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Our program serves about 600 children, ranging in age from 2 to 21 years, and 100 mothers coming from nearly 300 families in the surrounding neighborhoods. Safe Passage provides holistic education programs focused on 3 key areas:
Starting from age 2, Safe Passage offers early childhood education to the at-risk children in order to develop pre-math and reading skills by learning through play using the Planting Seeds methodology. In 2013 Safe Passage introduced full day 1st grade that is fully accredited by the Guatemalan Government through our status as an Experimental School. In 2014 Safe Passage began offering full day grade two and will continue adding a grade per year. Students receive two meals per day, snacks, vitamins, and healthcare.
In Guatemala, schools only offer about 4 hours of education per day, so Safe Passage provides an extra 4-5 hours of after-school programming and enrichment with programs like: sports, English, computer lab, creative expression (art, music, theater, art therapy), health education, "Next Step" career counseling, tutoring, and Saturday clubs like karate, photography, soccer, breakdance, circus club and more. Educational reinforcement students receive a meal, snacks, vitamins and healthcare.
The Adult Literacy program helps about 50 mothers to earn their high school degrees, development computer literacy skills and build their self-esteem. Social Entrepreneurship programs offer practical business education to about 50 mothers and a chance to leave the garbage dump for a life of financial independence through 3 major initiatives: Creamos, a women's jewelry business, The Sewing Initiative with 13 industrial sewing machines, and Family of Women where handicapped mothers make simple retail products. Safe Passage also offers the Family Nurturing Program on Saturdays for mothers and families to learn and practice communication and non-violent dispute resolution skills.