In the middle of nowhere, and just some 130 km away from Madrid, one of EAEA´s smallest members is doing its work: Escuelas para la vida „El Colmenar" (The beehive).
Initiated more than 20 years ago by Dr. José Antolín Valcárcel Amador it follows the ideas of Freire, Piaget and others with an emphasis on democratic education of the individual, aimed at drug addicts, disturbed persons, prisoners and AIDS victims.
The small community, only men, is guided by José Antolín and two of his friends, the 3 granddads as they call themselves.
Their firm belief is that social problems of any kind need to be met by educational means enabling the individual to achieve a new image of himself, develop new aims for his life and thus empower the individual to help himself.
In an active and participative way and in cooperative education the individual learns how he can change habits, how to cope with challenges in society and how to develop new and better perspectives for his life. Possible errors are not sanctioned, but are taken up by the whole group and are discussed within the group on a cooperative basis.
The surrounding community - the next village, and in particular the families - are integrated into this educational concept in order to facilitate mutual understanding of reasons for existing problems and for changes.
The Escuela para la Vida "El Colmenar" participated in a competition in the Castilla-La Mancha Autonomy in Spain and was one of the winners of the Miguel Hernandez Prize. Their entry to the competition, a report on theory and practice of their work, was preceded by "Praise of learning" by B. Brecht:
Learn the elementary things!
For those whose time has come
it is never too late! …
EAEA congratulates its member and wishes further success with the Escuela para la Vida "El Colmenar".
And we want to invite those interested in the work of the school to visit them in Castilla-La Mancha, near La Langa - Huete.