Earlier this year one of our Safe Passage support teams decided to educate the kids at Safe Passage about Deb Walters' fantastic effort to raise awareness and funds by kayaking from Maine to Guatemala. 

Mid-Maine UU Youth Support Team, was from 3 different UU (Unitarian Universalist) churches in Maine. Since Deb’s launch date was the same day as the team's arrival in Guatemala, they decided to make their project with the kids about Deb's journey. The idea was to create a map so the kids could see where she was each day and learn about the journey she is making on their behalf. The team's efforts began before they arrived in Guatemala, as Deb and the team also did a joint fundraiser in Maine to raise awareness back home.  

On the first day with their classes, the team taught the students at Safe Passage about Deb and her journey, what the conditions are like, and the challenges she will be facing. The team's next mini-lesson focused on maps and had the kids draw their own, be it a map of their home, their community, or their route to school. At the end of the class they presented their maps to the group. 

On the second and third days, the class began working on Deb's map itself! Back in the S, the team printed out a zoomed-in map of the coastline, all the way from Maine to Guatemala to track Deb’s progress over her year-long journey. They brought some Mylar with them, a special type of plastic, and rolled it out on top of the printed map. The students then traced the map onto the Mylar – the coastline, the latitude and longitude lines, and the names of important places. The kids also added artistic decorations!

The final touch was a cut-out of Deb in her Kayak to mark her progress in the coming months.To show off the amazing work of the team and Safe Passage kids, the map has been hung in the cafeteria for all to enjoy and follow along with Deb on her adventure. You can follow along as well by visiting this link to a GPS map of Deb’s location and donate to support her expedition for the kids of the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. A big thank you to Deb, the Mid Maine UU Support Team and the operations team in Guatemala who made all of this possible.

-Matthew Meehan