and their school, and the excitement of all to embark on new paths… We all have shared the path until now and we all stand before the future with our heads held high, knowing that we are capable of facing what is to come and what we seek, because the children of Escuela Caracol are children who will give the world and their lives the fruits of the seeds sown for nine years, a vision of the world in cooperation, in harmony, in joy, in beauty, love… And so it will be, we have full confidence in what will come.

Carmen María Alvarado Benítez