Antonio Macia, Founder
Stepping Stone Foundation
In the fall of 2011, I was invited by my church to direct a pair of profiles in Guatemala as part of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign. I was impressed and humbled by the members’ dedication to living gospel principles and their testimonies.
In Xela, we visited with the sisters, Michelle and Leslie Paniagua, the founders of the Beehive School. They were full of energy and dedicated their lives to education. Michelle shared with me how her two oldest sons were diagnosed with autism. Michelle and Leslie, both teachers, realized that the school system wouldn’t be able to provide the support her children needed. As a family, they turned personal tragedy into an opportunity to create the Beehive School to ensure Michelle’s children would receive the very best education.
Starting with only twenty-five students, the Beehive School now instructs over 300 students on a beautiful campus nestled on the outskirts of Xela. Every member of family sacrifices and contributes to run the school on a daily basis.
The school is non-denominational, but is inspired by LDS principles. The irony of this is that because the school is private, and expensive for local standards, most LDS families in the area cannot afford to send their young children to the school.
I want to change that. We can change that. My goal is to provide a handful of scholarships to deserving students based on academic promise and need. I believe in the power of education. It can transform an individual, their family, and a community.
Our ultimate goal is for these children are to be future leaders. Armed with a top-notch education and strong moral foundation, these children will be future leaders in the Church and community. These are future missionaries, Bishops, Relief Society Presidents, and other local leaders.
The Beehive School
“We love education, and we are always trying to incorporate new ideas in our school with new activities that help instill in our students a fresh way at the world. We are always looking to the future. We have visited schools in the US & Spain to learn new teaching methods.”