Founder and Director:   Carolina García

Founder and Director:  Carolina García

From her own personal experience in kindergarten, Carolina discovered her vocation for Early Childhood Education. She graduated from Preschool Education from the  University of Costa Rica and later from Fidelitas University with a specialization in learning disabilities, Carolina always had a continuos interest in learning more and in studying and promoting best practices in early childhood.

She worked in public schools since she was studying, schools such as the Monterrey Vargas Araya School, and also in a temporary classroom (for 6 months), at the Public Library Faustino Montes de Oca with 15 children 3-5 years of age. She later worked at Country Day School and Pan-American School Costa Rica, before pursuing her Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Barcelona.

Since 2003, this professional has constantly participated in various courses and seminars around the world, focused on a variety of themes regarding early childhood; some of them in Costa Rica, and others also in renown schools such as Columbia University in New York City (conference about the game), Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Institute of Summer Project Zero, University of Barcelona (summer of 2009), the Association of Mestres Rosa Sensat in Barcelona, UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, various Reggio Emilia seminars in Colombia since 2009 and three years of training courses in Reggio Emilia city in Italy at  the Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi.

 In 2010, upon her return after having finished her Masters, Carolina begins working for a year and a half as an educational director for the Quirós Tanzi Foundation, where she worked with several public schools, trained more than 100 teachers from the Ministry of Education and even presented one of the projects carried out with a group of children leaders in the Scratch Congress at MIT Media Lab.

 Other important achievements are Carolina’s presentation in the first Educational TEDxPura held in Costa Rica, with a speech named 'Visible Children’; she has also been a speaker at conferences in Canada and the United States. From a social perspective, she has volunteered in different projects such as Friends of Learning - ADA and the Victor Garcia Hoz Foundation.

 She has received recognitions as a social entrepreneur, a local recognition from the Universidad Latina “I think I Prize” and the Global Fellow Laureate Youth Action Net® worldwide prize. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.

In 2011, Bellelli Education is born as a project, later presented to Carao Ventures in 2013 and successfully opened doors in 2014. During this same period the relationship with Pop-Up Adventure Play started after performing the first Pop Up in the country to defend and promote children’s driven games. So far 28 of these events have been organized and about 3,000 children and adults have benefit from it.

In 2015 Carolina visited nursery schools in Pamplona with Alfredo Hoyuelos I order to study the context and educational proposals presented at a public level.

 Finally, Carolina is also president for the Costa Rica Red Solare Foundation, responsible for disseminating Reggio Emilia’s educational approach in our country. 

Co-fundadora y Directora Administrativa voluntaria:   Karla Staton

Co-fundadora y Directora Administrativa voluntaria: Karla Staton

Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, Karla has over a decade of experience working for early education. Her career began at age 17 as a co-teacher in a School inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach in the city of Miami; while working there, Karla completed her studies in child development at the Florida International University. In 2007 Karla had the opportunity of participating in Harvard University’s 'Project Zero' at the Summer Institute, and became a founding member of the research group “ Visible Thinking South Florida” whose purpose is to study the development of thought in early childhood.

Upon completing her studies, Karla began working at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, a world-renowned center for being at the forefront of educational research for early childhood. Here, she works as a classroom teacher for children between 3-5 years of age implementing a variety of projects like Think Art and Early Reading First, among others. Meanwhile, Karla completes her master's degree in Educational Leadership and Curriculum for Early Childhood at the University of Florida.

After completing her studies in higher education, Karla is appointed deputy director for the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education. During her tenure in this role, Karla was in charge of coordinating services for children with special rights, training teachers and coaches, verifying the training quality offered by United Way, supervising teachers and was a member of the human resources board of the center.

 Karla has been invited to speak in many educational conferences and to give lectures at various universities around the world. Her great passion is issues related to brain development and pedagogical documentation, which she has explored and researched in the following countries: Italy, Colombia, United States and Costa Rica.

 In 2013 Karla moved to Costa Rica and joined the dream of Bellelli with high hopes of helping raise the quality of early education in the country and multiplying the constructivist values n which she believes.

Since childhood her family raised her with a deep love and interest for culture, museums, literature and education. Everything she has done, studied and learned revolves around this way of seeing and feeling the world.

 Her academic training began at the University of Costa Rica where she studied Fine Arts with emphasis in Graphic Design; she graduated with honors being the best student of her class. While being a college student, she worked at the UCR Museum and as the UCR’s Vice-Rector for Social Action carrying out specific projects.

 While she struggled to open up a space in the cultural area and for nearly ten years, Valeria worked as a dancer, teacher and assistant choreographer for the Danza y Costa Rica Company. There she had the opportunity to dance on important stages such as the Graciela Moreno Festival for Choreographers in Costa Rica, at Casa Encendida in Madrid and the International Performance Festival in Denmark.

 In order to broaden her knowledge in design and live an unforgettable experience, Valeria moved to Barcelona to study a Masters in Design, Creativity and Communication Strategies and Advertising at the University Elisava in Barcelona. Two years later, she specialized in Cultural Policies and Cultural Management at the Metropolitan Autonomous University of Mexico where she was recognized for her academic excellence receiving the Medal of Merit.

 In 2009 she was given the great opportunity to work in the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design where she worked for five years as an assistant director and coordinator for activities in which she participated in the coordination, planning and monitoring of programming, also curation and assembly of exhibitions, cultural activities, research and education. At the Museum, Valeria participated in the development of program design MADC (D10-D14) managing fairs, training, research, exhibitions, and various initiatives for the promotion, dissemination and strengthening of MSMEs in local design. All this also linked her to other initiatives like the International Design Festival (IDF) the Feria del Libro (FIL) among others for the promotion of the sector. During this period she was also a member of the National Board of Trustees and the Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM Costa Rica).

 She has eleven years of experience as a creative and a graphic designer, where she has successfully developed corporate identities, packaging, exhibitions, illustrations and various publishing projects in which she has also worked as a photographer and editor. Her outstanding work got her invited to the Multidisciplinary Design Festival in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, and the National Congress of Museums in Costa Rica and to join the faculty of the University of Costa Rica teaching theoretical courses Career Design.

 Valeria joined Bellelli with the vision of making of the Atelier an experimental laboratory, with game, dialogue and reflection for the children’s 100 languages.

Know more about our team in  Facebook, you can read there some of the biographies of our team members who have participated in vocational training in Peru and Colombia in 2015.

SIlvia Badilla, Jéssica Guillén, María Castro, Pamela Vega, Mariela León, Carolina Villa, Marianela Arguedas, Nayuribe Sáenz, Ruthmary Zambrano, Daniela Hernández, Karla Staton, Carolina García, Valeria Rodríguez, Isa (hija Ruthma), Selma Solórzano, Sary Montero y Lena Méndez. 

SIlvia Badilla, Jéssica Guillén, María Castro, Pamela Vega, Mariela León, Carolina Villa, Marianela Arguedas, Nayuribe Sáenz, Ruthmary Zambrano, Daniela Hernández, Karla Staton, Carolina García, Valeria Rodríguez, Isa (hija Ruthma), Selma Solórzano, Sary Montero y Lena Méndez.