Guatemalan adventures – to Waldorf or not to Waldorf

We came here to Guatemala with an idea that our son might attend the Waldorf school here – Escuela Caracol. We hadn’t received acknowledgement of his acceptance so we stopped in to visit and talk.

It’s a lovely site with the classical wooden play structures and spiral walkways that we know from the Waldorf philosophy. But our son, being unschooled at home (albeit loosely following the Waldorf curriculum and perspective), made the decision not to attend but to stay with us and see what life presented him with here. In many ways it is a relief not to have the imposition of a schedule or to feel obliged to replicate the more structured lifestyle that we see is the reality of the people we’ve met whose children are at school here.

So we continue with our journey, together as a family, with the idea of standing back, observing what is going on, discerning where and in what way we wish to participate, and stepping in when we feel comfortable. It is a lesson unto itself.

Before we came, we had the idea that we would have more sustained, daily contact with the local people – something we haven’t achieved yet. Part of that has to do with our (still) not speaking enough Spanish, but also to do with the seductive ease of being part of the vibrant social scene of travellers here and the abundance of pampering and reflective opportunities unique to this area generally, and to San Marcos specifically. Massages, meditation, natural healing, and courses on personal growth abound and people are drawn to this spiritually powerful region to reflect and grow through this.

But much of that lifestyle is adult-oriented and not being in a school-based setting or part of a school-based community, we’ve found it’s taken us a while to get our bearings and see our own path. This along with a couple of weeks of adjusting to the new environment, recovering from travel, and overcoming (we hope) bouts of tummy upsets and parasites has led to where we are now, starting to feel at home here, to begin to reach out more to the Guatemalan people, and to meet other travellers with children.



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