Centro de Educación CREATIVA Cloud Forest School is an independent school located on 106 acres of cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Our student body is made up of 85% local Costa Rican students and 15% international students. As part of our founding mission, 75% of our students pay discounted tuition.

Learning with a passion to live with purpose.

"Local innovation and initiative can help us better understand how to protect the environment".- Gale Norton -

MISSION

Our mission is to graduate well-rounded, bilingual and environmentally conscious individuals with the tools to meet today's complex challenges.

OBJECTIVES

• DISCOVER and address the intellectual, emotional and physical needs of each child to stimulate their creativity, love of learning and sense of wonder at the world around them.
• PROVIDE a strong interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION into all subject areas.
• INSPIRE and EDUCATE students to have a strong sense of community and take an active interest in conservation and sustainability efforts both locally and globally.

VISION

Our vision is a sustainable future for the Earth, achieved by providing a high quality education that emphasizes love and respect for the natural environment, as well as peace and justice in our local, national and global communities.

Support us, in order to generate future generations with positive attitudes and actions that help society to live in balance with the environment.

You can also support the Cloud Forest School by using the following link on the Amazon platform, to make your purchases.
0.5% of the value of your purchase will be donated to CFS to help our student community!

Meet our work team

sue-gabrielson

Sue Gabrielson

Co-Director
Emily

Emily Marques

Co-Director
esperanza

Esperanza Mora

Kinder Teacher
ipsi-castillo

Ipsi Castillo

Prepa Teacher
sarah-burbank

Sarah Burbank

3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
cynthia-brenes

Cinthia Brenes

Cleaning
bridget

Bridget Broomfield

First and Second grade
HANNAH MORRISON

Hanna
Morrison

Intern
susan

Susan Lobo

Prepa Team
cristina-leiton

Cristina Castro

Reception
jeremy

Jeremy Broomfield

Assistant
Alyssa Brown

Alyssa Brown

5th and 6th Grade
Evelyn

Evelyn Leiton

Assistant
adele

Adele Gelperin

Kinder teacher
pamela

Pamela Villalobos

Art Teacher
michele

Michelle Cruz

Assistant
hillary

Hillary Cruz

First and Second grade
ulises-salazar

Ulises Leitón

Maintenance
adriana

Adriana Corrales

Assistant
francisco-marquez

Francisco Marques

Music Teacher
maverikc

Maverick Arroyo

Technical Support
Dalverto

Dalverto Carranza

Security guard
arleny

Arleny Gonzales

Spanish and Social
Studies Teacher
hellen-soto

Hellen Soto

Finance
tatiana-vargas

Tatiana Vargas

Kindergarten and childcare assistant
maria

María Anchía

Spanish as a Second Language Teacher
beto-walker

Beto Walker

Math and Environmental Education Teacher

Meet our work team

sue-gabrielson

Sue Gabrielson

Co-Director
Emily

Emily Marques

Co-Director
esperanza

Esperanza Mora

Kinder Teacher
ipsi-castillo

Ipsi Castillo

Prepa Teacher
cynthia-brenes

Cinthia Brenes

Cleaning
bridget

Bridget Broomfield

First and Second grade
Alyssa Brown

Alyssa Brown

5th and 6th Grade
HANNAH MORRISON

Hanna Morrison

Intern
susan

Susan Lobo

Prepa Team
jeremy

Jeremy Broomfield

Assistant
Evelyn

Evelyn Leitón

Assistant
adele

Adele Gelperin

Kinder teacher
michele

Michelle Cruz

Assistant
hillary

Hillary Cruz

First and Second grade
ulises-salazar

Ulises Leitón

Maintenance
adriana

Adriana Corrales

Assistant
maverikc

Maverick Arroyo

Technical Support
sarah-burbank

Sarah Burbank

3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
beto-walker

Beto Walker

Math and Environmental Education Teacher
Dalverto

Dalverto Carranza

Security guard
maria

María Anchía

Spanish as a Second Language Teacher
pamela

Pamela Villalobos

Art Teacher
francisco-marquez

Francisco Marques

Music Teacher
cristina-leiton

Cristina Castro

Reception
tatiana-vargas

Tatiana Vargas

Kindergarten and
childcare assistant
hellen-soto

Hellen Soto

Finance
arleny

Arleny Gonzales

Spanish and Social
Studies Teacher

A great place to grow

A great place to grow

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Sue Gabrielson
Co- Director

Sue pasó su primer tiempo prolongado en Monteverde en 2016, como voluntaria en la biblioteca del Centro de Educación CREATIVA Cloud Forest School, mientras sus hijas asistían al séptimo y al undécimo grado.
Más tarde ese año se mudó a Monteverde de forma permanente y enseñó humanidades en la escuela secundaria en Monteverde Friends School (MFS). Después de un año de enseñanza, fue contratada como directora de la escuela de MFS en 2017. Antes de eso, la Rev. Sue (como la llamaban cariñosamente después de convertirse en ministra unitaria universalista ordenada) sirvió como pastora en iglesias en Maine durante 20 años.
También ha organizado campañas políticas para la atención médica como un derecho humano, el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo y el cambio climático, ha enseñado en universidades y ha formado parte de muchas juntas comunitarias.
Tiene dos maestrías, una en Educación de Adultos y otra en Divinidad, es ABD en un programa de Doctorado en Servicios Humanos Multidisciplinarios.
Sue ha trabajado en administración de educación superior y navegó tres veces en el Programa Semester at Sea.
Tiene dos hijas: Grace y Ellie (ambas graduadas de MFS) y está casada con Ulises Salazar Leiton.
Le encanta leer, jugar al billar, caminar, las aguas termales y otras actividades al aire libre.

Sue Gabrielson
Co- Director

Sue first spent her first extended time in Monteverde in 2016 as a volunteer in the library at the CEC while her daughters attended 7th and 11th grade. Later that year she moved to Monteverde permanently and taught high school humanities at Monteverde Friends School (MFS). After a year of teaching she was hired as the Head of School of MFS in 2017. Before that, Rev. Sue (as she was affectionately called after becoming an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister) served as a pastor in churches in Maine for 20 years. She has also organized political campaigns for healthcare as a human right, same-sex marriage, and climate change, she has taught at universities, and served on many community boards. She has two master’s degrees, one in Adult Education and one in Divinity, she is ABD in a PhD program in Multi-Disciplinary Human Services. Sue has worked in higher education administration and sailed three times on the Semester at Sea Program. She has two daughters: Grace and Ellie (both graduates of MFS) and is married to Ulises Salazar Leiton. She loves reading, playing pool, walking, hot springs and other outdoor activities.

Emily Marques
Co-Director

Emily Marques is the Assistant Director of the Cloud Forest School. She has worked in community development and education in the US and internationally for over twenty years. She began her career as a bilingual classroom teacher and since then has worked with all age groups from early childhood through college in both community-based organizations and public school systems. Emily believes that schools are the heart of the community and is passionate about nurturing connectedness among students, teachers, and families in service to thriving kids and communities. Emily received her BA in Spanish from Fort Lewis College and an MA in Education from Arizona State University. She also has studied Latin American Studies at the graduate level. Emily is married to Francisco Marques, the music teacher at the Cloud Forest School, and their son Mateo attends the school.

Esperanza Mora
Kinder Teacher

My name is Esperanza Mora Cespedes, I was born and raised in Monteverde. I’m the seventh of eight children. I had a happy childhood learning all that the forest could teach me. Since I was very young, I would spend my school vacations helping to care for my nieces and nephews, which inspired my work with children. I completed my primary and secondary studies in Santa Elena. I learned artisanry and cooking from my mother. I spent a few years away from Monteverde, but returned after becoming a mother. In 1998 I was given the opportunity to work in the Cloud Forest School. I’ve learned and taught for 21 years alongside many different and wonderful people and I will continue learning and teaching as long as I’m able.

Ipsi Castillo
Prepa Teacher

My name is Ipsilan Castillo, but I go by Ipsi. Monteverde is my hometown. Attending both the Monteverde Friends School and the CEC were a big part of my development, where my passion for teaching and learning ignited. I graduated high school from Olney Friends School in Ohio, USA. In May 2021 I got an “Early Childhood Education and Intervention” degree at Wilmington College. During my time at Wilmington I became involved with many different clubs and programs which led me to win the Quaker Impact Award. I’m enthusiastic about returning to Monteverde and giving back to the community I love. I’m eager to be part of the journey of each one of my students as they start their exciting learning adventure.

Sarah Burbank
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher

My full name is Sarah Burbank Hills. I’ve spent half of my life in the USA and the other half living here in Monteverde. At University, I studied Sociology and Spanish and when I had my third child I earned my Master’s Degree in Education and TESOL level 5. I am ecstatic to return as part of the staff at the Cloud Forest School. The school is the reason I first came here in ‘99 and it remains one of the principle reasons I have stayed for so many years. I’m extremely excited to see two of my three children return to the Cloud Forest School after this last school year spent in a pandemic, locked up to study in the house. And after 8 years of teaching children ESL online, it will be a great privilege to now be able to share with students and colleagues, whether in the classroom, a field, a trail, a dance floor, my Lecheria, or painting, walking, cooking, listening to music, making bread or swimming in a river or the sea.

Cinthia Brenes Araya
Cleaning

My name is Cinthya Brenes Araya. I’m someone who always wants to work and to help out. I’m honest, friendly and responsible. I like to go out with my family in my free time and I am very happy to work for the Cloud Forest School community.

Bridget Broomfield
First and Second grade

Bridget Broomfield has been a teacher for over 20 years, working in St Thomas, New York City, Arizona, Maine, and Kenya. Working primarily with teenagers, she has taught English, Theater, Humanities, Visual Arts, Equestrian, and String Ensembles. She is passionate about encouraging the love of learning, respect for the Earth and its people, verbal and artistic expression, and supporting students to become their best selves. She’s excited about starting a new adventure at CEC with her children, Tesla (10) and Milo (7) and husband Jeremy. She loves to ride horses, play violin, refinish furniture, garden, write, and cook. She relishes any creative project that brings people together.

Hanna Morrison
Intern

Hi, I’m Hannah, a student intern from Germany. I am studying grade school education in the beautiful city of Freiburg to become a music and language teacher. Recently, climate change and the need for environmental education has increasingly been on my mind, leading me to search for internship opportunities where I could learn about fostering understanding of and love for nature. I’m so happy I found the CEC and was able to come here with the help of an academic exchange scholarship. In addition to the environmental program, another thing that I love about the CEC is the bilingual teaching. Having grown up bilingual myself, I am very passionate about helping kids navigate a bilingual classroom and find their voice in both languages. I’m excited to learn, help and teach. Gracias por la oportunidad!

Susan Lobo Rodríguez
Prepa Team

I am proud to have lived all my life in San Luis de Monteverde! Currently I am a member of the Development Association (ADI). I like to collaborate in different activities for the well-being of my community.
I practice athletics with my parents, they show me every day the importance of movement for both physical and mental health.
I am the mother of a wonderful child named Matías, he is my greatest motivation and through whom I discovered my interest in learning about comprehensive childhood care and education. (Since 2016)
As an early childhood education assistant, I love seeing boys and girls stimulating their different areas of development through what they love the most, PLAY! And being able to work on what I love makes me feel very grateful. I am also the school librarian.

Cristina Castro
Reception

My name is Cristina Castro Leitón and I have been working at this school for 19 years. I love my job and this beautiful mountain where Cloud Forest School CREATIVE Education Center is located.
My husband’s name is Lot and we have been married for 30 years. We have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. My oldest grandson’s name is Nicolas and he studies at CREATIVA in first grade. My 3 children graduated from CREATIVE Education Center Cloud Forest School and love this place as I do. My oldest son works in Singapore as a Music and Drama teacher. I enjoy walking in the forest, listening to music, reading and going to the beach.

Jeremy Broomfield
Assistant

Jeremy Broomfield has experience in technology, administration, and systems. In a decade at Verde Valley School, (a boarding school in Sedona, Arizona) he was a Visual Art teacher, database administrator, dorm parent, director of residential life, meditation instructor, and yearbook editor. He is passionate about making things work better and he believes the creation and/or appreciation of art is essential to a well-lived life. He loves spreadsheets, puzzles, and modern tabletop games. In his spare time, he is a musician, singer, songwriter, painter, poet, and baker.

Alyssa Brown
5th and 6th Grade

Hello, my name is Alyssa Brown, I am from Colorado, USA, and I am so excited to join the CEC school as a 5th-6th grade teacher. Teaching English has given me the opportunity to travel, experience new cultures, and most importantly, find my passion. My passion is to help others feel confident and simply excited about learning. I have experience teaching English in the US, South Korea, and Costa Rica. I have taught students, ages 2-60 with all different levels of English and have enjoyed every experience. In South Korea specifically, I taught a well-versed curriculum with creative projects and real life applications. I loved that I could make young students feel so self-assured, heard, and valued while being in a fun and inviting atmosphere. During my time in Korea, I was promoted to the head instructor where I managed and supported other teachers so that they could make their students feel the same. I provide a fun, safe, and welcoming environment with patience and understanding to help students successfully reach their goals and find their own passions! We never stop learning, might as well enjoy it!

Evelyn Leiton
Assistant

I was born and spent my childhood in San Luis, Monteverde, surrounded by
peasant people and nature lovers. Then I lived for several years in the city where I studied Anthropology with emphasis on Archeology at the University of Costa Rica. I love working with children and getting recharged by their energy and creativity. I am very happy to have this job, surrounded by forest while learning and sharing with diverse people.

Adele Gelperin
Kinder teacher

Adele first came to Monteverde in 2017 as an intern with the CEC summer program. She has been hoping to come back ever since. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 2019, she taught kindergarten and first grade for two years in New Haven, CT, where she spent time celebrating young people and nurturing classroom community during the pandemic. Most recently, she worked for social justice and lived in intentional community as a fellow with Quaker Voluntary Service in Boston, MA. Adele can most often be found reading, participating in community organizing, and getting excited about the creatures she finds in the woods. She is delighted to join the CEC team.

Pamela Villalobos
Art Teacher

Hello, I’m Pamela Villalobos, the lucky art teacher at the Creativa and firm believer that “art and culture cure madness.” During our class we talk, laugh and allow our imaginations to fly. I love teaching with unconventional methodologies and offering students many ways to find their own style and expression. I was born in San José and studied Fine Art with an emphasis on oil painting through an academic program with the Ministry of Culture at the Escuela Casa del Artista Olga Espinach Fernández. Afterwords, I specialized in Advertising with a Bachelor’s degree and licensure. I also have certificates in Inclusive Education, Pedagogical Mediation, Universal Learning Design, Social Model of Disability among others.
I am a member of our community’s Cultural Commission and a promoter of the Monteverde school of Fine Arts, a non-profit that seeks to expose young people to the arts. I’m lucky to have received training from the great local artist, Helena Guindon, who shared with me her incredible techniques learned through her career as an artist and teacher. So prepare yourselves for your children’s art day, they will come home full of stains, motivation and creative energy!

Michelle Cruz Barrantes
Assistant

My name is Michelle Cruz, I live in Monteverde. I’m an assistant at the Creativa and the mother of a little girl named Mia. I am a very creative person. I love art, design, photography and walking in the forest.

Hillary Cruz Barrantes
First and Second Grade Teacher

My name is Hillary Cruz, I’m from Monteverde and I studied at the CEC all my life until I graduated. I am very happy to be able to work in my beloved school, since I have great affection for it having spent many years here, and also because the campus is beautiful, it is a large forest with classrooms, where children can explore and learn surrounded by nature. I am a graduate of the Universidad Hispanoamericana as an English teacher. I am so excited to be teaching first and second graders and make a mark in their learning.

Ulises Leitón Salazar
Maintenance

Ulises, who was born in Monteverde, is very proud to be part of the team to help re-open the Cloud Forest School. Ulises has previously worked in maintenance a the Friends School in Monteverde, has his own wood shop for making furniture and other wood products, and is known to be able to fix or “MacGayver” almost anything. He is looking forward to serving the whole school community for all of their maintenance, building, construction and gardening needs!

Adriana Corrales García
Assistant

My name is Adriana Corrales García, I am 39 years old. I live in Monteverde.
I am currently studying to be a preschool assistant.
My personal and professional goal is to finish my studies and enrich my knowledge.
I am a sociable, cheerful and supportive person. In my free time I like to spend time with my family and friends, I like to see new places and spend time outdoors.

Francisco Marques
Music Teacher

Hello, my name is Francisco Marques and I am the music teacher at the Creativa. I have been studying, teaching and performing Brazilian music for 20 years. I love working with students to unlock their passion for music and I especially love teaching students to perform as a group. We put on some epic parent performances at the Creativa!
I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and raised in the United States. I received a BA in Music from Colby College and have been a member of adjunct faculty in the music department at Naropa University in Boulder, as well as faculty at the esteemed California Brazil Camp

Maverick Arroyo Espinoza
Technical Support

I am a native of Alajuela, I arrived in the Monteverde area at the end of 2019, currently I have already established my family in this beautiful area.
Privileged to be a dad, lover of technology; Since I was a child until today, I dedicate a large part of my life to learning about technology and its advances.
Specialized in the area of maintenance and technical support.
I have several certifications such as: Preventive and corrective maintenance of computer equipment at the National Learning Institute, Computer operator and complete use of office automation at the National Technical University, Introduction to cybersecurity from Cisco Network Academy, Digitization of Google businesses, Cybersecurity in Telecommuting by Google and the National Institute of Cybersecurity of Spain.
I like to share my knowledge with other people, I consider myself self-taught in most areas of computing, I am very social, which allows me to exchange knowledge with other people in the profession. I love adding value to organizations and working on projects for mutual growth.

Dalverto Carranza Montero
Security guard

My name is Dalverto Carranza Montero and I am the security guard at the CEC. I have four children and two little granddaughters and I have lived in Monteverde for 15 years. I am originally from San Rafael de Abangares. I completed my high school education in San Ramón de Alajuela. I worked for many years in the coffee growers cooperatives in Tilarán (Coopetila y Coopeldós) as a forest promoter and technician in coffee cultivation. I also worked in ICE in Tilarán as a security guard and as a taxi driver in Monteverde.
I love God, nature, the countryside and cultivating and processing coffee.

Arleny Gonzales
Spanish and Social Studies Teacher

My name is Arleny González Rodríguez, I am from Monteverde and I am the
mother of a fourteen-year-old girl.
Passionate about teaching, I came to CEC in 2011 as a Special Education teacher,
a year later I started teaching Spanish and Social Studies. Eleven years have
passed and I feel very honored to work at the Creative School. I completed my
high school studies at the C.T.P.S.E, in Monteverde. I took my training in education
at the Universidad Metropolitana Castro Carazo and I am currently getting a
master's degree in Educational Administration.
Teaching has always been a great motivation in my life and I strive every day to
support and make learning a pleasant experience for students.

Hellen Soto
Finance

My name is Hellen Soto Segura, I am a native of this community of Santa Elena de Monteverde, I attended primary and secondary school at the School and College of Santa Elena de Monteverde. I am married and we have a 9 year old daughter. I have worked at the Creative School for almost 8 years, before the pandemic, and I am very happy to return and continue again, in this school and beautiful family that is the CEC. My work is in administrative functions and in the finance area, I am an accessible, friendly person and I hope to collaborate with the institution because I love my job and dealing with the families of the community, I thank God very much, first for our reopening of the School and the opportunity to collaborate in such a prestigious institution as the Creative School. Thank you very much.

Tatiana “Tati” Vargas Muñoz
Kindergarten and childcare assistant

My name is Tatiana Vargas Muñoz but they call me Tati. I am an assistant in preschool and a university student studying Early Childhood Education. I’m 19 years old and a native of Monteverde. Although young, I have had experience with young children and have worked as a volunteer with PANI.
I had the experience to study as an exchange student at the Friend’s School in Baltimore and since then I have had several opportunities to travel, which is something I love.

María Anchía Pérez
Spanish as a Second Language Teacher

Hello! My name is María, I was born in Puntarenas. I have lived in Monteverde for 9 years and I think I will always stay in this beautiful place. I am a teacher of Spanish as a second language. I am so happy to work at the CEC. I have six years of experience as an ELA teacher and have worked in some other institutions in Monteverde as a teacher. I am currently studying Basic General Education at the university. I love spending time with my students, going out to the forest and discovering new animals or going to learn in the nature that surrounds us. I really enjoy teaching my students and seeing how they acquired new knowledge and skills in the Spanish language. In my spare time I like to bike and play with my dogs, and I really love spending quality time with my family.

Beto Walker
Math and Environmental Education Teacher

My name is Joaquín Aberto Artavia Walker, I am from the province of Cartago, I am an environmental education teacher, trained at the University of Costa Rica. As a teacher, I believe in individualized education, working with students to give them the attention that they need. I give 100% to my work to develop dynamic, interactive classes. I am passionate about nature and science in general. I really like to carry out community-based environmental and social projects. I have lived in Monteverde since 2020 and I have enjoyed this place so much that I have not wanted to leave and I plan to be here for many years.

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