Chris Terrill

LaPaz Community School

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Founded: 2007

Students: 330 (90 in grades 9-12)

Private with a robust scholarship program

The school is located in rural Guanacaste situated between Liberia and the Pacific Coast.

The school now has two locations to serve a wider audience.  The school was founded and remains led by Abel Mclellan. Abel’s prior background was as a high school physics teacher..  Trained at Bowdoin, Abel spent his early years teaching physics and IB Physics at Southegan High School in New Hampshire.  I look forward to hearing his story and the motivation behind opening LaPaz.

Operating at a capacity of approximately 330 students from preschool to 12th grade, La Paz offers a forward-thinking model of education.  Students from Costa Rica and all over the world join together to learn how to be creative, multilingual, compassionate, and responsible global leaders while engaging in authentic learning experiences focused heavily on developing a student’s sense of place in the world.  This is accomplished through experiential and hands-on curricular and extra-curricular initiatives.

Significant work has been done to ensure that the student body is reflective of the diversity that exists in Latin America, including race, culture, and economic status.  

Words that come to mind while researching LaPaz, nurturing, bilingual, place-based learning, sustainability, rigorous, holistic, and project-based learning.