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What is a support team?
A support team is an unforgettable service-learning trip for those who want to learn more about Guatemala, the community we serve, the work we are doing, and also desire to lend a helping hand.
Here at Safe Passage, we believe that the learning component of the trip is equally as important as the service that our teams provide. We believe that the interplay between both service and learning creates an amazing opportunity for our teams to gain hands-on experience in a developing community while at the same time, opening their eyes to how they can make a difference in the world around them.
What do teams do?
Serve: Teams plan fun, educational projects and activities that they implement with different classrooms during their week with us. They also lend a hand in our English classes which gives our students valuable speaking practice. Finally, our teams spend a day at our Early Childhood Education Center, our preschool, where they also carry out educational and interactive projects with our youngest learners. In this way, teams are integrated into Safe Passage’s vision and mission of providing an education to the community.
Learn: Throughout the week, we provide the teams with historical and cultural background so they realize why this poverty exists, how the community has come to be, and what Safe Passage is doing to break this cycle of poverty and to bring hope to the many people who live around the Guatemala City garbage dump. An important part of the team experience consists of visiting a look-out to see the garbage dump where many of our families make a living by sorting through the trash and selling what can be recycled. Additionally, teams spend valuable time with our staff discussing the different programs and projects Safe Passage is carrying out. In this way, teams gain new, more global, perspectives.
How do teams make a difference?
Our kids come from difficult backgrounds. They live in an environment that is pressuring them to drop out of school, to take drugs, to become teen parents, and to join gangs. Faced with these large societal problems, it can seem impossible to make an impact, but our teams do make a difference in our kids’ lives by offering them the love and attention they so desperately need. Teams act as role models for our children by inspiring and encouraging them. Teams also bring new energy to the program and hope to our children. Teams also enhance our students’ educational experience by planning and leading the aforementioned projects.
Once back home, our teams make a difference by sharing their stories and by spreading the word about Safe Passage and our families. They make a difference by organizing fundraisers, by becoming sponsors, ambassadors, and volunteers, and by organizing another team!
Want to know more?
Check out the Team Handbook where you will find helpful information regarding finances, our age policy, and how to get started planning your trip. The handbook also provides a great overview of the team experience and advises what to plan for and expect during the trip. We also encourage you to look over our Health & Travel Handbook where you will find detailed information about required immunizations and tips on how to stay healthy while in Guatemala.
For more information or to sign up, please contact the Support Team Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.