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Is mostly formed by a group of mothers and grandmothers passionate about children and nature; most of us refuse for our families to continuing being part of the school system leaving behind our professions to renew ourselves and become advocates of childhood, committed to recover its almost forgotten real meaning and restore it for the new generation of children.

   OUR TEAM

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"IF A CHILD IS TO KEEP ALIVE HIS INBORN SENSE OF WONDER, HE NEEDS THE COMPANIONSHIP OF AT LEAST ONE ADULT WHO CAN SHARE IT, REDISCOVERING WITH HIM THE JOY, EXCITEMENT, AND MYSTERY OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN."

                                                                                                                                                                                                             - RACHEL CARSON

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Program Coordinators

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Ursula Castaneda
Program Coordinator
Parent & Child Institute

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Karina Simon
Program Coordinator
Adventures in the Forest

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Mexican. Mom of two boys and one girl under 7. Waldorf Education certification. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Former Accountant,  self-taught Nutritionist and Childhood Advocate. Comfortable with English and Spanish languages. Mom at our community since 2016.  Committed to restoring childhood since 2018.

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Brasilian. Mom of a teenager and two school age children. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Psychologist. Former preschool teacher. Comfortable with English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2020. 

Facilitators at the Parent and Child Institute: IMAGINA, supports the community of Parents and Caregivers to set and understand their common objectives in parenting. The role of a Facilitator is to assist parents in planning how to achieve these objectives while understanding and validating the real needs and rights of the young children under their guidance. In doing so, the Facilitator remains "neutral" meaning they does not take a particular position in the topic but advise in an objective way for the adults to made their own decisions.

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Parent & Child Institute Team

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Ursula Castaneda
Facilitator

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Mexican. Mom of two boys and one girl under 7. Waldorf Education certification. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Former Accountant,  self-taught Nutritionist and Childhood Advocate. Comfortable with English and Spanish languages. Mom at our community since 2016.  Committed to restoring childhood since 2018.

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Vanessa Gil
Facilitator

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Katja von Elbe
Conscious Parenting Specialist

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American. Mom and Grandmother. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Master in Special Education and Certified Conscious Discipline consultant. Comfortable with German, Spanish and English languages. Former preschool teacher.  Committed to restoring Childhood since 2012. 

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Adventures in the Forest Team

    Oleta River State Park

Mentoring consists of a long-term relationship focused on supporting the growth and development of the mentee.  At the Forest Kindergarten, Mentors becomes a source of indirect wisdom, co-learning, with the responsibility to become a role model and support to discover life's wonders.  Mentors are observes that avoid to advise, give ideas, judgements or resolve conflicts between the children and during specific actions on their daily play.

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Karina Simon
Lead Mentor @ North Miami Beach 

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Brasilian. Mom of a teenager and two school age children. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Psychologist. Former preschool teacher. Comfortable with English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2020. 

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Lais Vidotto
Mentor @ North Miami Beach

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Brasilian. Volunteer. Mom of a preschooler. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist

Bachelor in Physical Theraphy.  Comfortable with Portuguese, Spanish and English languages.  Committed to restoring Childhood. since 2021.

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Ashley Whitaker
Mentor @ North Miami Beach

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American. Mom of a toddler, Bachelor of Science in Biology. Massage therapist and Certified Yoga instructor. Former community health education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Africa. Speaks English. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2022. 

    Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park

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Anita Armas
Lead Mentor @ North Miami

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Venezuelan. Mom of  a teenager girl.  Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Bachelor of Arts with

a major in Cinematography. Former tv producer.  Nature walks lover. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2018.

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Carolina Berdullas
Mentor @ North Miami

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Argentinian. Mom of two boys under 5, Bachelor in Hospitality and Management, currently seeking for a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education. Comfortable with Spanish and English languages. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2022. 

    Earth N' us Farm

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Josefina Prats
Lead Mentor @ Little River

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Argentinian. Mom of three girls (a baby, a toddler and a preschooler).  Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Psychologist. Former preschool teacher. Comfortable  with English and Spanish languages. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2020. 

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Katja von Elbe
Mentor @ Little River

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American. Mom and Grandmother. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Master in Special Education and Certified Conscious Discipline consultant. Comfortable with German, Spanish and English languages. Former preschool teacher.  Committed to restoring Childhood since 2012. 

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Patricia Leon
Mentor @ Little River

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Peruvian. Mom of a preteen. MBA and Educator Specialized in Andragogy, Leadership, Marketing and HR. Certified Forest Kindergarten Mentor by Cedarson Nature School. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Montessori Instructor Newborn to 6 years. Former Leadership Instructor at UPC Post-graduate Business School. Committed to restoring childhood since 2009.

"THERE IS NO NEED FOR FORCED LESSONS, LECTURES, ASSIGMENTS, TESTS, GRADES, SEGREGATION BY AGE INTO CLASSROOMS OR ANY OF THE OTHER TRAPPINGS OF OUR STANDAR, COMPULSORY SYSTEM OF SCHOOLING. ALL OF THESE , IN FACT, INTERFERE WITH CHILDREN'S NATURAL WAY OF LEARNING."                                                                                                                                                                            - PETER GRAY

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Miami Nature School
an Acton Academy Affiliated

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Luis Sarmiento

Miami Nature School Guide

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Peruvian. Dad of a preschooler. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Degree of arts in Philosophy and specialized in Mathematics Education. Musician and Chess, English and Mathematics tutor.  Parent at our Community since 2019 and Committed to restoring Childhood since 2020.

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Lee Friedman
Miami Nature School Guide

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Israeli. Mom of three school age children and one teenager. Certified Reggio Emilia instructor by Reggio Emilia Institute in Italy. Bachelor in Arts and Special Education. Hebrew Tutor. Former preschool teacher. Comfortable with English and hebrew languages. Committed to restoring Childhood since 2016.

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Claudia Santos
Miami Nature School Assistant

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American. Mom of a preschooler. Mentor in Training. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. Comfortable with Spanish and English languages.  Committed to restoring Childhood. since 2020.

"WE DISCOVERED THAT EDUATION IS NOT SOMETHING WHICH THE TEACHER DOES, BUT THAT IT IS A NATURAL PROCESS WHICH DEVELOPS SPONTANEOUSLY IN THE HUMAN BEING."

                                                                                                                                                                                                       - MARIA MONTESSORI

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Administrative & Support Team 

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Maria Havilland

Accountant

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Luz Elena Silva

Mint & Cocoa Photo

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Jonathan Eastman
Family Therapist & Game Master
Conscious Discipline Specialist

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Gloria Baena
Life Coach & Author
Spanish Literacy Specialist

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Samantha Garcia
Mentor Assistant

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Patricia Leon
Program Director Miami Nature PLAYschool
Executive Director & Co-Founder Miami Nature School
Founder The Childhood Nature Project

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Peruvian. Mom of a preteen. MBA and Educator Specialized in Andragogy, Leadership, Marketing and HR. Certified Forest Kindergarten Mentor by Cedarson Nature School. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Speaker at Forest Kindergarten Certification. Speaker at multiple annual Nature-Based Conferences about MNP Methodology. Montessori Instructor Newborn to 6 years. Former Leadership Instructor at UPC Post-graduate Business School. Former Independent Consultant at Cornell IRL. Speaker for Grupo Consulta at the Women Leadership Program for Hochschild Mining Co., Lima-Peru. Active volunteer with Let Grow, Surfrider, Friends of Oleta State River and Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. Board member of ERAFANS. It was a Badass Women of the Year in Business 2022 nominee by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. 

Committed to restoring childhood since 2011.

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Ana Maria Cordido
Head of School & Co- Founder
Miami Nature School

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Venezuelan. Mom of four boys under 7 years old.  Early Childhood Educator and Former Preschool Teacher. Certified Nature-Based Educator by Erafans. Speaker at multiple annual Nature-Based Conferences about MNP Methodology. Parent at our Community since 2016.

Committed to restoring childhood since 2017.