Chile: Since 1999 a Waldorf School exists in Limache, between Santiago and Valparaiso, which today hosts 250 students. Additionally the initiative provides teachers training in a newly constructed training centre, offering regularly courses and seminars in Waldorf education.
The beginning of Waldorf education in Limache was not easy, as this kind of education was not at all known outside of Santiago. Therefore, Angelika Vallespir had to prepare for a lot of pioneer work when she moved from Santiago to Limache. With all the experience she had acquired, working for the Rudolf Steiner School in Santiago, she opened a group of 12 children together with a kindergarten teacher.
The challenges of the beginning were huge and thus it took a while until people were able to get to know Waldorf education. Slowly the wish developed amongst the parents to add a school to the kindergarten. In 2000 the first grade of the new school opened including 5 kids.
Since then, the kindergarten and especially the school have constantly been growing and therefore each year it was necessary to decide which rooms and facilities should host the children. In doing so there was never an actual shortage of space, in fact the compound includes 7000 square metres. But the problem was that the facilities of the beautiful former country estate have become needy for refurbishment over the decades – but this is not possible due to a lack of money.
Although the establishing of the initiative will take longer due to the circumstances, Angelika Vallespir and her partner, the architect Jorge Gomez, keep on following their ambitious plans. Next to the facility for training the future teachers, which has been established in the meantime, they wish to add a Media centre to the compound.
Over the years, a broad diversity of cultural offers have developed in the initiative. Even though a lot of ideas have not been able to realize, there are already quite a number of offers existent. There are various activities, reaching from aquarelle painting and a choir to speech formation and the manufacturing of toys as well as the learning of music instruments. In 2008 the initiative welcomed their first volunteer coming from Germany via the “Weltwärts” program of the Friends of Waldorf Education, thus making it possible that an international exchange can now be fostered.