Meet The Team

Vanessa and Ryan Lavigne



We are very proud to welcome you to our school, located in the beautiful rural village of Ayampe situated in a valley surrounded by ocean, cloud forest and river. Nature is therefore incorporated into our school and the children are encouraged to spend time outside as much as possible.


Our open classrooms inspire students to connect with their environment, chase adventure, and pursue their passions. It’s a time for fun, laughter, exploration and inquiry while building relationships, expressing creativity and getting dirty.

Mindfulness is another  huge component of the school, the children are exposed to yoga, breathing exercies; all helping to teach the children to deal with their emotions, stress and educating them about their bodies and healthy life choices.  

Roots and Wings opened in 2018 and each year we are growing and improving. We have great plans for the future. 

Jennifer Hendriks

 Kinder Teacher 

I am from France and I have a Master Degree in Urban Development from a top French Political Sciences School. I have had the great opportunity to spend one year in India and six months in Canada. 

I have worked for almost two years as a consultant in an agency dedicated to pedagogical innovation before going back to the university to get a degree in Primary Teaching. With this new certification, I could start doing what I love most : teaching ! 

For me teaching is above all accompanying the children to gain in confidence, independence and curiosity; it’s transmitting them the desire to learn by giving meaning to what we learn; it’s making them the main actors of the learning process. I believe that the teacher is here to create the favourable context for it : how to arise the curiosity of the children ? How to make them question and think ? How to create a safe environment so that they dare to try, to make mistakes and to try again until they understand and learn through experience ? How to make learning a pleasure and not an obligation? Asking me those questions, again and again, is what I find so interesting about this job!

I have worked for two years in French public schools and for one year in a private bilingual (French-English) school. I have thrived in this job, teaching is such a passion for me ! However, I felt I could not really be the teacher I wanted to be in the limits imposed by the French Education system. That’s why after three years I decided to take some distance, go traveling for a year in South America and get the Yoga Teacher Certification that I had been dreaming of for so long. I am happy that I have finally arrived in Ayampe, and have found  a school that shares my values about education ☺ 

Simone Parianos

My name is Simone, I am new to Ecuador and very excited to be the Primary Years Teacher at Roots and Wings. I hold a yoga, archaeology and English teacher certification and I am in the process of obtaining my Master of Primary Teaching.


My philosophy is every child is unique and with support and the right tools provided they can achieve their greatest learning potential filled with laughter and smiles along the way. Learning is fun and it is my goal to help inspire my students to realise that so they feel engaged and empowered to take control by stirring the ship of their own learning journey.


I grew up in sunny Australia and spent the last eight years working as a diagnostic nurse until I realised my calling to Education. I am passionate about giving back to my community and absolutely loved working in healthcare. My hobbies included cooking, singing, yoga, being outdoors and learning Spanish. I hope to get to know the Ayampe community personally so if you see me around don't hesitate to say "Hola" or "G'day"!".

Primary Teacher

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Contact Us

Tel: (593) 95 976 9346



Roots and Wings

Ayampe, Manabi, Ecuador