The Scalesia Foundation is a private Ecuadorian foundation based in Galapagos and registered with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education. The Foundation was established in 1993 by community leaders in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos who were concerned about the poor quality of education in the Islands and who believed that the Foundation could serve as a local voice and champion for education reform.
In 1994, the Foundation initiated its first project—the establishment of the Tomás de Berlanga School or TdB School (known in Spanish as the Unidad Educativa Tomás de Berlanga) to serve as an educational alternative for their own children and a model of effective educational practices and a platform for training teachers from the growing number of public schools in the archipelago.
From the beginning, the Foundation envisioned an educational model that would develop critical thinking, bilingualism, civic responsibility and environmental stewardship as the basis for building a society committed to keeping Galapagos one of the world’s most special places. The Tomás de Berlanga School opened with one classroom and 20 students ranging from four to eight years of age and grew rapidly in the ensuing years. In the mid-1990s the school moved to its current location where today more than 180 students learn while they are immersed in nature. To learn more about the Tomás de Berlanga School, visit the TdB School section of this website.
In 2011, the Scalesia Foundation began to revisit its original broad mission, exploring opportunities to support educational improvements in other schools throughout Galapagos. It has been assisted in this process with a growing network of collaborators including the US-based Galapagos Conservancy and educators from Ecuador, other Latin American countries, the United States, and Canada. In July 2014, the Scalesia Foundation facilitated a week-long planning process convened by the Ministry of Education, to identify the most effective strategies for launching an archipelago-wide education improvement program. The activity involved meetings with all of the school directors on the islands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz, classroom observations, and focus groups with teachers, parents and students from each school on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. A final report related to these activities is presently being developed. To learn more about the Scalesia Foundation’s interest in broad educational reform, visit the Education Outreach section of our website.