My Montessori journey began 50 years ago, when in 1971 -at the ripe old age of 22- I had the good fortune to encounter this inspired way of life. I came upon what was to be my life-long endeavor while taking an elective course in Elementary Education at the lovely campus of the University of Puerto Rico. The scientific and spiritual dimensions of Dr. Montessori’s insightful proposals intrigued my searching soul and filled the void I experienced after a year of disillusion in Franco-held Spain, while studying medicine –my sole purpose in life up till then.
Circumstances had it that I was to take my 3 to 6 training with the Association Montessori Internationale, (AMI) in Mexico City, where I stayed on for nine life-changing years under the tutelage of my dear mentor, Cato (Nan) Hanrath. In 1982 I returned to Puerto Rico and set up and directed the Ambiente Montessori –Clarita Lugo de Sendra Preschool- as Mr. Montessori suggested I should do, in my endeavor to become an AMI trainer. Having completed an additional two-year training at the Midwest Montessori Institute under the wise guidance of Ms. Hildegard Solzbacher, the Centro De Estudios Montessori En Puerto Rico Y El Caribe held its first AMI training in 1987. In the interim I went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Primary Education from Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Life as an AMI trainer has been exciting and rewarding, allowing my adventuresome spirit to fulfill its deep longings as a citizen of the world. The many opportunities to travel far and wide in the service of the child has allowed me to share with others this uniquely ‘common-sense’ approach to the developing human being. Having pioneered the first training courses in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, and in a renewed Spain, has been most gratifying! It has been an honor to lecture in the first course in Uppsala, Sweden, as well as in conferences in China, Australia, the USA, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, and most recently Canada, where I was Director of Training for over twenty years at the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia in the beautiful city of Vancouver, until semi-retiring in 2020. Having been a member of the Board of Directors of the AMI gave me a unique opportunity to learn, and contribute to its renewed direction.
I count myself among the blessed few that have the privilege of making a living in such a profound and satisfying walk of life. Fifty years of School Consultation and developing successful Parent Education programs have confirmed these as the new frontiers of my Montessori journey.