Virtual Admissions Center

While classes are not being held on the PAS campus, our Admission Office remains open at this time and we continue to accept applications for the 2020-2021 school year.

The PAS Admissions Team is available and ready to help connect your family with Costa Rica’s Best Private Preschool to Grade 12 education. We have several options available below for your convenience or feel free to call our Admissions Team on +506 2298-5700

Virtual Admissions Center

Important Information

Thank you for visiting our site.  Please be aware that we have activated our COVID-19 protocol and will be running online classes from Wednesday 11 to Monday 13 April.  Parents and students can access the Virtual School Plan here .

The health and safety of students and our school community is our highest priority. We have implemented a COVID-19 Risk Management Matrix to ensure that we are taking all appropriate steps to provide a safe campus for all members. 

At this time we are only able to support a very limited number of visits to our school under strict conditions; please contact us at if you would like to discuss this, or to arrange a virtual meeting.

 We will update this message once the situation changes.  

Thank you for your understanding at this time.

Alan Wrafter
General Director
Welcome from our General Director

Welcome to Pan-American School, the first IB continuum school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Costa Rica. We are happy to introduce you to our educational community.

Since opening in 1971, we are known as one of the most prestigious mid-sized institutions providing fully bilingual English-Spanish education in Costa Rica. We are approved for awarding diplomas by the Ministry of Education, and have received international accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) of the United States. We are authorized as a IB World School and are members of the Association of Private Education Schools (ACEP), the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Our school mission, vision, and philosophy and our staff’s commitment are aimed at graduating well-rounded, responsible global citizens. Our educational program is based on core values which are essential in facing today’s challenges.

Through the use of cutting edge technology and close contact with our environment, as well as direct involvement in service learning projects, our students are able to develop a sensitive and critical awareness of the world.

Our medium size (approximately 600 students) and our low 1:6 teacher to student ratio allows us to provide individualized attention and focus on building confident students with leadership skills. Our graduates leave prepared to successfully pursue higher studies in national and international colleges and universities.

Our campus was designed by a world-renowned architect to harmonize with the natural beauty of our setting and provide an ideal environment for learning. As the school grows, additional buildings of the Master Plan are constructed to accommodate our needs.

We are very proud of our students, future citizens and leaders, who possess firm values and academic excellence. We invite you to be part of this successful journey.

If you would like to receive more information about our school, please call (506) 2298-5701 or send us a e-mail us at

To make an appointment to visit our beautiful campus, located in San Antonio de Belén, Heredia, Costa Rica please click Visit us

We hope you will join our educational community!

PAS, a World School Community, where:
Students are Creators,
Teachers are Facilitators,
Parents are Supporters.

Mission & Vision

Pan-American School prepares internationally-engaged individuals, committed to the pursuit of excellence, and who make meaningful contributions to their country and to the global community.

Pan-American School aspires to be a leading bilingual World School in Central America.


Pan-American School is authorized by the Ministry of Education, and is accredited internationally by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) of the United States. We are authorized as a World School to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), and are members of the Association of Private Education Schools (ACEP), the Association of American Schools of Central America (AASCA), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Educational Philosophy

At Pan-American School we believe that:

An international learning community is comprised of diverse teachers, staff, students and parents who are committed to the formation of citizens prepared to face the challenges of living in and contributing to an increasingly globalized world.

Learning is an active and lifelong process in which all members of our educational community participate and strive for excellence.

A well-rounded education includes logical reasoning, languages, artistic sensitivity, social awareness, physical and mental health, and critical thinking. It allows for the nurture of each person’s special interests, qualities, and talents through real-life learning experiences and diverse educational opportunities.

The acquisition of skills and knowledge should be applied to the development of a social conscience and a commitment to peace, democracy, cultural diversity, and service to humanity.

A stimulating learning environment includes a safe, comfortable and attractive campus, and a supportive and happy atmosphere.

The continuous practice of values shapes the moral-ethical and spiritual character of each person.

Education Beyond the Classroom and Learning Support Services:

Library and Research Center
Science Laboratories
Audio Recording Studio
Ample Sports Facilities
Co-curriculars and Opportunities
Learning Support Services
Counseling and Psychological Services
College and Career Counseling
Learning Specialists
Service Learning and Community, Activity and Service (CAS)
Ecological Programs
Health Services
Language Support
Tutoring and Special Needs Services


Pan-American School is located in San Antonio de Belén, and consists of over 35,000 m2 with five classroom buildings designed for learning in harmony with nature. Surrounding cities include Santa Ana, Escazú, Belén, Ciudad Colón, Heredia, and Alajuela. It is close to main national roads (Rte. 147, 1 and 27), shopping centers, and the airport.

Our campus provides ample areas for study and play, and is framed by a variety of trees and flowering shrubs. In addition to academic facilities such as three science laboratories, a Library and Research Center, a recording studio, and specialized music and art classrooms, we have playgrounds, several sports fields for soccer, basketball, volleyball, an athletic track, and two multi purpose gymnasiums, one with 600 square meters and the other is 1,250 square meters.

With two entrances and exits for the convenience of our community, the campus has been specially designed to insure access, safety and security for the members of our community. Solar energy, recycling, energy saving-efforts, and community involvement have led us to earn the maximum 5-star Blue Ecological Flag award from the Ministry of Education.

Rental of Facilities:

Many of the areas of the campus of Pan-American School are available for rental on a one-time or regular basis during hours and days when classes are not in session. For more information contact us at or call 2298-5700.

Pan-American School Facts

Total Enrollment


International Students


Countries represented

Class size average


Student - teacher ratio







The idea for starting Pan-American School goes back to the Primary School of the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IICA) in Turrialba, Costa Rica. There, James Genis implemented an educational philosophy so successful he was motivated to bring the concept to San José, the capital city.

Pan-American School began March 2, 1971 in Los Yoses, San José with 35 students and five teachers. Its special philosophy promoted rapid growth which caused the school to move to Barrio México and later Escazú and Guachipelín. The school’s learning environment of respect, leadership and camaraderie inspired a group of parents wishing to have their children continue studying under Mr.Genis’ philosophy to create the Secondary School. This section opened its doors in 1993 in a converted house in Los Laureles, Escazú.

The new millennium brought the integration of the Primary School and the Secondary School in modern installations in San Antonio, Belén, Heredia. In 2006 it received its first international accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). Since 2010 the school has offered a Middle School for grades 6-8 to provide a smooth transition between Primary and Secondary. In 2015 the School was authorized as a World School to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Our beloved “Mister” continues to visit the school and is a Board member. A great friend of students, he ensures that all the principles that formed the school in 1971 are still the basis for our educational program.