Be the Change You Want to See

Chrissy and Geoff go to Guatemala City to help children and families living in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump with Safe Passage/Camino Seguro.

Here we go!
Geoff and I are planning a service learning trip to work with children and families at Camino Seguro's school in Guatemala City. We head down April 14, 2013 with Wheelock College's Alumni group. We will spend time in classrooms working with students, maybe work in the kitchen to help prepare meals, or help families by cataloging or distributing donated items. 
(All donations from this campaign will be given to Safe Passage/Camino Seguro to cover the cost of our volunteering and to improve the school and systems. The levels of donation are showing examples of what Camino can do with the money. Donations are where they are most needed and are 100% tax deductable.)

When I was a senior at Wheelock in 2005, I took a trip to Guatemala City to volunteer with Camino Seguro/Safe Passage. It was a life-changing experience to give my time and energy to such an important cause. I spent time learning about the Guatemalan culture, history, and language. When we were there, I worked in the guarderia with 2 year old children. These adorable children lived in the Guatemala City garbage dump, the largest of its kind in Central America.

Feeling a connection with Guatemala, I went back in 2011 to present at the International Reading Association conference. At that time, I visited schools across the GC area and trained teachers in reading instruction. I met so many teachers from across the country at one of the only professional development opportunities provided to them. Talking with the teachers and touring their schools, it struck me how privileged we are here in America. Even with our faults, problems, and poverty, we are still leaps and bounds ahead of most regions of this world.

We need YOU. We need your support and help to provide donations for Camino. While we would love to take items like school supplies with us, customs and the G government make that difficult. We will be accepting donations through this website to give to Camino directly so that they may buy local and sustainable supplies. 

Safe Passage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working in Guatemala City to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families living in extreme poverty around the City's garbage dump. The program includes approximately 550 children, from 2 to 21 years, coming from nearly 300 families in the surrounding neighborhoods. Safe Passage enables the children enrolled in the program to attend Guatemalan public school by providing financial support to cover costs of enrollment (public school is not free), school supplies, and uniforms. The Educational Reinforcement Center is where these school-age children come for a hot meal, homework help, medical care, sports and art programming, and a safe place to socialize. The Early Education Program uses the Planting Seeds methodology and serves children through first grade as a registered Guatemalan school. The Adult Literacy Program and Social Entrepreneurship Program offer similar resources for the pre-school-aged children as well as mothers and fathers living and working in the dump and surrounding neighborhoods. The programs are desinged so that each child and parent can gain the skills needed to obtain stable jobs, to be self-sufficient, and to lead their families out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way. 

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Chrissy Howard 
Worcester, MA
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