The name Ledalero means “the hill where the sun beams on”. It was founded in 1937 by the SVD, which is “The Society of the Divine Word” missionaries. In 1969 it was recognized by the government as an institution of higher education. In the year 2000 Ledalero officially reinterpreted their main mission to dialog, though the school still pursues to continue Christ’s work.
In 1992 it was a big earthquake which destroyed almost all the buildings. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami which had a great impact on Flores Island. After the disaster bamboo barracks were constructed to have rooms for teaching the students.
The SVD started their mission in 1913 in Timor. SVD was involved not only with religion, but also development of the society and brought technological innovations with them. Flores would be radically different without the effort of the missionaries. After the Dutch colonization Flores was abandoned by the authorities.
The educational program of Ledalero is split in two parts. The first part (similar to a bachelor degree) consists of philosophy, anthropology, psychology, theology and human science. The students are sent to practice around Indonesia or in the overseas programs of the school. The second part of the education is similar to a master program. The school used to have lecturers from all over the world, but now all the lecturers are Indonesian. Many of them have studied in foreign countries, e.g. anthropology in Australia or theology in Rome. The main reason for the decline in foreign lecturers is that the government has restricted the access of foreign missionaries.