Who we are

La Escuelita was founded by British/Canadian expatriate Beth Annwyl Roberts and her husband Harald Muller. Beth is a certified ESL instructor with many years of experience teaching English as a second language, curriculum development, educational program administration in Canada, Norway, Great Britain and Mexico. Harald is a Norwegian/German designer and builder.

In 2004 Beth met Harald, after a chance meeting in a local cafe. Seduced by the area and inspired by her dream, he offered to build her the school she needed on a small piece of land she had purchased. With money he saved up from projects in Norway, year after year Harald returned to spend his winters building their dream. Beth and Harald married in 2007, and continue to work on expanding the school facilities. From the foundation to each nail, Harald's participation (with zero remuneration) has been indispensable to the centre.

Beth has been offering English classes to the community in the small Mexican village of Zipolite, Oaxaca, since 2001. She first arrived on the Oaxacan coast in 2000, returning the following year for four months and offered free English classes to the children of the area at Piña Palmera, a local nonprofit organization offering rehabilitation services for the physically challenged to the local community and surrounding area. It was then that her love for the area and its people blossomed. She returned once again in 2002 to teach English at the local university, Universidad del Mar, in the neighboring town of Puerto Angel. Missing the connection she had had with the community through Piña Palmera, she started offering informal instruction to local children out of her home.

Impromptu classes soon began with a few small hands knocking on her door, and with time she was prompted by families to start something on a more formal basis. A local restaurant owner offered to pay for his staff and for their children to take classes, and some parents sent their children. Sensing a greater need, Beth decided to leave the university, and engage full time in the development of an educational center. Some have paid, some have been sponsored, some have traded fresh fish or provided help with the school in exchange for classes. Others have simply been invited for free. One day a sign was put up, and La Escuelita was born. Since then it has expanded to providing, at times, ESL classes to over 100 students in the area and to having four teachers.

Your help towards this wonderful project is indispensable.