Born in Liverpool, England, I studied languages ancient and modern at Grammar School, and majored in Theatre at Metropolitan University, Manchester, England, England. With an American dad and British mum, I spent time in both the US and UK before settling in Portland, Oregon in 1989. I am married, with three grown children, a daughter and two stepdaughters.
In 2010, I earned my Master's in Education from Concordia University (Portland) focusing on TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). For my practicum, I lived in South Central Mexico teaching middle, high school and adult learners. Since graduation, I have taught students from every continent. I teach all levels.
This will be my fifth year at PCI, first as Social Studies teacher and now as Administrative Director.
My name is Juan Enrique Rodríguez Figueroa. Education: Professor of Secondary Education at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala; Degree in Education and Human Rights, also at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala-City. I have enjoyed teaching at public and private schools in Panajachel and being technical director at the College EDUCASA, CEEDUCCA and PCI in Panajachel.
I come to PCI from Pereira, Colombia, where I have been teaching English language learners in public schools. I am thrilled to now be teaching English Language Arts, in which I can share my passion for literature and writing with PCI's students. Language lets us see through each other's eyes, and in my classroom we'll learn to appreciate the diversity of life's experiences through characters like a multiracial boy eager to belong (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) and a college president who began life as a slave (Up from Slavery).
I have a degree in journalism and a specialization in Spanish from Arizona State University. I began my career as a reporter, working for newspapers like The Arizona Republic, as well as the Spanish-language TV station Univision. I later managed communications for organizations including an international investment bank, an Ivy League university and a Silicon Valley tech startup. Through all this, I volunteered as an English instructor for immigrants to the United States. I feel very grateful to now be able to dedicate myself full-time to the rewarding profession of language teaching.
After studying Engineering Physics at Cornell University, I worked for The U.S. Patent Office. I had not been there long when I attended an inspiring presentation by Buckminster Fuller. He spoke about personal integrity, the environment, architecture, and geometry. Back at The Patent Office, I read all of Fuller's patents and I started building models of some of his architectural innovations.
I soon left DC to help develop sustainable technology at The New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod. Meanwhile, I continued to experiment with Fuller's ideas, especially a structural concept he called "tensegrity." I founded a company to make an educational toy for building tensegrity models. After several years of this, I returned to school for my M.A. degree in Curriculum and Teaching.
I then spent 13 years teaching mathematics in high school and community college. In 2008, I created an engineering academy within an inner-city high school. I worked in that academy for six years teaching physics, engineering, and robotics. Frustrated by the state of education in the U.S., I moved to Panajachel in 2014 to teach math, physics, robotics, and engineering at PCI. My main passions are teaching, inventing, sustainable technology, and building and fixing stuff.
Nicole Morrow is the newest E.L.L. teacher at PCI. She is a teacher with over 25 years of experience teaching adolescents in the United States, England, France, Mexico and now Guatemala. Her manner of teaching focuses primarily on learning English in context while exposing students to a variety of cultures, including that of Guatemala. She speaks three languages fluently and is studying Kachiquel. Ms. Morrow is delighted to be working with a wonderful group of students during the summer English as a Foreign Language class.
I am passionate about education, I have been teaching for over fifteen years and have also been the director of private schools. I believe in the importance of teaching students to develop their emotional intelligence as part of a comprehensive education to be successful people in different areas of your life.
I have been teaching Spanish, Literature Seminar in PCI for four years, during which time we received congratulations from the Minister of Education to achieve one of the highest levels of reading in Guatemala.
Working in PCI has been one of the best experiences as a professional, for many reasons, I mention only a few: I love to see how children from different nations and cultures live together in harmony, respect and love each other like family; I like to be part of teachers giving importance to everyone, not only as a student but as a person providing the help and support they need.
I come from the small town of Dissen in North-Western Germany. After graduating from high school, I moved to Cologne, Germany, to study History, German Literature, and Middle Eastern Studies. During my time as a student, I developed a passion for travelling and foreign cultures. In a quest to learn Arabic, I lived in Cairo, Egypt, and Beirut, Lebanon, and, briefly, in Istanbul, Turkey, where I met my Guatemalan partner. Together we lived a year in Vancouver, Canada, before eventually moving to Panajachel in 2013. In the summer of 2014, I graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cologne, with my thesis on the coup d’état in Guatemala in 1954.
Since then I have been a freelance editor and translator, working on manuscripts of students and academics of all subject areas, thereby gathering a wide range of knowledge, which I am very excited to put to use at PCI! Apart from teaching mere facts, I hope to spark curiosity for the world and passion for everything cultural!
In addition to travelling and history, I enjoy hiking—especially volcanoes—, good food, literature, drawing and painting, and football.
My name is Brett Michael Labo. I am from Jacksonville, Florida, and I have a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida. In 2011, I served for two years and three months as a Food Security and Agriculture volunteer in Nicaragua through the Peace Corps. Service taught me the importance of diversity, sustainability, humility, and the value of teaching.
In August 2015, I chose to return to the Peace Corps Response, a program for professionals and served as an Agriculture Specialist for four months in Nahuala, Guatemala. I worked alongside local counterparts, building greenhouses and teaching farmers how to grow tomatoes and bell peppers. During that time, I visited Panajachel many times and enjoyed myself tremendously.
This past summer, I worked as a trip leader for Rustic Pathways, a youth, outdoor, adventure program. I mentored international high school students on community-service trips in Laos and Thailand. The students and I helped build bathrooms, kitchens, and schools for rural communities.
All of my adventures and volunteer experiences have shown me the importance of community, being a positive role-model, and empowering others. Every opportunity I had to teach was deeply rewarding and led me on my current path. Math has always been my passion, and I am so thrilled to teach at PCI.
BS in Biology & Chemistry
Graduate Studies in Earth & Environmental Science
Graduate Teaching Program in Secondary Science
I am a licensed secondary science teacher.
I have worked in Egypt, South Africa, Peru, China and Kosovo.
Teaching is about students; understanding them and helping them achieve their potential.
I connect with the local community to facilitate my understanding of the culture, language and goals for their children’s’ futures. I’ve learned so much from all the local communities over the years that I’m eternally indebted to my students for teaching me how to be a better teacher; the local teachers for helping me understand how to better serve their needs; and my colleagues for sharing their expertise with me.
I look forward to teaching at Panajachel Colegio International.
Hi, my name is Paulo Enrique Díaz Aguilar. I grew up in Panajachel, especially in "Barrio Norte". I studied in Sololá and then studied in Quiche and I graduated with my degree in physical education.. I am happily married with two children, one is five years old and the other one is a year and a half years old. I am proud to be a father and I work for them. In P.E. this year I plan to teach why physical activity is so important for our health and well being. Some people think it is a waste of time, but being active is a value for our whole life. I want to focus on football and basketball because I know that the PCI students have a really big potential so I will train them and try to make them champions. We will also learn other physical games and activities.
Art is the communication medium of our soul, in which we show how we see, feel, and interpret the world. Knowledge of art also allows us to learn to accept criticism, to be constructive critics, and above all to interpret different cultures.
I studied architecture at the University Rafael Landivar in Guatemala City and worked as a professor at secondary and university levels. I am passionate about reading and bird watching, both as art and the relationship it has had throughout history to religion, culture and society, but mostly I like to share it so that others appreciate it.
I hope that with my teaching PCI's students understand the potential importance of art in their lives in the enjoyment and relaxation that it brings. In addition, I hope to develop their critical thinking and creativity, but above all their tolerance, recognition and acceptance of individuality that every human being permeates his artistic expression.
Hello! My full name is Juana Acabal Itzep. If you want, you can call me Juanita. I am from a small town from the North which is called Chel. My city is Chajul, Quiché. I speak Quiche, Spanish and English. I graduated as a Bilingual Secretary in October 2008, in “Escuela de Ciencias comerciales” located in Chichicastenango. In 2009 and 2011 I worked as Secretary for a boarding school called “Internado de Niñas Indigenas” in Chichicastenango. In this boarding school I had the opportunity to get to know more about my country. The different cultures, languages and clothing. During parts of 2011 and 2013 I lived in Wausau, Wisconsin, USA, studying Business Management at the Northcentral Technical College, with a scholarship that was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). After my scholarship, I worked as a translator for groups and individuals in Antigua Guatemala, Quetzaltenango and Panajachel. In 2014, I had the honor to join PCI. I am very happy and excited to start this year with a positive attitude. It is my pleasure to help you!
Membership of the Board of Trustees will vary over time. Below are the current and founding members. Their principal responsibilities are to guarantee the financial stability of the school and to make it into the best educational facility that it can be. Legally, the school is a non-profit Asociacion Civil, and its finances will be transparent to all interested parties.