April 24, 2023

Our School Spotlight series showcases what makes our global community so special, shining a light on the individual strengths of our exceptional learning environments and understanding the benefits of being part of our wider community. April’s Spotlight falls on the outstanding Colegio Olinca in Mexico City, Mexico. Hear about the school’s embedded commitment to sustainability, featuring student voices on the important topic.


To understand Olinca it is necessary to go to the origin of its name, it is made up of two indigenous-Nahuatl words: ollin (movement) and atl (water), which translates as “moving water”. We are deeply proud of our Mexican roots while maintaining a global perspective.

Olinca is a bilingual international school that provides academic excellence while developing abilities and skills for life. Based on a global perspective with an integrated curriculum, we provide social-emotional support with a social and environmental commitment. Our mission is to form well-rounded, confident, capable and committed human beings.

Since the school’s inception in 1973, we have stood out for being at the forefront of new trends such as the adoption of the International Baccalaureate into our educational services in the 1980s. Likewise, the incorporation of a community service programme starting from Kindergarten and more recently, the adoption of the global goals of the 2030 UN agenda for all our academic levels.

We are a community passionate about meaningful education with a deep social and environmental commitment, inspired by ensuring everything we undertake contributes to our own lives and the lives of others.

  • We educate for life:
  • Taking care of Caring for ourselves
  • Caring for others
  • Caring for the planet

As our students’ physical and emotional development is one of our main priorities, Cognita’s wellbeing and safeguarding programmes have helped us to improve our commitment to ensure safe environments for our school community.

We understand academic excellence as a continuous improvement, we have high standards without compromising the well-being of students. There are also a wide variety of extracurricular programmes embedded throughout school life; Arts, coding, chess, community service to name only a few. These programmes help students to discover their talents, passions and understand themselves better. Olinca graduates are well-rounded individuals who have an excellent grip on key life skills and a solid critical mind that they use to achieve their goals with commitment to social and climate issues.

One example of a cultural and sustainably-minded exchange is the Conozca México programme. As part of the programme, we visit different states of our country (Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Querétaro, Veracruz and Morelos, among others). The main goal is for students to “discover” natural protected areas of great cultural and environmental relevance, allowing them to appreciate first-hand, the fauna and flora of Mexico and how communities manage this heritage.

Focused on educating for life and with social and environmental commitment, we form students who are problem solvers and confident, critical thinkers. We recently held the 20th edition of our Model United Nations (OLINMUN) and the main objective is to raise awareness of global issues in young people by opening up new perspectives. The programme encourages whole school involvement and we invited students from more than 15 schools to debate and propose solutions to worldwide issues.

Some of our students share why sustainability is so important for them:

“Nuestro programa de servicio comunitario está muy completo. Trabajamos en éste desde que éramos pequeños y cerramos con un proyecto en el que aplicamos todo lo aprendido. [“Our community service programme is very fulfilling. We worked on it since we were little and we ended with a project where we applied everything we have learnt.”]

Mi proyecto se centró en hacer un cambio para poder salvar a nuestro planeta. Gracias a todas las etapas necesarias del proyecto de servicio comunitario, pude observar con detalle lo necesario para realizar este cambio.” [My project focused on making a change in order to save our planet. Thanks to all the necessary milestones of the community service project, I was able to observe in detail what is necessary to make this change.”]

Prep School student: TANIA GARCIA ZENDEJAS

“Participar en las actividades de Ecología me han enseñado que ayudar al planeta no es algo que requiera ni mucho esfuerzo ni sacrificios es solo tener la iniciativa e informarte como lo puedes lograr.” [“Participating in Ecology activities has taught me that helping the planet is not something that requires a lot of effort or sacrifice, it is just about having the initiative and finding out how you can do it”.]


We appreciate Colegio Olinca for sharing their story with us and for taking a leadership role in promoting sustainability in our global community. To commemorate Earth Day on April 22, 2023, we are excited to announce a new initiative led by Colegio Olinca that will unite schools from around the world to showcase their sustainable efforts. The outcome of this initiative will be shared on World Environment Day, June 5, 2023.