Announcing the International School of Cafayate

We are extremely pleased to announce the formation and upcoming inaugural year of the International School of Cafayate in La Estancia. The school will open in early November — the start of “The Season” at La Estancia for those of us fleeing the Northern Hemisphere winter. The school will serve the needs of all the full-time and temporary residents of La Estancia from ages 4 to 18, and also offer adult night school classes in Spanish (with additional programs added over time).

The school is very fortunate to have the services of two enthusiastic full time teachers this first year. The first is fellow LEC resident Katherine Senko. Katherine has a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, as well as a Master of Science degree in Secondary Education. She has been a high school biology and remedial science teacher, and has most recently been involved in designing training curriculum in the airline and aviation industry. She is also a commercially rated pilot.

Our other faculty member is Gabriela Feibel, a dual citizen of the US and Argentina. After growing up in Princeton, New Jersey Gabriela has divided her time between the Washington D.C. area and Mendoza. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Pre-Med Certificate from American University in Wash. D.C., where she captained the Division I swim team. She has been coaching swimming since a very young age, and has been teaching English at an institute in Mendoza where she was one of the most sought after teachers because of her effective teaching skills and innovative class activities. In addition to a passionate swimmer, she is an avid long distance runner and recently competed in her first triathlon.

The International School of Cafayate will offer a very innovative and unique learning environment for the varied students of La Estancia to reach their full potential. The emphasis will be to become lifelong self-learners, with the freedom to individually pursue each child’s most passionate interests in depth. Rather than a traditional classroom environment, the school will offer a mixture of individual, self-paced learning and tutoring, with combined group and extracurricular activities. Parents are encouraged to design their own curriculum for the year in conjunction with the faculty and outside experts to best fit the needs of each child. We will be making use of the latest in online and home school courses available for all age groups.

While we are still relatively early in the planning stages for the inaugural year, we envision having outside experts from the local community, and participating in an distant learning capacity, assist in teaching a variety of topics from wine making, cooking, advanced science topics, entrepreneurship, computer programming, astronomy, Austrian economics and more. The programs are designed to accommodate children who are only in residence for a few weeks at a time, to the full-time residents who will attend for the full season of November through May.

While some of the specifics are still being worked out, we will have an on-site classroom, (temporary until the Kid’s Club/Schoolhouse is finished next year) and we plan to tap into all of La Estancia and the local environment for enrichment activities. Among the students for the first year will be the two Galland children (ages 13 and 15), the two Kofod children (ages 12 and 15), the three Kinghorn children (aged 11, 10 and 8). There are a number of part-time residents who have also expressed interest in enrolling their children for a portion of the year.

Golf cartTuition for the school will start at US$275/week for each student or $6,500 for a full 7-month school year. (Absent additional enrollments, it is anticipated that the actual costs of the school in the inaugural year will exceed tuitions received, but those costs will be covered by the founding members.) For the first year, classes will start on November 1, and will run through the end of May. The planned holiday schedule is below.

In addition, Gabriela will be offering beginning and intermediate/advanced Spanish classes evenings during the week geared to the needs and interests of the residents. More details on that to come later in the year, but we expect the classes to be a great mix of education and entertainment, in a lively social atmosphere.

We hope you agree that this is a very important step for the burgeoning community at La Estancia de Cafayate. For more details on the International School, to register for a portion or all of the upcoming year, or to set up a time to meet the teachers to better determine how we can address your needs, or even how you can volunteer, please drop an email to Gary at and he’ll be happy to schedule a conversation.

Holiday Schedule

November 22-23 Thanksgiving (US),
December 18 – January 6 Christmas/New Year’s Summer Break,
March 25-29 Easter Week

School Board

Jane Russell
David Galland
Meghan Kofod
Gary Kinghorn


9 thoughts on “Announcing the International School of Cafayate

    • Hi Miriam,
      Thanks for your interest. Unfortunately, the school is not yet in a position to board students or even take on students without parents also being in residence. That will be something we’ll have to work up to in the coming years. – GK

  1. Great progress! Very vital for all of us with kids. What are full-time residents doing the rest of their year? Are there any plans?

    • Hi Stefan,
      We really look forward to having your kids join us! Our teacher Gabriela is fluent in German as well, by the way. In this first year, nearly all of the families with kids will be returning to the states in May or June, however, assuming all goes well, we will likely come back and start school in September next year and, realizing that we are catering to the needs of families in both hemispheres, we may eventually move to a more year-round schedule, with maybe one month off in winter, and one off in summer, or with a more limited staff June-Sept. We are certainly flexible and will cater to the needs of the families in full-time residence when they come. – GK

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  3. My wife and I are extremely excited about this initiative! We were holding off building our home until something like this was in place at LEC. Now we feel much more comfortable moving forward…

    Please keep us up to date as you make progress.

    • Hey Mark,
      That’s great to hear. We’d love to hear more about your kids and we look forward to having them join us. We are making great progress getting organized for our first set of students this fall. Maybe you’ll be coming down to the owner’s event this November and have a chance to meet the teachers and the parents that have been putting this all together? (While you start to think about getting your home construction plans going?). Let us know if you have any specific questions in the meantime.
      — Gary

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