Just returned from a two-week trip to San Mateo, Ixtatan, in the northwest Guatemalan highlands. Visited the Yinhatil Nab'en (Seeds of Wisdom) School as part of the Ixtatan Foundation.
I was there for a conference about turning the project into a world-class school that can transform the community in positive ways. This is the school today.
Its tough to summarize the issues that have high potential for growth at the school. Most of the issues are those typically involved in education development in rural and indigenous settings. As the school grows over the next 5 years and finds its way in the mountains, its definitely worth noting and applauding that the project, founded by Beth Neville-Evans, has transformed secondary education in San Mateo and the at-large Chuj community. By building this school and association from nothing, the Ixtatán Foundation has changed the lives of this, and every new generation of Mateanos. The creation of opportunity and choice that comes with the school and its projects is truly transformational.
The Yinhatil Nab'en School is a great school that has weathered even greater storms. The people that are involved, both in the US (the Ixtatan Foundation is based in Charlottesville) and in San Mateo are talented and working incredibly hard to take the school and the foundation forward. The fact that the potential for growth is being identified and that the conference brought together such an impressive slew of educators (ahem, even I was there) points to the school and project's imminent growth.
For c'è montessori, aside from continuing to support the School and students that I worked with while I was in San Mateo in 2007, plans for a Primary Montessori 3-5 classroom are underway! In the next couple years, c'è montessori ixtatán will begin to serve a community that has never experienced pre-k school. It will transform primary education and allow young moms (there are many in San Mateo) to finish school while their children are being educated and cared for. The development of the program will be available for all to see on this blog, our youtube channel and elsewhere soon!