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Safe Passage | Camino Seguro

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Human Services, International, International Relief

Mission: 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 through the power of education.

Target demographics: foster hope, education and opportunity

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 550 children, ranging in age from 2 to 21 years, and 100 mothers, coming from nearly 300 families in the surrounding neighborhoods

Geographic areas served: Guatemala City

Programs: education, health services, English, adult literacy, creative expression, arts, social entrepreneurship and more for the children and families living and working in extreme poverty around the Guatemala City garbage dump. Our administrative staff, led by our Executive Director, is comprised of accomplished professionals from Guatemala and around the world. Guatemalan teachers and staff are assisted by caring volunteers who come from countries all over the map and from within Guatemala. Our Board of Directors has Guatemalan and North American representation and meets several times annually, including twice each year in Guatemala. Also central to Safe Passage's community are the hundreds of sponsors and visitors and the thousands of supporters whose dedication to our children and families keeps us thriving.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent 4 months in the project in early 2000. And never stopped supporting after I have been there. I started a friendship group in Germany and we are supporting Camino Seguro ever since. We visit the project every few years to keep track of the changes. We are proud tobe part of the supporting community as Camino Seguro is doing great work for the children at the city dump of Guatemala.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Took my daughter to Safe Passage in Guatemala in 2010--she had a passion for the organization and made donations as a high school student. The programs we toured were inspiring and impactful in an environment that otherwise offered little hope.

3 Deborah82

Donor

Rating: 5

After bringing our second child home from Guatemala in 2007, we were looking for an impactful way to stay connected to the country and the children who grow up there in destitute poverty. We found Safe Passage and have supported their work ever since. They bring not just nutrition and education for children, but support for the entire family unit and dignity, to the community in which they work.

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Passage fulfills the academic, social, and nutritional needs of some of the most destitute children in Guatemala City. The organization takes a whole-family view, and has also started programs supporting the education and economic independence of mothers as well.

1 James172

Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Passage is creating a compassionate path, an ever-challenging path, to justice and peace and togetherness. I'm very happy to walk with them and provide what little help I can.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited Safe Passage's program in Guatemala in 2014, and was so impressed not only with the care shown for the families they work with, but also with the professionalism and thoughtfulness with which the staff and volunteers approach the work. In my ongoing interactions with the program since then, I continue to be impressed. This is a high-quality organization that is motivated to do good, and which does good - and, important to me, carries out its work with a high degree of intention and strategic thinking. Safe Passage is a wonderful example of how a great, simple idea that starts with one person committed to making a difference, can grow into a mature organization with a sustainable vision for the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my favorite places in the world :) you walk in and you leave it all behind, in there it's all about having fun with the kids and the volunteers and staff as well. You can have a great time and make friends from all over the world while you help this kids build a better future from themselves!

1 Ana_29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the best organizarion I have ever been. The kids are amazing and the expirience of working with them makes you learn to enjoy every minute of your life.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Safe passage is an extraordinary program in Guatemala City, Guatemala. They deserve this award for their hardwork with families working and living in the municipal dump. Go safe passage!

1 Ryan57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Safe Passage is one of the best established and most effective non-profits that I know of in Guatemala and I have witnessed and worked with dozens there.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had the amazing opportunity to work with safe passage last spring. Absolutely fantastic program. You can see the impact Safe Passage has on the community from the minute you get there. Invaluable.

Comments ( 1 )

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SafePassage 02/09/2015

Thank you for your kind words!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege to volunteer at Safe Passage in Guatemla City with an alumni group from my college this past spring.

It truly was an amazing experience to see the fantastic work that is done on a daily basis by the dedciated staff and volunteers. They do a phenomenal job making a difference in hundreds of young people's lives and those of their families every day.

A ray of hope in a very challenging environment.

1 Gaby4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer as an Office Assistant at Safe Passage this summer. It was an amazing experience and I really learned a lot. The work environment is amazing, and it is extremely fulfilling to work there and know you are helping to improve the lives of thousands of people in Guatemala City. I would love to do it again next summer!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went down on as a volunteer with a group from my school. Being down there was life changing and Safe Passage is an amazing program. I am now minoring in spanish so I can be as fluent as possible next time I go down!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the great opportunity to work with the Health Department and Psychology Department at both the main campus and the guardaria. The colleagues I worked with, and friends I made, were very passionate about helping the children and their families increase their well being, their health knowledge and involvement in education. Camino Seguro's presence in the community helps create a positive environment and serves as a positive instigator of change.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to provide medical care @ Safe Passage in 2004. After observing the quality of the program offered to the children of the surrounding barrio by Safe Passage I became a child sponsor and a general sponsor and continue today, 10 years later. The volunteers that serve here are all top quality people and the services that they provide to the children is invaluable. I visit the facility every few years and continue to be amazed at the great care provided.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started working with Safe Passage during my gap year between high school and college as a volunteer classroom assistant in the early childhood center at Safe Passage in Guatemala. After originally volunteering for three months, I couldn't get enough of the amazing atmosphere, passionate teachers, and the amazing faculty that make up an organization that changes the lives of the children and families that they service that make a living working in the Guatemala City garbage dump. I went back to Guatemala for an additional two months to continue volunteering, and in between my time there was able to do a fundraiser and reach out to my friends and family to make donations so I could become a sponsor for two of my students that lacked sponsors. My new role as a sponsor parent allowed me to take the students out on fun trips to the zoo, chuck e. cheese, and out to lunch as well as form close relationships with their families. My time at Safe Passage for five months inspired me to work with children and families, and I look back on my experience with the organization as one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was able to directly work with children in my classroom ages 4-6 doing classroom activities, singing songs, doing art projects, and assisting the teacher with everyday routines. It's safe to say the students taught me more than I taught them. They were the most inspiring group of preschool-aged children I had ever met, and walked into the classroom every morning so eager to learn. In order to give back to an organization that gave and taught me so much, I became an ambassador for Safe Passage to reach out to future volunteers and members who'd like to become involved with the amazing work they do.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Safe Passage for 5 months (which was originally supposed to be 3 months) at the Early Childhood Center, also known as the Escuelita, as a classroom assistant with 4-6 year-olds. My 5 months working with my students was the best experience I've ever had, and I got to know the students, staff, and other volunteers so well. I formed relationships with my students that I'll never forget, and still think about them today. Safe Passage is an amazing place filled with amazing people.

1 Megan36

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first became involved with Safe Passage in 2010 when a close friend encouraged me to make the trip to Guatemala. After meeting the kids and teenagers, my idea of a month-long volunteer stay went out the window. Now, after four years in Guatemala City, I feel very confident in recommending Safe Passage. The organization has a clear organizational and budgetary structure with clear goals for community development through education. As a volunteer, I encountered an open and enthusiastic environment where I felt that my ideas were welcomed and my professional achievements were recognized. As a child sponsor, I have had a great experience with the Sponsorship Department staff who are always proactive in their communication about my sponsor child (now a teenager!). I would encourage anyone to consider visiting, volunteering with, or financially supporting this organization.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I originally came to volunteer at Safe Passage for 4 weeks... that was 2 years ago! This organization is an incredible place to grow and learn both personally and professionally. I have been a Child Sponsor now for over a year and spending time with my sponsor child never fails to put a big smile on my face after a busy day!

1 Sandra53

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Safe Passage over eight years ago and have been involved with the organization ever since. I had the privilege of meeting Hanley and became her friend. Through the years I have seen the impact Safe Passage has on the kids, their families and the community. Being from Guatemala, I feel very proud of the work Safe Passage does and will keep on supporting this effort with all my capacities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I originally became involved because of he story of Hanley Denning and the work she did to help the poorest of the poor in Guatemala City. IN March of 2013 we made a trip to Guatemala to see and volunteer at the school. Out trip an extraordinary and life changing experience. The quality of the program was more than we had expected and the joy and love within the school and the work they do for the children was remarkable. Since returning home we are both working to help Safe Pasage and are even taking Spanish Lessons so we can return.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Safe Passage 7 years ago when I had coffee with its charismatic founder Hanley Denning. In one short hour I was hooked. In part it was Hanley's deep commitment to the children and families living and working at the Guatemala City dump that motivated me to be come a volunteer and donor. In part it was the intriguing approach she was using. Weeks later, I was on my way to Guatemala to see this project first hand. I was deeply shocked at the appalling poverty at the dump. It was far more brutal than anything I had ever seen or imagined. I was deeply moved as I learned about Guatemala's tragic history. But more than anything else, I was impressed by the vibrancy of the Safe Passage program. Using education as the central focus, this very smart approach addresses the whole child and the whole family, enabling the children the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Safe Passage offers these children hope for a better future and the tools to attain it.