As executive director of the Strachan Foundation, a small family foundation established to promote social investment in Latin America through grants of up to $20,000 awarded to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) in six countries, Tello can offer restorative practices training to organizations throughout the region. So far he and his staff have trained three organizations in Guatemala, two in Panama, one in San Salvador, one in Nicaragua and a school in Costa Rica. Said Tello, “There is a huge thirst for restorative practices. Once people experience it they want to know more; they want more training.”

Tello is working to bring restorative practices to schools in Costa Rica and has trained teachers and administrators at the Country Day School in San José, where his own children are students. Said William Large, principal of the elementary school, “In 20 years of teaching, I have not found anything as effective as restorative circles for working with children and solving conflicts. It is the best thing I’ve ever seen in action.” Large discussed the successful resolution of a bullying incident using a circle. In another circle students who had been talking negatively about a teacher spoke candidly to the teacher about how they felt, which resulted in improved relationships.

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