Mexico: The Centro Educativo Waldorf in Tlaxcala was founded in 1998. More than 110 children attend the grades 1-9. Isabel Fernández Fenelon established the Centro Educativo. Previously, she was already part of the founding circle of the Waldorf school in Mexico City. In addition to teaching, she holds lectures on a nationwide basis and is planning to build up a state-recognized Waldorf teacher training facility. The school is much appreciated in Mexico, which is due to the successful work with children with learning difficulties.
Tlaxcala is the smallest but most populated state of Mexico. It covers just 0.2% of the country’s territory, but over a million people live there. The Tlaxcalans consider their struggle for a free state as an important part of their history. They have resisted the Aztecs, the colonial government, the various monarchies and the independent state of Mexico as well as the claims of the neighboring state Pueblo.
The teacher salaries at the school are between 300-450 dollars a month. That is just enough to live only if one stays with ones parents. Tlaxcala is the poorest state of Mexico and the student’s parents have great difficulties to come up with the school fees. At the Centro Educativo these amount up to about 114 dollars. In the other Mexican schools the parental contribution is still somewhat higher, which often leads to the fact that only well-earning families can afford Waldorf education.
However, there is something very important: the school is much appreciated by local authorities. This includes the inspectorate of the city of Tlaxcala, which explicitly expressed its high respect for the school’s educational work. The public schools in Mexico accept only about 53% of children. Therefore, it is most important that the Centro Educativo seeks a pedagogical approach that values the individual needs of the children.