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They were just married. He had finished his engineering studies, and she was beginning to say her first words in Spanish. It was the Spain of the last years of Franco, a very different Spain from the rest of the world.

He was teaching classes for engineers, but soon decided on a change of career. Those lectures dominated by elaborate theory on the board and impersonal teacher-pupil relationships were not rewarding for him. The couple decided to embark on a new adventure …

Full of illusion, they began to leaf through the pages of all kinds of publications. They underlined, cut out, telephoned, made appointments with owners, but all offers exceeded their financial possibilities.

Several weeks passed until they found a place. On the corner of Convenio and Florida streets, Zürich Schule was born. In precarious conditions, the couple taught small groups of pupils. Demand was very low. They didn’t lose heart and kept fighting, day after day, week after week. After much effort they wanted to achieve a long-held dream: to have a building with more facilities. A few years passed before they left the premises located in a working class neighbourhood of Barcelona to move to 2, Ifni Street. They were surrounded by a very different socioeconomic environment. The school began to have a more defined internal structure and the number of pupils grew steadily. But the couple were still not satisfied: they lacked space.

A few years passed before they decided to take a plunge and open a new centre on Rocabert Street, behind San Juan de Dios Hospital. The administrative and management part, as well as the nursery school, were still located on Ifni Street while the upper stages were in the new centre. Apart from wanting to do things well, they set themselves high standards, and they soon realized that the building did not meet all the requirements they wanted. The years passed until they finally decided to take a decisive step: 73, Pearson Avenue.

This is the fruit of so many years of struggle, passion and suffering of a couple that has lived for teaching. The years have gone by, and they have always tried to meet social demand. Internal reforms have been constant and little by little a complete TEACHING entity has been achieved. Let’s see how this long story continues; will any of their three children have the honour of continuing the path of this work?

Alejandro Macías Roth *

Article written for SPICKLE (former school magazine) in 1993



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