Guatemala: Escuela Caracol
Gardening and daily nutritious program for the children of Escuela Caracol
The small Waldorf school Escuela Caracol is attended has about 90 children. Various costs incur each year for the school. These include, for example, the expenses for the children's nutritious program (9,600 Euros). Every child receives a nutritious snack at school, as many of them come to school without any breakfast. In addition, they need to finance the annual gardening program (5,500 Euros) and the costs for the maintenance of the classrooms and buildings of the school (1,900 Euros). These projects will cost a total of about 17,000 euros.
In 2022, the school has collected some donations to build a playground for the primary students, one for the kindergarten children and to buy more children's books for the library. However, the donations were not enough to finish everything. Therefore, the Escuela Caracol wants to complete the projects in 2023. In addition, the Escuela Caracol has also set itself the goal of finding a long-term native English Waldorf teacher this year, who needs to be paid a fixed salary. The school would like to use any further donations they receive for this purpose.
About the project:
Escuela Caracol is a non-profit institution in San Marcos La Laguna, on the beautiful Lake Atitlán in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala. It is the first certified Waldorf School in Guatemala and was founded in 2007. The Escuela Caracol includes a kindergarten and a primary school with 19 employees who take care of the 90 children attending the kindergarten and primary school.
85% of the educational community are indigenous Mayan families who cannot pay for school fees, food, the cost of facilities or teaching materials. Therefore, all costs for education of children from indigenous families are fully financed by other income, such as donation or funds.
The school provides the children with an environment that serves to the needs of the whole being: hands, heart and head. Although the shared language is Spanish, the Mayan language Kaqchikel and English are also taught at the school. The vision of the small school is to guide children into free, autonomous human beings capable of using their heads, hearts and hands to transform themselves and their community.
Escuela Caracol is an example of a living pedagogy in which Waldorf education is interwoven with the Mayan Cosmovision.
What else is the money needed for?
Next to the needs mentioned above for the nutritious programme, the gardening programme, the maintenance of the premises, the English teacher and the completion of the projects planned for 2022, the school has other projects in the pipeline:
For 2024, they plan to open another kindergarten class so that even more children can attend Escuela Caracol. In addition, the loan for the land on which the school is built must be paid off by 2027. In the long term (i.e. in the next 10 years), the school would like to buy another plot of land on which they can build a house to rent. The rental income could cover parts of the school's annual basic needs. Especially in times of the pandemic, the school has realised that donations are very irregular and thus unfortunately too unreliable to cover regularly occurring costs.