Cotacachi / Ecuador Education / Living in Ecuador

Education in Ecuador: Las Lomas School in Cotacachi

Education in Ecuador:  Las Lomas School in Cotacachi

Our website gets numerous requests for information about school in Cotacachi, education in Ecuador, and the cost of an education here.  Since Gary and I don’t have school-aged children, we haven’t gathered much information about Cotacachi schools, but a visit to Las Lomas has been on my minds for some time.  It keeps coming up as the best school choice for the children of expats or foreigners who come to Cotacachi to live.

For a week I had been trying to keep an appointment to visit Las Lomas.  And each day I’d have to call Tatyana, the new principal, to cancel because something would come up.

The first day I almost got there and then discovered that my camera battery was dead.  Next I sat on the camera and broke off one of the covers, then dropped my other camera.  Not a good day to go to the school, I decided.

entrance

Finally I kept the appointment and I’m glad it was delayed.  A German couple named Hans and Patricia wanted to check out Las Lomas for their nine-year-old daughter, so I took them along. Actually, they had a car so I was able to ride with them.  They asked great questions, which made my visit much more interesting and informative.

Sophia’s Integration into Las Lomas Has Been Up and Down

sophia-running

While we waited for Tatyana outside her office, another nine-year-old, Sophia Myers, saw me.

sophia-and-2-friends
She introduced me to Diana and several of her other new best friends in Ecuador, all fellow classmates of hers in the fifth grade.

Sophia spoke only a few words of Spanish when she started school at Las Lomas last September.  Now, less than 4 months later, she is chatting happily in Spanish—asking questions, rough-housing with her friends and appearing at ease with her new language.

She, her parents and Tatyana report that Sophia had a few difficulties in the beginning, mainly with understanding the language and culture.  Now, however, she is successfully integrating into life as a student in Ecuador.

Las Lomas is Clean, Orderly and Innovative
Las Lomas is quite a surprise.

boys-white-building

The grounds are spotless—wide swaths of green grass, neat white buildings, all innovative and in irregular shapes.  The principal says that the school wanted to make the buildings interesting to the children and not the same old rectangles, so some of the buildings are curved and some are anything but 45-degree angles.

rounded-white-building

Grade school building housing grades 1 and 5

Las Lomas’ 300 students are at 3 levels—kindergarten, grade school and high school. About 170 are in kindergarten and grade school and the rest in high school.

“Lots of love from the teachers”
Tatyana is obviously proud of her teachers and the curriculum.

classroom2

All but one of the teachers are female.  She assured us that the teachers are always attentive to the children and their needs. If there is a problem with a child at school or at home, they talk to the parents to find out what is going on.

There are three parent/teacher meetings per year—one each trimester and more if needed.  There is also a psychologist if more serious problems arise.  He teaches psychology to the high school students.

“Our teachers love what they do and they love the children,” Tatyana told us.  “There is lots of love from the teachers to the students, but the students still have to study.”

Small Teacher/Student Ratio

classroom1

There are between 15-20 kids in each grade. The school has seven regular teachers for grade school and the children study Spanish, grammar, natural science, math, English, physical education, social studies and computers.  There are additional grade school teachers for music, English, physical education, art and computers.  High school students additionally have teachers for chemistry, science, one teacher for each subject.

High school at Las Lomas begins at the 8th level when a student reaches the age of twelve. Lunch for grade school is 10:30, later for high schoolers.

Questions and Answers
Hans – Our daughter has had two years of English in Germany but no Spanish.  How will she integrate into your school and be able to understand what is going on?

Tatyana – For example, we have a North American student, Sophia, who knew very little Spanish when she started school here last September.  So she studied Spanish during vacation and then more at school during her first trimester.  She had a Spanish teacher come to her home.

Sophia learns quickly but had trouble during her first trimester.  It was hard for her to understand subjects like social studies and grammar.

sophia-in-classroom

Now she is doing much better.  If possible, it is best for a student attending our school to learn as much Spanish as possible before attending. Then the change of schools and culture is not so difficult or stressful for them.

Hans – How do the children get to school?

Tatyana – Either their parents bring them or the parents arrange for transportation.  Some parents contract for a bus.  The school doesn’t own a bus. Children come from Cotacachi but also from the nearby towns of Atuntaqui, Otavalo and Ibarra.

School Term
School at Las Lomas begins in September with the first trimester ending in December, when exams are given.  After Christmas and New Year Holidays, school commences again on January 1 with exams for the second trimester given at the end of March.

Then after a one-week holiday for Semana Santa (Easter) classes resume on April 1 with exams in June.  There is a two-month vacation in July and August.  All high school students in Ecuador start school on the same date.

Hans – Does Las Lomas prepare a student for entry into a university in Ecuador?

three-girls-in-classroom

Girls in computer class

Tatyana – Yes.  Our students are qualified to enter university in major cities in Ecuador such as Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, or they can go to university in Ibarra.  It all depends upon the course of study they want to pursue.

Patricia – What is the cost of tuition for Los Lomas?

Tatyana – $55 per month.

3-people-walking-down-path

Tatyana gave us a tour of the campus and classrooms.  She welcomes visitors and parents who want to know more about the school

three-white-buildings

Las Lomas classrooms

classroom3

7th course students

man-at-whiteboard

Male art teacher in 3rd course

empty-calssroom

First grade classroom

puppet-stage

First grade puppet theater

mermaid guiding who goes where...

Even the bathrooms are unique and artistic

classroom
High school classrooms

Kids playing

High school playing field

2
More high school classrooms and guardian’s house.  The guardian is on campus all day until the last student leaves for home.

Nice view!
Imbabura volcano in the background

email

26 Comments

  1. Mark Wilson says:

    what is the contact info for the school?

  2. SANDRA M GUZMAN says:

    Mi hija fue estudiante de su escuela la enviamos un año desde los Estados Unidos para que aprendiera el idioma, el trabajo de esta escuela fue excelente hace 2 semanas mi hija visito Costa Rica y se sentia tan orgullosa y feliz de poder comunicarse con todo el mundo especialmente con nuestra familia que conocia por primera vez.
    Por favor podrian enviarnos de nuevo la direccion electronica de la escuela o de la secretaria por favor?
    Muchas Gracias

  3. Esteban Messa Clavijo says:

    im Estaban….. a Colombian student, ( sorry if i have some mistakes here my english isnt perfect) i studied for 6 years in Las Lomas highschool, now im in the college, this is rellay good for ur children (may be the best for foreing people in Imbabura), the teachers r kind n the students tho, I have a lot of greats expiriences there, now im back in Colombia, n im studing medicine, n this mont, ill have the interviw for one of the best colleges in Colombia (universidad del valle).
    im grateful with that school, i had a a good preparation there.
    THE SCHOOL TELEPHONE NUMBER N THE ADDRES IS:
    (06)2916668 / (06)2914349
    PEDRO MONCAYO AND SEGUNDO LUIS MORENO (COTACACHI-IMBABURA-ECUADOR)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience of Las Lomas with us. It’s great to hear first-hand about your schooling there and I know our readers will appreciate the information. Finding a good school in Ecuador takes doing some research, which is hard if you don’t live here, so your comments will go far in helping people make up their mind while looking for the best education for their children.

  4. unbelivable!!! – here is link to the British school website – in english, no less.
    There are tabs – admissions and contact us with all names/contacts you might need.
    And you still asking – I would like to get the contact info on this school. What else you want?

  5. I would like to get the contact info on this school.. my daughter will be in 9th grade next yr and would like to check this school out when we visit in feb 2011

  6. Laila Hanif says:

    I am looking for middle and high schools non spanish
    near quito or guayqual. if you can assist with reasonable tution fees

    Regards,

  7. Norma Quispe says:

    How can we send the money for the for the scholarship fund?

    We want to help !

    Norma Quispe

  8. We are moving to the cotacachi area around April 2010.

    We have 2 boys, age 7 and 11. They have been to international school in Spain for 2 years and more and are following Dutch schooling here on Bonaire, Neth. Antilles up till now.

    I hope that we can make an appointment to see you in March when we are in the area.

    Kind regards,

    Mireille Boom

  9. derek kissoon says:

    does the schoolshave a website. what language does the teachers use

    • The school is in spanish, but the teachers will work with your children to teach them the language. The students are also learning English, one hour classes per day.

Enjoy our blog? We welcome feedback and comments here