Last July, Dr. Deb Walters, a retired scientist and grandmother from Maine, left her hometown in her kayak. Paddling alone through the Intracoastal Waterway and then along the Great Mayan Reef, she intends to reach her final destination, Guatemala, around May 2015.
What drove Dr. Walters to take this unusual trip? Why Guatemala?
As she would gladly explain to anyone she meets along the way, she’s kayaking over 2,500 miles to raise awareness about Safe Passage‘s labor in Guatemala. For the past 15 years, this organization has worked with families from Guatemala City’s garbage dump community. Its goal is to break the poverty cycle through education, hence their holistic education programs that focus on three key areas: Full Day Education from preschool to 2nd grade, Educational Reinforcement with tutoring, career counseling, complementary sports and arts programs, and Adult Literacy and Social Entrepreneurship.
Safe Passage empowers the poorest, at-risk children of families working in the community of the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, by creating opportunities and fostering dignity and self-esteem through the power of education.” -Safe Passage’s Mission Statement
Dr. Walters visited Guatemala City dump nine years ago. Since then she has become an advocate for Safe Passage’s cause. Besides raising awareness, she also intends to raise $150,000 that would allow to add 3rd and 4th grades to the Safe Passage school. She is currently in Atlantic City and has already raised a little over $70,000. For more information you can visit Safe Passage’s website.
How can you help?
Deb is undertaking a couragous mission, but it would not be possible without the help and support of our sponsors and a host of wonderful volunteers. Deb will be carrying her food, water and gear for camping, but would welcome offers of a bed along the way. To host Deb, or help out in other ways, click here. You can also sponsor per mile, follow the blog, find events to attend, read articles and stories, and learn about our generous corporate sponsors.”