Comunidad Educativa “ El Papalote” was founded in September 1994 with the slogan “ To learn how to play¨ in a rented house on Juarez Avenue. The house was very small, but the garden was huge, with leafy trees, swings, and a sandbox where the children played creating their fantasies.
During the first year, we enrolled 18 students between the ages of 3 and 5 years old in a class with a single teacher and an assistant. The class was divided into four main centers which consisted of art, relaxation, playing house, and creative construction. With this method and the didactic supporting material, we saw great success.
The next year, we admitted 32 more pupils. We divided the students into two groups by age: the little ones from one to three years old and the older ones from four to six. That year, Miss Blanca Gutierrez, our current Kindergarten director, joined our staff.
What distinguished us then and now from other schools is our focus on educating young children through playing, while simultaneously, developing their necessary skills for elementary. In addition, we continue to consistently serve our parents with progress reports on their child’s development and strive to make an atmosphere of transparency, community, and family, deepening the relationship between teachers, parents, and students.
With this way of learning, an integrated focus on music during morning classes, and a warm sense of hospitality and care, many parents gained interest in our school. As a result, we found it necessary the following school year to expand our campus and make room for 67 more students. During the years of 1997 and 1998, founder and director, Claudia Pozo, along with faculty and staff were introduced to Rosa Barocio, a teacher and expert in Waldorf pedagogy, at a conference in Cancun. It was from that enlightening experience that we first became excited and exposed to Waldorf pedagogy.
We promptly invited Miss Rosa Barocio to Playa del Carmen to present our community with a deeper understanding and explanation of Waldorf education. Parents and teachers alike acquired valuable knowledge. Right away, our faculty and staff began to learn more, laying the foundation for our transformation. The more we learned, the more the vision became clear: utilizing the Waldorf system empowered our students to be human beings fully integrated of body, mind and spirit.
Our momentum grew as even more students joined our school community the next year. By the year 2000, we took the big leap to build our own facilities according to our ever-growing necessities. On September 1st, 2000, we inaugurated our new home with help of the entire student body and planted the Ceiba tree that is now located in the middle of our school patio. Every year thereafter, we added a new grade until we completed our elementary school in 2005, our secondary school in 2008, and our high school in 2011. Our first 12th grade class, which consisted of students who attended since Kindergarten, graduated in June 2012.