Health Education

Safe Passage students and families are particularly vulnerable to a variety of health complications that can hold back their educational progress—and their lives. Safe Passage Health Education focuses on prevention.

Our Health Education program aims to empower each student with the knowledge and skills needed to make independent healthy decisions and to advocate for their own well-being.

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We nourish, heal, and empower students and families through:

Preventative and primary healthcare

Shared Beat medical teams are on the front lines of community healthcare in the Guatemala City dump community, supporting and promoting the well-being of Safe Passage families. Students see Shared Beat providers twice each year—once for their annual student physical, and again for a follow-up appointment to monitor chronic health issues. Friends and family know they are welcome to attend Shared Beat clinics for consultations about their own healthcare needs.

An onsite wellness center and infirmary

The year-round on-site Safe Passage wellness center and infirmary provide primary care, preventative health screenings, and specialist or urgent care referrals whenever needed. Safe Passage dispenses vitamins and prescribed medications free of charge to students, lifesaving and life-enhancing treatments that are unimaginable luxuries for most families in the Guatemala City dump community.

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Health and hygiene classes for students and families

Our youngest students learn healthy habits at Safe Passage:

  • hand washing
  • nutrition
  • exercise
  • dental hygiene

Discussion of healthy relationships, social values, and positive self-image are also important pieces of Safe Passage health education.

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Adolescents and young adults receive tailored education on a variety of topics including:

  • gender stereotypes
  • pregnancy
  • substance abuse
  • peer influence
  • nonviolent conflict management

Safe Passage offers health-related workshops for adults through regular parent meetings, the Safe Passage Adult Literacy Program, and Creamos. We emphasize topics that students are learning in school and provide ideas for how parents can continue to reinforce healthy choices and routines and prioritize self-care at home.

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A daily regimen of healthy meals and snacks

Students can focus on learning when they have full stomachs, and we make sure that all students eat balanced meals and healthy snacks each day to help treat and prevent cases of undernourishment.

Safe Passage Health Education encourages healthy behaviors, increases health literacy, and promotes community wellness at all ages throughout the Guatemala City dump community.