In the heart of the central east side, this location is blocks from Buckman School. In operation in this location since 2010. Serving children ages 6 months to 5 years of age.
Take a Peek at Our Space
Infant and Toddler
6 months at the start of the school session
Ratio 3 children to 1 adult
16 months at the start of the school session
Ratio 4 children to 1 adult
One nap a day
24 months at the start of the school session
Actively learning preschool skills
Beginning to work on toileting skills
Starting to put on shoes/pants/coats independently
Using words to communicate
Building relationships, social skills and larger group (community) skills.
Ratio 5 children to 1 adult
Preschool and Kindergarten
30 months at the start of the school session
Ratio 5 children to 1 adult (group size 10)
This group is actively working on:
*Actively practicing self dressing skills (put on shoes/pants/coats independently)
*Using words to communicate and express feelings
*Building relationships, social skills and larger group (community) skills.
36 months at the start of the school session
Ratio 10 children to 1 adult
All must have mastered preschool skills
Diaper free and confident with toileting skills
Using words to communicate
Actively participant in larger group (community) activities
48 months at the start of the school session
Pre-k student to teacher ratio is 10 students to 1 teacher.
All of our programs are located at 1111 SE Pine Street!
We offer half day (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and full day programs (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Due to high demand and a robust waitlist, we are not offering tours unless we are able to offer your family a spot in our program. We do send updates to our waitlist several times a month to keep you updated. Additionally, the childcare industry, in general, is struggling with hiring. We are currently putting enrollment on hold while we focus on staff retention and hiring. We appreciate your understanding.
Our Southeast Teachers
I am so excited to join the Escuela Viva community at the SE location. I grew up in Portland and pursued an education at the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Educational Foundations. While attending school, I was also a student teacher at the child development center on campus, where I worked with children ages six months to 6 years old and quickly fell in love with Early Childhood Education. After completing my undergraduate degree in 2016, I immediately obtained my Masters's in Curriculum and Teaching with a focus on elementary education. While in my graduate program, I realized how much I missed learning from and assisting in children's growth in early education programs. After moving back to the Portland area, I started working at a local preschool until hearing about Escuela Viva from one of the families in the Escuela Viva community. I am passionate about outdoor education, teaching through music and movement, and finding projects that combine children’s interests. Outside school, I enjoy camping, crafting, hiking, and reading.
Hello Escuela Viva families. My name is Vanessa Vizcaino. I am 23 years old; I grew up in southern Oregon and spent a lot of my summers in Mexico immersing myself in the culture, traditions and language. I relocated to Portland in 2020. I have worked in early childhood since I was 18 and I have 5 years of experience working with children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age in Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and Montessori centers.I was exposed to childcare at a young age because my mom worked in the field for 18 years. I started nannying early on and was with a family for about 6 years before I transitioned into working at early childhood centers full time. I have worked with the local school district, the state as a PSW, and preschools as well. I absolutely love working with children. I love teaching and I love all the wonderful things we can learn from children. When I am not working, I love exploring the outdoors, traveling, and going to local farmers markets
Hello, my name is Belicia Cervantes, and I’m so excited to join the Escuela Viva community. I am 23 years old and grew up in a small town called Alturas, California. I then received my bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in applied psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Since my senior year in college, I have worked with children through ABA therapy and, most recently, as a substitute teacher in Sacramento, California. I recently moved to Vancouver, Washington, and am excited to explore all the PNW offers.
I am passionate about working with children and developing a community where they feel safe and inclusive, with an emphasis on art and sensory activities.
When not at work, I usually try to pick up new craft-related hobbies such as embroidery or crochet. I also spend much time exploring unique nature and food places with my family and friends.
I grew up on the edge of a redwood forest in Santa Cruz, CA. I have a passion for nature, and enjoy backpacking, trail running, and exploring different natural landscapes. I have a degree in ceramic sculpture and I maintain an art practice in my personal studio in the industrial district of Northwest Portland. I have been working in child care facilities for the last 9 years ranging through a variety of educational approaches. After several extended trips to South America with a dear friend from Colombia, I have developed a love for both the language and many cultures spanning the continent. While I am still learning the language, I have built a foundation in Spanish to jump off of and engage further with the children. I enjoy helping children to find their passions and explore the world with a touch of creativity and curiosity. I am excited to teach with Escuela Viva and also learn along with a new group of children.
Hello, my name is Isaac Mendoza I am 21 years old, and my cultural background is Latino. I lived in New Mexico for 21 years, with my mom and dad who are bilingual. I have always wanted to work with children once I realized how much fun it was when I was helping my High School soccer coach in his special education classroom. After High school I started working with the City of Las Cruces in an after-school program, I worked there for 2 years or so before moving to Portland to start a new adventure with my wife Katalina. I am still trying to go to school for my special education degree but I’m on hold for a bit after the move since it can be stressful. I am currently also trying to become a tattooing artist and my teaching degree.
Hola, my name is Nico!
I was raised in a small town in Southern California by my two parents, who were born and raised in Mexico, so we held a Spanish-only speaking home. I later moved to San Francisco to pursue a degree in psychology with a focus on child development. I started working in childcare as soon as possible, with experience starting in 2018 as a nanny to 2023 as an aftercare teacher and several engaging experiences in between. I am now excited to be working with the team at escuela viva!
Hello! My name is Julian Syga. I am 30 and moved to Portland, Oregon, about two years ago from Southern California. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a Human Development degree and a Child Development minor. I have a passion for working with children and have experience for the past seven years as a behavior therapist, assistant teacher, lead teacher, and site supervisor. When I’m not at Escuela Viva, I enjoy spending time at home with my partner, dog, and cat. I also enjoy cooking, reading/listening to audiobooks, and listening to music. I am so excited to be a part of Escuela Viva and experience all the learning and growing alongside the children!
Hola! My Name is Maria & I have worked at Escuela Viva since 2019. I started as a substitute at Escuela Viva and sub at other schools in the Portland area, like Wild Lilac & In a Child’s Path. By 2020 I started co-teaching the Sapitos classroom (1-2 y/o), and by 2022, I moved into the Tortuguitas classroom.
I am now a head teacher for the Tortuguitas and the Estrellitas. I also help with hiring, orientation, training, and staff development.
One of the main reasons I love Escuela Viva is because I get to speak/teach my first language, Spanish. It is quite a privilege to pass down the language my parents have taught me.
I was born and raised in Portland but I often travel to Mexico to visit mi familia. I am a mother of an 11 y/o. Children can do anything with lots of love, compassion & support. It truly takes a village to raise a kid. <3 :)
Howdy! My name is Edie Mahle, and I am so excited to begin working here at Escuela Viva as a teacher's aide. Since 2017, I have been actively learning how to curate a space for children to explore their creative needs through various positions. Graduating from Portland State University in 2021 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Art History and a Minor in Spanish, my transdisciplinary education reflects my creative, community-based ambitions and passions. With interest in cultivating a community through art practices, I have over four years of working in early art education through Fort Worth, Texas, and Portland, Oregon’s Young Rembrandts programs. Since 2020, I have worked with Portland’s local non-profit organization, EQFoundations, which brings art therapy to kids and teens living in government-run facilities. In September of 2022, I helped create and open Multnomah’s new pre-kindergarten school, KinderPrep, and have since worked as their art teacher. My goal in coming to Escuela Viva is not to instruct children but to encourage their developing interests and entertain their curiosities through the Reggio Amelia approach to education.
I grew up in Southern California and lived there until August 2021, when I moved to Portland. When I was younger, I spent my summers going on road trips through California or playing "summer school" with my family. Growing up raised by educators, I also spent much of my free time volunteering in classrooms, whether decorating or helping with lesson plans. During my free time, I enjoy reading, drawing, and cooking. Someday, I'd like to travel abroad with my husband and sister to Japan to see the cherry blossoms bloom.
My name is Marisol Pichardo Barrales. I'm originally from Oaxaca, Mexico and Spanish was my first language. I am a pastry chef at heart and I love activities related to art, creativity and culture. Thanks to this skill, I was invited by the Albina Early Head Start and Jason Lee Early Head Start schools to share recipes and do baking projects with the children. I have been a volunteer at Sacajawea Early Head start while one of my children attended that program. It was very fun and exciting interacting with the children that I decided to work as a preschool teacher.
I started the adventure of working in early childhood in April 2015 until now in Escuela Viva performing different roles. I am currently taking child development classes and training at Mount Hood Community College to continuously improve my job performance. As a teacher, I think that theory and experience are good tools to support our children, but imagination is the pencil with which the child paints their best adventures.
Saira Ruiz Madrigal
Hello my name is Saira Ruiz, I am 23 years old My pronouns are She/Her. I have a 6-year-old dog named Rocky. I was born and raised here in Portland Oregon and my family is from Mexico, my parents came to the United States about 30 years ago and raised my brother and me here. I try to spend as much time as I can In Mexico visiting my family, I enjoy traveling and creating amazing memories. I recently graduated with my Associate in Early Childhood Development from Mt.Hood Community College. I have always wanted to work with children and I am very excited to work at Escuela Viva! I have 3 years of work experience with children. I worked at a home daycare and also a childcare center. I love learning new things and expanding my knowledge by working with children.
My name is Tammy (they/them), and I am so excited to join the Escuela Viva community. After a childhood spent in Los Angeles, I moved to San Francisco for school where I studied Child and Adolescent Development, as well as Art and Gender Studies. I got my first job in preschool at 18 years old, and after over a decade later, I still cannot think of a better place to be! I love sharing space with young people, and learning (and unlearning) alongside them. Community is very important to me, and I dedicate a lot of my energy towards building an intentional community filled with warmth, authenticity, and respect. When not working, I organize with the Portland Childcare Collective, as well as local groups supporting Reproductive Justice . I also love to spend time creating art, harvesting food at the coast with my partner, cooking for friends, and growing food in my garden.
Hi, my name is Jasmin. I’m from Portland and live with my sister helping her raise my nephew.
In my free time, I like to spend time with my nephew and dog (Luna) and we go on walks. I enjoy meeting new people and having good conversations. I also really enjoy going out eating and Latin music. I speak both Spanish and English. I went to school in Mexico when I was younger and I visit there often.
Hello! My name is Mayah and I am a substitute here at Escuela Viva. I have been volunteering at Escuela Viva since I was 14 years old and attended here as a child. I have been surrounded by Spanish since I was a baby, Escuela Viva was a large part of that. I took Spanish beginning in middle school and high school. I just graduated from Lincoln high school last year but have been babysitting infants, toddlers, and older children since I was 13 years old for numerous families, some from Escuela Viva! In high school, I also worked with 4th- 8th graders as a softball camp counselor and worked several weeks as a counselor for Oregon’s Outdoor School program. During those weeks, I was able to experience and appreciate the wonders that an outdoor and hands-on learning environment can do for a child’s development. I was able to experience the other side of learning outdoors as a student last summer when I participated in a three-month backpacking adventure where I learned about living harmoniously with the natural world. Being able to learn and teach outdoors is very special to me and held a pivotal role in molding me into who I am today.
Creativity is another feature of education that I greatly value. I love everything that has to do with the arts and expression, and even though I might not be talented in all aspects of it, I like to practice many of its different forms. Drawing, sewing, and embroidery playing the guitar, writing, and painting are all forms of art that I enjoy doing and sharing with others. Being able to express oneself can be difficult for some, and for me, art is an important part of reflecting and being able to move about the world in a kind and loving manner. I am very excited to be working here at the school as I have a deep appreciation of early learning and childcare programs. I believe early education is critical in advancing children in the world, as it provides them with skills to communicate, problem-solve, and act with compassion and love. I am looking forward to sharing my wonderment of nature and creativity with the children of the Escuela Viva community.
Angie Garcia, MSW
Hola, my name is Angie Garcia and I am the owner and multi-site director of Escuela Viva. I was born and raised in Oregon and I am the proud granddaughter of migrant workers from Fabens Texas. They instilled in all of us the value of hardwork and the importance of getting an education, which is how I landed here. I began my educational journey after graduating from Portland State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts and in 1997 with a Masters of Social Work. I worked in the field of Domestic Violence as a social worker. In all of my work I have had the honor of working with an array of vulnerable populations, children, domestic violence survivors, the aging, and those in recovery. I have worked for Multnomah County managing Child Abuse Prevention contracts, and the State of Oregon as a permancy worker. When I had my first child and could not find the early childhood program I wanted for her, I started Escuela Viva in the basement of my home. We opened our doors to the first group of children in July of 2004.
Using my life to be of service to others, is at the heart of all I do. With this in at the forefront, I created Escuela Viva's purpose statement:
To create a highly respected revolutionary early childhood program/model that directly enhances the lives of the whole school community and contributes to the betterment of our community at large.
Our school community works tirelessly to this end.
When I am not working, I am living the life of a single mama. I have two amazing children, Mayah and Eddie.
We live in Portland, where we hike, meditate, cook and bake, garden and share a lot of love and laughter with our community of family and friends.