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, 55% 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.

"LET'S SUPPORT OUR STUDENT COMMUNITY!

For those within and outside the United States of America,
Direct donations can be made to the school through PayPal using the button.

With your contribution or donation, you will be helping children and young people with limited
financial resources that prevent them from receiving education."

Meet our work team

Screenshot 2024-04-17 153928

Emily Marques

Director
Arleny

Arleny Gonzales

Assistant Director
María Anchía

María Anchía

Spanish as a Second Language Teacher
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222511

Beto Walker

Math and Environmental Education Teacher
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222141

Sarah Burbank

3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
hellen-soto

Hellen Soto

Finance
Esperanza Mora Céspedes

Esperanza Mora

Kinder Teacher
Screenshot 2024-04-10 142618

Cinthia Brenes

Cleaning
Bridget Broomfield

Bridget Broomfield

First and Second grade
Susan Lobo

Susan Lobo

Prepa Team
Cristina

Cristina Castro

Reception
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222502

Evelyn Leiton

Assistant
Dalverto Carranza

Dalverto Carranza

Security guard
Hillary Cruz

Hillary Cruz

First and Second grade
Michelle Cruz Barrantes

Michelle Cruz

Assistant
Adele Gelperin

Adele Gelperin

Kinder teacher
maverikc

Maverick Arroyo

Technical Support
Adriana Corrales García

Adriana Corrales

Assistant
Monteka Pegues

Monteka Pegues

Fifth and sixth grade teacher
Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

First grade assistant
Naomi Grogan-Hurlich

Naomi Grogan

First grade teacher
Screenshot 2024-04-11 150552

Francisco Marques

Music Teacher
Jasmine Pacheco Ramos

Jasmine Pacheco

Preschool teacher
David García

David García

Maintenance Coordinator
Abstract Profile Photo Instagram Post

Carolina Lizana

International Programs Coordinator
Screenshot 2024-04-10 142719

Julián Calvajal

Physical Education Teacher
Rebecca Goertzel

Rebecca Goertzel

Volunteer

Meet our work team

Screenshot 2024-04-17 153928

Emily Marques

Director
Arleny

Arleny Gonzales

Assistant Director
María Anchía

María Anchía

Spanish as a Second Language Teacher
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222511

Beto Walker

Math and Environmental Education Teacher
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222141

Sarah Burbank

3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
hellen-soto

Hellen Soto

Finance
Esperanza Mora Céspedes

Esperanza Mora

Kinder Teacher
cynthia-brenes

Cinthia Brenes

Cleaning
Bridget Broomfield

Bridget Broomfield

First and Second grade
Susan Lobo

Susan Lobo

Prepa Team
Cristina

Cristina Castro

Reception
Captura de pantalla 2024-02-21 222502

Evelyn Leiton

Assistant
Dalverto Carranza

Dalverto Carranza

Security guard
Hillary Cruz

Hillary Cruz

First and Second grade
Michelle Cruz Barrantes

Michelle Cruz

Assistant
Adele Gelperin

Adele Gelperin

Kinder teacher
maverikc

Maverick Arroyo

Technical Support
Adriana Corrales García

Adriana Corrales

Assistant
Monteka Pegues

Monteka Pegues

Fifth and sixth grade teacher
Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

First grade assistant
Naomi Grogan-Hurlich

Naomi Grogan

First grade teacher
Screenshot 2024-04-11 150552

Francisco Marques

Music Teacher
Jasmine Pacheco Ramos

Jasmine Pacheco

Preschool teacher
David García

David García

Maintenance Coordinator
Screenshot 2024-04-10 142719

Julián Calvajal

Physical Education Teacher
Abstract Profile Photo Instagram Post

Carolina Linaza

Volunteer
Rebecca Goertzel

Rebecca Goertzel

Volunteer

A great place to grow

A great place to grow

Our partners

Our partners

Síganos y sea parte de nuestra comunidad

Hacemos sus pagos fáciles y seguros

Somos parte del programa:
BANDERA AZUL ECOLÓGICA

2022 © Copyright - All rights reserved Cloud Forest School

Designed and developed by CodMark

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.

Emily Marques
Director

Emily Marques is the director of the Cloud Forest School. She has worked in community development and education in the United States and internationally for over twenty years. She began her career as a bilingual teacher and has since worked with groups of all ages, from early childhood to university, both in community organizations and in public school systems. Emily believes that schools are the heart of the community and is passionate about fostering the connection between students, teachers, and families in service of thriving children and communities. Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Fort Lewis College and a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University. She has also studied Latin American Studies at the graduate level, and her son, Mateo, attends the school.

Arleny Gonzales
Assistant Director

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Monteka Pegues
5th and 6th Grade Teacher

I teach because I have a passion for serving others in any capacity and developing young people to one day be productive, educated citizens of the world. My favorite thing about the school is that there’s a lot of diversity and everyone contributes something different and special. my family and friends, I like to see new places and spend time outdoors.

Stephanie Smith
First grade assistant

“I am responding to a call from my heart, being here with the children has made a dream come true.”

Naomi Grogan-Hurlich
First grade teacher

“Why do I do what I do? In order to share and amplify happiness. When I do what makes me happy, the feeling is contagious, and the people around me also feel happy.”

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

Jasmine Pacheco Ramos
Preschool teacher

I am passionate about teaching and making a positive difference in the lives of my students. I love to spark joy and nurture curiosity. My goal is to foster an environment in my classroom where students feel valued and supported, and develop a love for learning

David García
Maintenance Coordinator

We have more than 44 hectares of forest, trails, fields and buildings on campus and David is in charge of the team that maintains everything in working order. “I love extreme sports, the forest, walks, sharing with others and being able to help.”

Carolina Linaza
Volunteer

“I am very grateful to be part of this team that functions as a healthy ecosystem and which is committed to the school’s mission of providing quality education in harmony with nature and focused on BEING. Being surrounded by the cloud forest with all its inhabitants makes me very happy. I also love being surrounded by the students and their families who are very special and make me laugh every day. Being able to share this with people from other countries is a privilege.”

Julian Calvajal
(Physical Education Teacher)

Julián teaches a variety of physical education modalities at the school including soccer, karate, strength, endurance and control. He supports students in their social emotional development as well as their physical development. We are so happy to have him as a positive role model for our students.

Rebecca Goertzel
Volunteer
(Former director)

I Love that at the CEC everyone is driven to make the world a better place for the students, the environment and our community. I love that the school provides scholarships for students who need them and has a focus on on hands-on, thematic learning with an emphasis on our natural world, inclusion and diversity. I feel fortunate to be able to come back to the CEC and play a small part in helping kids, teachers and families learn and grow.

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