Today there are over 21 schools, all of which have early childhood programs, as well as some stand-alone early childhood programs, usually home programs. Most have been founded by parents wanting a Waldorf education for their children.
Looking back. Waldorf education came to Mexico in the early 50’s through Peter Webster, who founded ‘La Nueva Escuela – Una Escuela Waldorf’ in Mexico City. A few years later Hans Berlin founded a Waldorf-public school in Ixtacalco, later to become El Centro Educativo Goethe in 1981 (and today called the Escuela Waldorf de la Ciudad de Mexico). The growth of Waldorf Schools in Mexico was slow and sporadic until the mid 1990’s. In that decade three schools with kindergartens were founded – Colegio Yeccan in Guanajuato, Escuela Waldorf de Cuernavaca and the Centro Educativo Waldorf in Tlaxacala.
Training. Waldorf early childhood and teacher training started in Mexico in 2001 with the Centro Antroposofico, in Cuernavaca. The Centro offers both early childhood training and teacher training through a five year course, three weeks each summer. Today many different kinds of teacher training are offered: CEDA -Centro Educativo del Desarrollo Antroposofico (the former Centro Antroposofico) in Cuernavaca; GITA, focused on inner transformation through the arts, and the teacher training at the Escuela Waldorf de la Ciudad de Mexico. Several individuals also offer ongoing mentoring and training for early childhood teachers. The CEDA training had over 100 students in their summer course in 2015, including kindergarten and class teachers taking renewal courses for graduates.
Collaboration. As a geographic part of North America, Mexico is part of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) and the Association of Waldorf Schools (AWSNA). Nine Mexican schools are registered with AWSNA and WECAN as Full Members (Escuela Waldorf de Cuernavaca), Developing Members, or Registered Initiatives. There is interest in founding a Mexican Waldorf School Association to safeguard Waldorf education in Mexico and to provide resources to teachers.
While the local and state governments allow private educational institutions by law, Waldorf schools and kindergartens receive no financial support from the government and are often faced with unreasonable demands for the physical layout of the school and the bureaucracy involved in being enrolled in the Bureau of Education.
In spite of these obstacles, including the low economic wages of most Mexican families, new Waldorf schools and kindergartens are founded every year in every part of Mexico.
Louise deForest, former kindergarten teacher in New York, is active internationally as a mentor, trainer and and advisor.