The members of the Rotary Club of Traverse City have been working to help families in the Guatemala City garbage dump community since 2005, when member Paul Sutherland,  invited Hanley Denning, founder of Safe Passage, to visit Traverse City.  Later that year, a group of TC Rotarians visited Guatemala and witnessed the living conditions these families endured, as well as the programs being started to help them find pathways out of the unimaginable poverty they face.  Your club contributed financial resources and also worked with others in the community to start “Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage”, a network of people committed to spreading the word and raising funds to support this important work. Some of us also served on the Board of Directors, worked on committees, and provided technical assistance critically needed when Hanley died suddenly in a car accident in 2007. Thanks to our community’s efforts and continuing financial support, along with others around the country, Safe Passage has thrived, now has a school of its own, and is providing education, pre-K to 9th grade, to over 500 children in the area.

(Thank you from Safe Passage)

Tour on Campus with Trae (English)
Recorded Live
Camino Seguro / Safe Passage

Dear Rotary Club of Traverse City Members,

Happy February (feliz febrero)! 

The school year is in progress and the pandemic has necessitated the continued education of our students through the remote-learning model implemented last year. Homework projects continue to be sent home during disbursements every couple of weeks, along with food and hygiene supplies. Students complete the packets for their parents to return to the teachers at the next disbursement. This process will continue until safety allows us to open - hopefully in the coming weeks.

Along with educational materials, our first disbursement of February included something extra special. Our teachers sent a personalized card to each of their students to celebrate and show their love and support on Valentine’s Day (Día del Cariño). Our second disbursement of the month included important safety preparation for parents, as they completed enrollment paperwork and reviewed protocols with staff for the reopening of school in the coming weeks. It was an important event and our Executive Director, Trae Holland, wanted to give a glimpse of what was happening to our supporters around the world. Check out the video below!

Thank you to everyone who continues supporting us in our mission to end the cycle of poverty through education. If you would like to see how you can change the life of a student, check out our feature on a sponsor and long-time supporter below. 

Many thanks,
The Safe Passage Team