Colegio Guadalupe, a school in the Gustavo A. Madero district of Mexico City, was founded in 1947 with the aim to provide girls with a quality education that had a Christian spirit. As the sister school to the already established Benedictine boys’ school, it imparted traditional values alongside the high-school curriculum, which itself was enriched with additional activities. The idea of serving the community, for instance, as well as learning about culture have been a critical part of the school’s philosophy. This innovative form of education continues to be relevant today.

And the same goes for the school’s Double Programme, established in the 1950s, which meant that girls who had completed their basic education could also study a diploma in English-language teaching or in bilingual business-secretarial skills. The programme now allows students to gain the Cambridge First Certificate, the Teaching Knowledge Test or the Cambridge English Business Certificate, aside from their official high school education.


The culture club

“We have always given additional curricula in areas of English, but also in the education of values and culture,” says Mónica Judd Moctezuma, former directress, teacher and herself an alumna of the school. “We complement the basic religious principles with a broader anthropological insight. Our students have to complete social service, which involves working in institutions aligned with the church or the promotion of social development. We also have a cultural programme that teaches students about the arts, which goes beyond the official educational programme and which we think is vital.”

As a result, the school’s academic record is well above the national average and students enter further education or the world of work with a distinct competitive edge. By way of example, one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Mexico, Universidad Iberoamericana, awards 10 scholarships based on academic excellence each year. In 2014, students from Colegio Guadalupe won three of these coveted bursaries. “It’s because we didn’t only develop academic projects, but academic projects that were socially inclusive,” says Judd.

Since mid-2015 the school has also incorporated an entrepreneurial programme into its provision. “We have developed an incubator for small businesses, one that focuses on the use of technologies and encourages high standards of English and Spanish,” says Judd. “The high school is now open to young men, too, which has been a significant step for us. It means we’re able to offer what is necessary in the educational arena of the 21st century.”