Hanley enrolled 46 of Guatemala City’s poorest children in her new program. These children couldn’t afford the books, school supplies, and enrollment fees required by the public school system. Through Safe Passage, these children received tutoring, a healthy snack, and the care and attention they desperately needed. Another 70 children participated in a drop-in program when they weren’t working in the dump. On January 18, 2007, Hanley was killed in an automobile accident in Guatemala. Though her life was tragically cut short, her legacy lives on. Those she inspired continue to advance the mission she envisioned.
Today Safe Passage is a fully accredited school with over 500 students enrolled.
An excerpt from author Jacob Wheeler’s book Angel of the Garbage Dump: How Hanley Denning Changed the World, One Child at a Time “Hanley Denning has been gone for 16 years now. Camino Seguro, the educational reinforcement program she birthed in the abyss of the Guatemala City garbage dump has lived longer without her than it did with her. Her closest students, employees, volunteers and many of her supporters have moved on. But inspired by her and by their own experiences at the project, many have continued down the path of humanitarian assistance and nonprofit development work. The time they spent with Hanley—intense, jarring, scary, empowering, joyful, overwhelming, committed, tragic—forever changed them. This blonde-haired gringa from Maine tossed the stone. Her students and families, employees, volunteers and supporters are the waves that continue to ripple today. …
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