Tomas de Berlanga School
In 1994 a group of Galapagos residents, convinced that improved education was a prerequisite to a more sustainable Galapagos, established the Tomás de Berlanga School on Santa Cruz Island. In doing so, they sought to launch a new educational model that could serve as a showcase of best practices and as a future training ground for educators from other schools on the Islands. Since that time, the School has grown to 180 students from pre K through 12th grade and has begun to share its approach with other schools on the Islands.
The educational philosophy of the school combines the pillars of critical thinking, bilingualism (English-Spanish), high academic standards, and experiential learning, with the values of respect, responsibility, tolerance and solidarity. Another important aspect of the school is its physical setting which immerses students in nature.
The School’s approach seeks to form young people who:
- Possess a strong desire to continue learning all their lives
- Participate actively in the local and global community
- Think critically and solve problems
- Communicate effectively in English and Spanish
- Feel a sense of stewardship for the society and the environment in which they live
- Are determined and capable of contributing to the sustainable development of Galapagos and Ecuador
A need-based scholarship program, funded by private donors, makes the Tomás de Berlanga education available to students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Currently about 30% of its students would be unable to attend the school without this financial support.