History & Objectives

Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate the culturally diverse youth of Guanacaste through bilingual experiential learning and enrichment that integrates the local community and ecology, while preparing students to become thoughtful, creative, and active stewards of their environment and world.

Objectives

  • To form an educational cooperative that integrates the members of a community in creating a collective, bilingual learning environment.
  • To implement meaningful service learning that empowers students to become active stewards of their environment.
  • To develop skills and nurture values that cultivate the well-being of self, family, community, and world.
  • To emphasize place-based, experiential learning and discovery.
  • To uphold high academic standards through authentic assessment and grade level benchmarks.
  • To inculcate in all community members a genuine appreciation for and involvement in nature, the arts, and physical education.

History/Rationale

The past 10 years have seen enormous development in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, many times at the expense of the local culture and ecology. Community members have expressed concern about the disconnection between Costa Ricans and foreign residents, and its impact on the social, political, and ecological structure of the region. It is with these concerns that La Paz Community School was created. Focusing on high academic expectations while emphasizing the importance of dual language and environmental education, La Paz Community School integrates the children of local families from Costa Rica and abroad into the school community at a young age.

With a dedicated group of teachers, students, parents, and community members, La Paz Community School acts as a model for the multinational Guanacaste region. Our cooperative school works with the surrounding communities to proactively create strategies that encourage sustainable development and conservation. Together, the knowledge of the past, vision of the future, and awareness of the present, foster a responsible community of life-long learners.

Holding Hands

The Future

The ideology put forth by the La Paz Community School staff and board has resonated with members of the local community. As a result, La Paz is growing rapidly in its sixth year of existence with 215 students in grades prek-12. The North Campus facilities so generously offered by Jungle Gym owner Don Reutz have reached their maximum capacity and as a result the school has accepted a generous land donation from a local developer and are in the process of completing the new secondary school. The secondary school is approximately 20% complete and has required and extensive capital campaign to achieve the lofty infrastructural goals.