About IAS

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Our History

A Simple Start

Inter-American School was originally founded in the fall of 1961 by three missionary families. The Cadwalladers, Winters, and Wolfs desired to establish a school that could be a “center of learning for children wanting to study most of their courses in English in a Christian atmosphere.”

IAS was first an annex to Colegio Evangélico La Patria, and was originally called the “Bilingual School.” Fifteen students were enrolled the first year, and classes were held in a second-story apartment. Each family was responsible for purchasing their own educational materials from the States.

A New Name

The Board of Trustees was formally organized in the fall of 1962. The “Bilingual School” was newly named “Inter-American School” in order to emphasize the Inter-American curriculum. The emphasis of the school at that time was to provide every child, whether North American or Latin American, the privilege of understanding the language and culture of more than just their own families. The college-preparatory education administered in English allowed missionary kids to travel between classes here in Quetzaltenango or on furlough in North America.

A Time of Growth

In 1963, the school moved to more ample facilities, and thirty-five students were enrolled. Under new leadership, the school grew to forty-six students, and the faculty increased to seventeen. IAS remained in these buildings for thirteen years.

A New Campus

In 1971, a generous donation was made, allowing IAS to purchase nine acres of land. This land is where Inter-American School’s current campus operates. Four years later construction began to build a main academic building and cafeteria. In 1975, eighty-four students and seventeen teachers moved into the new buildings.

In 1979, a dormitory and annex were built, called the Faculty House. In 1988, a science lab was added to the existing annex, and in 1990, the library was expanded.

In 1995, the school buildings were remodeled to include a new office and classroom space, as well as a multi-purpose room and extended media lab.

During the summer of 1999, the Faculty House was converted into classrooms to begin a Middle School program.

A Time of Change

Over time, the demographic of IAS families began to change as missionaries turned over their ministries to local church members. IAS was no longer an English school for just missionary kids, but offered a unique educational opportunity for Guatemalans and other international students.

The grace of God and the prayers of many people have sustained IAS over its history, and we will continue to proclaim the love of God well into the future.