About LIFE School
L.I.F.E. School is a not-for-profit school backed by a 501(c)3 incorporated in the state of California. Our school fees, sponsorships, and donations are all channeled directly into the maintenance and improvement of this school. Please visit our not-for-profit page if you are interested in making a donation.
Recognizing the need for a bilingual, international school in Panajachel, LIFE School (Lake Atitlan International Facility for Education) was established in September 1989 by a handful of parents and educators as an alternative to home schooling.
Initially starting with just a few students, it rapidly grew over the years and now has an enrollment of over 100 students. Currently, about 50% of LIFE students receive some form of financial assistance.
The school was established as a parent association and is run under the leadership of the principal with the support of a parent board.
LIFE School is unique! Our student body and staff reflect our belief that we can all learn from one another. LIFE School prides itself in having a very diverse student body representing many different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Our New Location
At the beginning of the school year in 2019-2020, we said hello to our new home on Calle Principal. Through a monumental effort by parents and staff alike, we were able to move to a new location in the center of town that offers us many new advantages and opportunities for growth. Come visit!
Curriculum and Instruction
The school follows a standard global curriculum with a focus on multicultural understanding. We aim to prepare our students for whatever future awaits them, whether it be in the halls of Harvard or right here in Panajachel.
While the majority of our classroom time is in English, the lingua franca on the playground and in our administrative work is Spanish. Our core curricula is modelled and resourced based on North American examples while still being sure to be compliant with local national requirements. We believe strongly in marrying structure with creativity, and each of our classes is designed to give students the skills and tools that they need to be open-minded, informed, and participative citizens. Our classes include the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies along with the specials classes Spanish, Kaqchikel, Art, Physical Education, and Technology.
We also aim to infuse the World Core Curriculum written by Robert Muller into our daily life at school. We focus on the four pillars of the WCC, which concentrate on preparing globally minded citizens with empathy and awareness. Our teachers are regularly emphasizing our core ethos and values, and imparting lessons that are designed to educate in a way that helps shape good students and good people. Part of those values include being a green school with the goal of having a positive impact on our community and our environment.
All of our teachers are certified and talented. They are teachers by vocation, and they bring creativity and passion to work with them in a way that leaves a huge impact on our students. We aim to have a staff that has the methodological acumen to prepare strong lessons, the creativity and experience to know how to implement them, and the motivation and energy to give our students what they deserve. Our students and our teachers are what makes this school a special place.
The maximum class size is kept low to ensure that students are able to work to their fullest potential while receiving individualized attention. We love creative, dynamic classes in which our students and our teachers have the freedom to learn and teach toward our mutual ambitions.