“Here in Zona 3, they also bare their souls when they invite you in.” Meeting a sponsor student’s family

Anne-Marie sponsors Oliver, a 13 year old student at Safe Passage. Last year, she wrote an essay about her experience visiting Safe Passage, including meeting her sponsor student and his family. We’re sharing edited excerpts here, and the full-length essay can be read here. “Imagine that you have been sponsoring a boy named Oliver. For Read More »

Poem about the dump

After taking a tour of Safe Passage in November with her high school, a student named Jenny wrote a poem about her experience. DUMP “Dump.” Upon hearing this word, what comes to your mind? Gradually decaying materials that are uncompostable to the soil? A source of pollution and breeding ground for pathogens? A gray zone, Read More »

Social Workers: connecting with the community

Our team of social workers (Family and Community Services) works hard to connect with and support our community members by listening to their stories and learning their needs. “Social work is a way to get closer to people to and to serve them, and I believe we have to serve the people who are most Read More »

Safe Passage Psychology Program Celebrates 10 Years

The Safe Passage Psychology Program, La Luna, started in 2007. The name of our program, La Luna (‘the moon’ in English), was selected as a way to combat the societal stigma associated with psychology. La Luna is also a welcoming, kid-friendly term that appeals to the at-risk youth our psychologists work with most. Since 2007, Read More »

New Year, New Colors: how contrast plays an important role at Safe Passage

If you were to describe the interior of the Safe Passage buildings in one word, what would that one word be? For many, that word is contrast. Outside Safe Passage walls, the harsh reality of the Guatemala City garbage dump is evident in mountains of waste, impoverished neighborhoods, and bleak landscapes. And yet, as soon Read More »

Faces of Safe Passage: meet Grecia

If you’ve visited the Safe Passage cafeteria in the last 8 years, you have most likely met Grecia. She’s rather hard to miss when she’s dancing around the kitchen with a great big smile on her face. More than that, Grecia is is wholly dedicated to Safe Passage. “I didn’t want to work for a Read More »

Student stories: Meet Samuel

Samuel is the oldest of five siblings. He started attending Safe Passage in 2001, at the small church where Hanley started our program in 1999. At Safe Passage, life was vibrant, supportive, and safe. At home, Samuel’s world was turning upside down. Just one year after he started school, Samuel had to leave. Samuel’s parents Read More »

Sponsor stories: meet the Holsen family

This article was written by Safe Passage sponsor, Molly, about visiting Guatemala and Safe Passage with her family and their adopted Guatemalan son, Tomas. This past July we took our family of 5 to Guatemala for a cultural visit. The last time we were there we were picking up our oldest son, Tomas, and bringing him Read More »

Exploring the meaning of the owl mural at our Learning Art and Fun Center

If you have visited our new Learning, Art & Fun Center, you are most likely familiar with the bright, colorful mural of an owl near the entrance. Created by Safe Passage Creative Expression coordinator, Noel, and volunteers, Marlon and Natalia, the mural is a reminder that inside the walls of Safe Passage, the world is Read More »

The Dump Tour

Sometimes individuals ask with admiration, “how could Hanley Denning just sell her possessions on the spot and decide to start Safe Passage rather than returning home to her life in the United States?” Though it is something that few individuals could do, myself included, it is not hard to imagine why she made this decision—one Read More »