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Kayak For Safe Passage Kids: A Grandmother's Solo Paddling Expedition from Maine to Guatemala

 

Deb kayaked over 1,500 miles before requiring emergency spinal surgery. She continued the speaking tour by car and sailboat, arriving in Guatemala in March 2015.  Once she recovers she will kayak the remaining 1,000 miles.

                         
Photo credit: Mike Glad
Photo credit: Mike Glad
    

 

 

 

Florida 1,000 Mile $1,000 

Paddling Challenge 

 

 

Why is Dr. Deb Walters kayaking over 2,500 miles?     

  • To tell the story of the children living in the Guatemala City garbage dump community
  • To share how inspiring the mothers are who labor with grit and perserverence for a better life for their children
  • To talk about the success of the Safe Passage model school that fosters critical thinking, self sufficiency and confidence.
  • To raise funds for additional grades for the school

How is Deb engaging people in the Safe Passage story?

  • By using a daily blog and other social media
  • By giving presentations to schools and other groups in small towns
  • By speaking at larger events in cities along the route

What's the route?

Deb stayed close to shore from Yarmouth, Maine to New Jersey.  She went up the Delaware Bay and down the Cheasapeake Bay to Norfolk, Va. where she began following the Intracoastal Waterway to Florida. To avoid the possibility of armed attacks on small craft in Mexico, Deb traveled from Florida to Belize aboard the sailing vessel Polaris with Bernie Horn, President of Polaris Capital Management.  Once Deb recovers from her spinal injury, she will paddle from South Carolina to Key West.  For the final stretch Deb will kayak along a barrier reef and open coast to Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

Who is Deb?

Dr. Deb Walters is a grandmother from Maine, retired cognitive scientist and university leader, Rotarian, Safe Passage Board Member, and kayaking adventurer.  Her previous solo kayaking expeditions were in the Arctic, along the Atlantic coasts in the Northeast and the Maritimes, and through tropical waters in Mexico.

After comleteing over 1,500 miles of the expedition, Deb had emergency spinal surgery for a massively herniated disk. Despite this major injury, Deb is not giving up!  After a short break, she carried on with the speaking tour and the sailing component while underging physical rehabilitation. Once recovered, she will retrain and continue kayaking.

  • July 2014 through January 2015: Kayaked over 1,500 miles from Maine to Geaorgetown, SC.  
  • February 2015: Emergency neck surgery and recovery
  • March 2015: Speaking tour in Florida and rehabilitation
  • April 2015: Sailing leg from Florida to Guatemala for speaking tour in Guatemala
  • May to September 2015: Contine rehabilitation and retrain for extreme kayaking
  • October to February 2015: Kayak from Georgetown, SC to Key West, FL
  • March 2016: Kayak from Belize to Guatemala

How can you get involved?

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.

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Big Thank You for our Corporate Sponsors!  

Diamond Sponsor

Titanium Sponsor

             

Platinum Sponsor

    

Gear Provided for Field Testing

                                   

Gold Sponsors

          

      

Silver Sponsors

              

              

                            

 

Bronze Sponsors

                     

                 

                            

             

                                 

               

             

Pro Deals

                       

Assisting Rotary Clubs

     Bar Harbor

     Bangor Area

     Unity

     West Bay

    Cape Elizabeth

    Scarborough

    Saco Bay

    Biddiford Saco

    Wells

    York

    Seacoast

    Portsmouth

    Hampton

    Essex

    Ipswich

    Gloucester

    Rockport

    Marblehead

    Swampscott

    Lynn

    Quincy

    Weymouth

    Scituate

    Duxbury

    Plymouth Sunrise

    Bourne 

    Fall River

    Jamestown

    Wakefield

    Sciantic RI

    Westerly

    Niantic

    Clinton

    Chester

    Ridgefield

    New Haven

    Branford

    Stratford

    Fairfield

    Westport

    South Shore (Staten Island)

    Red Bank

    Seaside

    Atlantic City

    Ocean City

    Somer's Point

    Cape May Kiwania Club

    Port Norris

    Geargetown/Millsboro

    Chesterton

    Annapolis

    Annapolis Evening (Parole)

 

Assisting Yacht Clubs and Marinas

    Agamenticus Yacht Club

    Ipswich Bay Yacht Club

    Eastern Yacht Club

    Scituate Yacht Club

    Green Harbor Yacht Club

    Plymouth Yacht Club

    Beverly Yacht Club

    Niantic Bay Yacht Club

    Harbor One Marina

    Branford Yacht Club

    Brewer-Stratford Marina

    Pequot Yacht Club

    Rowayton Yacht Club

    Indian Harbor Yacht Club

    Touring Kayak Club

    New York Kayak Company

    Sebago Canoe Club

    Oceanport Landing

    Hobby Lobby Marine

    Farley State Marina

    Doc's Restaurant

    Avalon Anchorage Marina

    Bayshore Center

    Money Island Marina

    Betterton Beach

    Black Duck Inn

    Eastport Yacht Club