Our Timeline

1999

Hanely Denning's visit to the Guatemala City garbage dump compelled her to create Safe Passage to meet the educational and nutritional needs of at-risk children working in the dump.

2000

Volunteers began traveling to Guatemala to support Hanley's efforts, and we started our Child Sponsorship Program.

2001

Safe Passage became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization and began to gain donors and supporters from around the world.

2004

We opened our Educational Reinforcement Center (CRE) to provide after-school enrichment to half-day Safe Passage students, and started our Early Childhood Education Program to meet the needs of our youngest learners.

2005

Safe Passage formed a Board of Directors, Educational Reinforcement was expanded to include high school students, and Planting Seeds curriculum was introduced for Safe Passage’s youngest full-day learners.

2006

Our Adult Literacy Program for grandparents and parents began,  and the U.S. Office opened to oversee development, communication, and outreach efforts with a global network of supporters.

January 18, 2007

Hanley's sudden death moved people around the world to celebrate her life and accomplishments by creating and supporting The Hanley Denning Fund endowment.

February 2007

The Fran Doonan Early Childhood Education Center (once known as the Guarderia and now known as the Escuelita) opened to house programs for our youngest learners.

November 2007

The first two Safe Passage high school graduates celebrated program completion, the opportunity to attend university and seek gainful employment, and a safe path out of poverty.

2008

Our first class of Adult Literacy graduates celebrated program completion, and the opportunity for a better future for their families.

2009

We celebrated our 10th anniversary, the inauguration of the Peace Garden and constructed our Physical Education center to house and expand our sports program.

2012

The Safe Passage Board of Directors implemented a strategic planning process to strengthen our educational model, retain more students, and provide additional support within our community.

2014

We celebrated our 15th anniversary, and we added two full-day second grade classrooms as part of our continued vision to provide full-day education for students through grade 9.

2015

We added two full-day third grade classrooms, and the Safe Passage Learning, Art and Fun center was constructed in one day with the help of thousands of Guatemalan and international volunteers.

2016

We added two full-day fourth grade classrooms and implemented a new teaching methodology based on Expeditionary Learning.