Laura Paz is a Honduran native who immigrated to the United States to complete her Psychology degree. She has worked in the social work field with the Multnomah County Health Department for over 12 years.
In 2015 when Laura got pregnant with her daughter, Elena; her mother, Gertrudis Munoz or “Abuela” (as all the children in our schools lovingly call her) moved to the United States to help care for Elena. As Abuela helped raise Elena, Laura got to experience the beauty of raising a child the same way she was raised -- with Latin American roots, her native tongue and the songs she grew up listening to. The concept of it takes a “village to raise a child” was experienced firsthand.
When it was time to send Elena to pre-school, Laura noticed the lack of Spanish Immersion programs. After touring several schools and noticing that they felt sterile and lacked a family feel, the idea was forged to create a Spanish immersion School with the following components:
- 1) A school that felt like a home away from home, where we would first and foremost provide love and safety for children, where children were welcomed with open arms and where parents would feel as though they were an extension of our family.
- 2) A Spanish Immersion Program: As parents and grandparents of bilingual children in the United States we have observed some of the advantages of bilingualism. Based on current research, being bilingual has profound effects on the brain. Children who are bilingual outperform their monolingual counterparts in School. Bilingual children are also better at learning social cues and have shown more development in the area of emotional intelligence.
- 3) A multigenerational program created by Latina Women that employs People of Color with the purpose of promoting diversity, fostering inclusion and awareness around multicultural education while taking a culturally responsive approach to teaching.
With those principles in mind Amanecer Academy and Casita Azul were created in 2018 and have now expanded to 4 Schools -- two located in Bethany, one in Rock Creek and one in Beaverton. We continue to grow but our intention remains.
Welcome to our Amanecer Academy and the Casita Azul Family.
LAURA PAZ and GERTUDIS MUÑOZ | Owners
SPANISH IMMERSION SCHOOL