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Over 40 years ago

More than 40 years have passed since the foundation of APDE, and now it is time for us to think together about the main ideas behind the development of this educational institution.

It is a good time to do this, because these years have allowed us to reach a special level of maturity and faithfulness. We have reached experience and an ability to act. We know there are still shadows beside the light, but we also know that from the first day, we have made an effort to be faithful to what is essential, to what entails a permanent value, and to what makes efficiency possible in this educational institution.

Over 40 years ago, a group of parents aware of their inalienable rights and duty over their children’s education, insisted on promoting schools that followed their education at home.

The objective answered to the nature of things: parents, aware of their responsibility as their children’s first teachers, were establishing schools for their children.

The simplicity of this new and coherent approach came together with the need to design an original program, which brought harmony to parents’, teachers’ and students’ efforts in a common task that would enrich and benefit everyone.

They were normal parents; men and women who were busy with their own jobs, but who also understood the worth of investing time in the most important business of all, in the main project of their lives: their children’s education.

From whom did they receive the courage and greatness of spirit; the necessary spirit of service to take this adventure on?

Inspiration Source: St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

Those who initiated these associations had a special support that made them believe these schools would become a reality: the motivation and encouragement of an extraordinary person who we all remember with emotion. We are talking about the kind figure of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, who driven by his love for God and for souls, knew how to face thousands of parents (some Opus Dei’s members and many more who were not) with the responsibility of being the first teacher. He encouraged them to start, with a silent and selfless movement, creating and developing these schools with complete autonomy and freedom.

​We wanted to express this gratitude from the beginning of this document, because of a duty of strict justice and devotion. Thousands of parents trustingly supported the human supernatural impulse of the Opus Dei’s Founder, believing in the efficiency of his prayer and mortification; and driven by his holy life and his zeal for souls.

Parents promoted the schools and learned to complicate their lives, pawning their illusions, patrimonies and time – under their own responsibility and without compromising anyone but themselves – in order to move forward with a great educational adventure, in which available means were barely provided by their effort.

As parents, they knew from experience that creatures, in order to develop with energy and in proportion, need to go through a gestation period, to be born small, and to grow strong under diligent care and kindness.

All this gave a start to Centro Escolar El Roble , in a small house located in zone 10 of Guatemala City, a few months before APDE was legally established. It was the first Association in Central America. This was the step forward that declared the generosity and honesty of Guatemalans and their trust in a program that, back then, was only real in the enthusiasm of a small group of parents who later passed it on to relatives, friends and acquaintances.

After this, schools in all Central America were established; small stories that have repeated themselves, every time in a different way, fresh as new water springs that open their way through mountains; through the difficulties that came with the birth and growth of each school.

Sometimes, when obstacles accumulated; it was necessary to accept the disappointment of postponing the school’s opening for another year. This was a contradiction for some parents, probably because it kept their oldest son from being in the first class of the school where his parents had put many illusions, work hours, and happy, unnoticed sacrifice.

The first effort was not easy, neither back then, nor now, when many families have become part of the schools. They’ve come one by one: parents brought other parents, convincing them that all efforts, including the economic effort, were necessary to insure their children’s education. This is how it has been, and how it must continue to be: one by one.


To promote the comprehensive education of Guatemalan families by applying effectively the best Educational Project.


To be the most influential organization in educational development by promoting the reevaluation of the human being, of the family and of the society.