Air date: Saturday, June 14
Guest: Deborah “Deb” Walters
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Shannon Maguire
Former President & board member of Safe Passage Deborah Walters, is a grandmother with a crazy idea of kayaking alone over 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala. Walters talked with Stevoe about why this journey is so important and how so many volunteers from around the world have made continuing Hanley Denning’s dream possible.
Safe Passage was founded by Hanley Denning in 2004. She went to Guatemala in August of 1997 to learn Spanish, never imagining she would stay. That visit changed Hanley’s life – and the lives of thousands in Guatemala and around the world. On January 18, 2007, Hanley was killed in a tragic automobile accident in Guatemala. However, through her many admirers and dedicated Safe Passage staff and volunteers, her vision continues today, stronger than ever. Hanley received a commendation from US Senate delivered by Maine senator Olympia Snow and received commendations by the Maine Senate and Legislature among many other awards and prizes for her humanitarian work with Safe Passage.
Walteres will launch on July 11, 2014 and take a year to complete this unsupported expedition, carrying all of her food, water and camping gear. Along the way she wants to share the story of the children who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump community, and raise funds for a school for them. People will be able to follow her daily posts on social media and hear her speak during my frequent stops.
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. Our program serves over 550 children, ranging in age from 2 to 21 years, coming from nearly 300 families in the surrounding neighborhoods. Through their work, Safe Passage, strives to provide hope and opportunity to the children of Guatemala City through education.
Safe Passage has become a refuge for children contending with situations marked by extreme poverty, neglect and abuse. Hanley’s story reminds us of the power of one person’s vision to make a difference. The children in Safe Passage’s care remind us that there is much to hope for.