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Waldorf in Bariloche - Quick growth in beautiful surroundings

Argentina: In 2010, a group of parents and teachers who were motivated to offer integral and humanistic education to children, created the non-profit association and Waldorf School “La Semilla“ in San Carlos de Bariloche (Patagonia). After just four years of running, 125 students attend the 6 grades and kindergarten of the school.

San Carlos de Bariloche is the largest town in the Argentine province of Rio Negro, with a population of 150.000 residents. Founded by European settlers from Italy, Spain, Germany and other Central European countries, Bariloche also received Chilean immigrants and descendants of native American groups (mapuches). Located in Northen Patagonia‘s “lake district“, Bariloche is surrounded by the beautiful Nahuel Huapi National Park. The city’s main challenge is to balance its urban development and growing tourism industry with the preservation of its still rather pristine environment and the quality of life of its inhabitants.

La Semilla has quickly become a referent project in Waldorf education in the region. In February 2014, the school hosted a 3-days seminar gathering Waldorf parents and teachers from Patagonia. The program included music, art, eurythmy, school management issues, community decision-making and others. It was a rich and deep gathering that allowed the initiative to create new relationships across Patagonia.

La Semilla is formed by a range of families with a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, gathered around a common dream. Since its inception, “La Semilla” has been sustained exclusively by the financial contributions of the families that belong to the school, without any kind of government support. A variety of initiatives are constantly organized to raise funds, such as festivals, yard sales, cooking events, etc.

The exponential growth of the school in only four years reflects the need that exists within the local community for Waldorf education. In its founding year, “La Semilla” was started with five students, this turned to 24 in 2011, 78 in 2012 and 125 in 2014. In addition, high school was recently started with 12 students. The school’s vision is to keep growing to be able to offer holistic education to local children and enhance their cultural, artistic and spiritual values in harmony with their environment and the planet as a whole.

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