Centro Comunitario Otoch Paal Montessori School is a labor of love designed to educate the indigenous children from the Mayan Riviera. Otoch Paal makes it possible for families with low incomes from the community of Akumal and neighboring areas to have high quality pre-school education for children ages 18 months to 6 years. The school's next goal is to add new buildings to house an elementary program with separate boys and girls bathrooms as required by the Secreteria de Educacion Publica.
The school offers an authentic Montessori education, based on the philosophy, teachings and methods of Maria Montessori. The Community Centre currently has around 60 children in four environments, one for 18 month to 3 year olds, two for 3 – 6 year olds and one for teaching English. Each environment is in the form of a circular shelter; the typical dwelling of the Mayan culture. The parents of the families meet every Sunday with a common objective: to improve the facilities and to collaborate with tasks that ensure their children will receive the very best education. The mothers keep the rooms clean and work together to make some of the materials that their children use. All of them are enthused with a spirit of hope and harmony. The marvels of nature and the warmth of the people have allowed a true Montessori community to be embraced daily.
Since the first class opened in 2004, Otoch Paal has made significant advances. With the newly added facilities, they have more than doubled the number of children they serve. English classes have been added, so that with their knowledge of Spanish and Mayan, the children will be tri-lingual. The school has also started classes for artistic expression and opportunities to participate in sports. The children work in an atmosphere of respect, openness and confidence in keeping with the mission of Otoch Paal Montessori Community Centre.
The Infant Room gives an opportunity for mothers to work in nearby hotels; in this way they can significantly improve the family's finances.
The Community Centre promotes the cultural heritage of the Mayan region through teaching the language and celebrating special events at school. Children and their parents are invited to wear the traditional dress of huipiles, ternos and guyaberas. Grandmothers also are active participants on these occasions. They come to the school on the Day of the Dead to make pibes, a traditional dish of the region.
All members of the community work together with great dedication to provide the best possible environment for the families of Akumal and neighboring areas. The school and the families it serves appreciate any support you can give.
How can YOU help?
Centro Comunitario Maya A.C.
Tax Deductible in Mexico
For in kind donation, volunteer, or tour opportunities:
Phone 984-135-1892 - 988-842-0007
Visit the Otoch Paal Facebook page at Centro Comunitario Otoch Paal Montessori.