It Takes a Village
We love children and we believe in the importance of their education. Everything we do at The Earth School is with that in mind, from our curriculum and carefully designed campus and materials, to the people we have with your children every day. Come meet our team, comprised of education professionals from around the world who all have two things in common - a love of learning, and an understanding of the importance of instilling that in our students.
Edna de Bonilla
President, Head of School, Proud Mother of Two
Edna founded The Earth School in 2011 and is responsible for overall leadership of the school, including academic assessment and evaluation.
She holds a Master's degree in Education from University of Dundee (UK) as well as doctoral level studies in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute (USA) and Mind, Brain and Teaching (Neuro-Education) at Johns Hopkins University (USA).
She has 24 years of experience in education, 18 of those in Montessori. Edna is also a member of Association Montessori Internationale, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori.
Juan Carlos Bonilla
CEO, Co-founder, Proud Father of Two
Juan Carlos co-founded The Earth School in 2011 and is responsible for the strategic plan implementation and financial oversight of the school.
He holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (Heriot Watt University, UK), a M.Sc. in Organizational Research from the Université Nice Sophia Antípolis (France), and a Doctorate in Business Administration (D.B.A.) from the International University of Mónaco. He has over 20 years of experience in management, mainly in the non-profit sector.
How The Earth School Came to be
It Started with One
The Earth School started from the vision, work, and effort of Edna and Juan Carlos Bonilla.
When the Bonillas first came to Rwanda in 2010, it was for a short-term assignment in gorilla conservation headed by Juan Carlos. After almost 20 years of living, studying, and working abroad across three continents, Rwanda was to be the last stop on their expatriate journey before returning to their native Guatemala. When the conservation project expanded beyond what was originally planned, it was clear that the Bonillas were to be in the country for longer.
A lifelong educator and deeply committed to the values and principles, as well as professionally trained in Montessori, Edna wanted the best for their children’s education. Their eldest, Andrés, had grown up in Montessori and she wanted the same for her youngest, Nicolás. If there were no authentic Montessori schools in Rwanda, she was going to make her own. She converted the living room of her home into the first classroom, went back to her teaching manuals, made Montessori materials from scratch, and began teaching Nicolás, as her first and only student.
As time went by, other international families were struggling to find appropriate education programs for their young children. Soon Edna began to realize that there was a growing and genuine need for child-centered, holistic, and experiential education in Rwanda. Seeing this, she endeavored to begin what is now The Earth School. With the help of Juan Carlos, they began working night and day to found the school. From a living room with only one student, we established the first summer camp program in Rwanda. From there, we opened our first campus with a handful of eager, bright-eyed, and excited students, and from there, we have continually grown and taught with the same excitement, love of learning, and value of education that we have had since that first classroom and first student. Our beautiful state of the art campus in Kigali is now a showcase of what an authentic Montessori school should be and is a center of excellence for Montessori best-practice. The school is an accredited member of the Geneva-based International School Association, the most senior organization in the world of international education.
Together, Edna, Juan Carlos, and our team have worked tirelessly to create a space and a school where children from all over the world can come together and grow, learn, and have fun while receiving a world-class education.
Grounded in Montessori, green and conscious, experiential and transformative – The Earth School way.
Alan has over 25 years of teaching experience in the UK, focusing on English and the Humanities.
He holds a B.A. from Worcester University College, a M.A. in History from the University of Birmingham, and a PGCE (Secondary) from the University of Bristol.
“I've been taught many things through my mom and Montessori, but my love of learning is the lesson I hold most dearly."