Arizmendi Ikastola is a basque, educational cooperative, which, despite being born in the 21st century, is rooted in 1967. That year, San Frantzisko Xabier Ikastola, pioneer among basque teaching schools in the valley of Léniz, began its path in Arrasate/ Mondragon. Later on, other Ikastolas would arise; Loramendi in Aretxabaleta (1968) and José Arana in Eskoriatza (1970), also pioneers in basque teaching in their corresponding towns.
As a result, the educational offer of the Valley of Léniz changed: Almen took steps towards becoming an Ikastola (197273), together with the kindergarten UmeZaintza (198081) and the school San Viator (1981). In order to make the interaction between the various Ikastolas of the valley easier, the group Hezibide was created (1971), by means of which different perspectives and schoolactivities were coordinated. It would have been very difficult to understand the creation of the Arizmendi Ikastola without considering the huge effort made by Hezibide in gathering all those Ikastolas. Indeed, such Ikastolas bore in mind one of the principles of Jose María Arizmendiarrieta, which stated that “we should look for the mutual understanding and take into account any contribution made by anybody who has something to say”. Following this, all of them which belonged to the group Hezibide decided to become integral cooperatives, including 3 types of partners: Parents, professionals and collaborators.
With the aim of responding the demand of a unified, basque, cooperative, preundergraduate education in the valley of Leniz, the Ikastolas belonging to the group Hezibide decided to set up a secondrank cooperative, Arizmendi Ikastola (1999), with the same educational project. Its objective in the first decade of the 21st century was the pedagogical and legal unification. The challenge now resides in developing in the valley the Ikastola as a unique educational model.
Arizmendi Ikastola works for its students to be basque, cooperative people who are able to respond to different situations of life from their basque and cooperative identity. The Ikastola wants an alternative education for an alternative school.