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Opinion –Escuela Serapio Lopez: Administration Behavior Found Troubling

We are writing to express outrage and deep concern at the current administration of Escuela Serapio López Fajardo, as well as deep support and admiration for those parents, teachers, and community members acting on behalf of positive change and community control.

We are five students completing our master’s degrees in teaching at St. Mary’s College, on the East Coast of the United States. We traveled to Nosara for 6 weeks to complete an international student teaching placement. We came to work in Escuela Serapio López Fajardo as student teachers and volunteers, teaching English, building a playground, and improving the school grounds.

What we observed and experienced while at this school was a vast departure from what we expected in a foreign student teaching placement.

Above all, what seems to be the root of many problems stems from an administration that is outrageously incompetent. In addition to hearing about many unacceptable administrative dealings from various community members, we were witness, and subject to, troubling behavior on the part of administrators.

The principal insisted that we take down swings we had put up as playground equipment, claiming them as a “safety hazard” despite the fact that kids were swinging in healthy and cooperative ways. Property we donated to the school was cut apart and destroyed. The principal also came to speak to us to say we couldn’t put the swings back up. Other conditions and events happened that made us feel threatened and uncomfortable at the hands of the administration, and allowed us to feel how this community must have felt for years.

What disheartened us most about the situation, was how much the stress of living under such school leaders led to internal group difficulties. Under conditions of fear, it is all too easy to “internalize the poison” – to allow bitterness, fear, and frustration to overtake us to the point that fighting for our children’s rights becomes impossible.

What gave us the most hope was seeing the shining examples of community leaders who actually care. Certain community members stood out as beacons of hope and vision.

In solidarity with the community’s vision, we know with certainty that Serapio Lopez School can become a great school. Simple classroom management techniques, as well as the hard work and generosity of the community, can make this possible. While we were building the parquecito, many family members and parents generously donated tools, time, and resources to improving the school grounds.

We thank the community for giving us the gift of such warm acceptance, welcome, and family. It wasn’t an easy six weeks for anyone, but it was worth every second of living with all of you.

We will carry the experiences we have grown from, here, always.

Rachel Clement
US Student Teacher, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Opinions expressed in the Voice of Nosara printed newspaper and website are not necessarily those of the Voice of Nosara, its Editors, Publisher, Board or affiliated parties. All letters and opinions are limited to 400 words, and must be signed by the author and include a passport or Identity Card number. The Newspaper has the right to edit and/or not publish letters at their discretion. Thank you.


More Community News

Yoga evening at NYI has 14 couples twisting themselves for charity

On May 21st at the Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI), thirty people gathered for massage, yoga, chocolate-covered strawberries and lots of laughter. In the process, they raised over $400 for the Escuelita de Verano, a free summer camp for the children of Nosara. More >

Youths Plant 200 Palm Trees on Guiones Beach

Several kids from the area planted two hundred palm trees
on Guiones Beach with the intention of giving a new and improved appearance to the visited tourist destination.
More >

Letter to the Editor – Response to the article “Help Protect the Turtles by Swimming with them”

Dear Editors,

While I am sure it is well-intentioned, as a marine biologist/conservationist and member of the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group, I have to say that the aforementioned article is both misleading and dangerous for turtle conservation. Under no circumstances should tourists be interacting physically with turtles during the mating process, and less so with people that are untrained in sea turtle biology and ecology. More >

New Spanish School in Nosara offers courses for foreign residents

“I don’t speak Spanish” is a phrase that you might expect to hear in Nosara from a visiting Tourist, but it is more often used by many of Nosara’s long term residents who speak little or no Spanish. As the number of foreign residents moving to Nosara increases, so does the need for a spanish education program for residents. Aspiring to meet that need, The Nosara Spanish Institute (NSI) will be opening its doors on June 7th, located within the community on Playa Pelada. More >

Local Hotel and Private School Earn Highest Blue Flag Award

NOSARA – During the month of May, two local establishments were awarded the prestigious Ecological Blue Flag Award of Costa Rica. On Monday May 10th the Del Mar Academy invited parents and community members to the official flag raising ceremony at their private school campus, and on Tuesday May 25th Hotel Giardino Tropicale celebrated the raising of their Blue Flag as well. More >

Opinion – Nosara Red Cross Operation Statistics

The Red Cross requests your help. Its primary function is to supply emergency support services to the community, and contribute transportation required by Nosara EBAIS (Basic Teams of Integral Health Attention). EBAIS is currently the only health center in the area, and it provides services to a population of around seven thousand people, plus a fluctuating population of five thousand. More >


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