Safe Passage Teaching Jobs in Guatemala

Safe Passage/Camino Seguro

About

Safe Passage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps children in the Guatemala City garbage dump community break the cycle of poverty through education, emphasizing life skills and perseverance in order to thrive in work and contribute to their community.

Safe Passage serves nearly 500 students with a full-day school from Pre-K through Grade 6, a half-day reinforcement program for students Grade 7 through high school, and Adult Education program, as well as health and social services. Our comprehensive and integrated programs foster hope, good health, educational achievement, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, and confidence within a safe and caring environment.

Founded
1999
Headquarters

49 Farm View Dr
Suite 302
New Gloucester, ME 04260
United States

Reviews

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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered as part of Safe Passages Health Team. I felt fully integrated into the team of both long-term volunteers as well as Guatemalan staff. My days were busy working alongside teachers and staff members, lesson planning, and supporting students in the classroom. The staff went out of their way to make sure I had a positive experience, and to welcome me into the community. Safe Passage does a wonderful job integrating into the local community in a positive and sustainable way, and they make sure to impart this ethos on their volunteers.
I made incredible friends, improved my Spanish, and learned so much about Guatemala. On the weekends, it felt easy, safe, and inexpensive to explore the surrounding area. Safe Passage is an incredible organization with a strong mission and passionate, creative, welcoming people. I can't recommend this place enough!

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Ditte
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Having worked with both the very youngest children and the very oldest children at the project, I feel I have been given a great insight in their lives and been introduced to their daily struggles in very different ways. Working with children was very new for me, and I didn't expect myself to enjoy working with the very small ones, but you immediately connect so deeply with these children, and after less than one week, I knew that I would never be ready to leave them again.
Being a part of this project is such a special way of traveling, because not only do you feel of use and help make a positive difference in struggling children's lives - you also have your own little community that is always there for you, and among the other volunteers you create friendships shared over and experience that no one else can ever really understand.
I know that once I leave, I will always look warmly back on my time here, and I'm sure, I'll come visit more than once in the future.

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Aleka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with safe passage in January 2019 for 5 weeks. Although I only did the minimum amount of time but I could have easily stay longer, there has also been many times since leaving I have concidered returning and defiantly plan to some time in the future. Working with children was some completely new for me and the first day was certainly a realisation but every step was supported by the great staff and other volunteers. I am so great full for the oportunity safe passage has given me. It wasn’t just about the volunteering, safe passage has created a little community with great people who are trying to do their bit to help the world. Every morning when I would walk into the class room and the little 5 year olds with be so joyful and it would remind me why I started this journey. I have also made international friends who I still keep in contact with, I also made a friendship with the local teacher who gives me regular updates on how the little bundles of joy are progressing.

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Kira
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I cannot say enough good things about Safe Passage and the volunteer program. The support that the volunteer team provides ensured I felt prepared and safe as I traveled down to Guatemala. When I arrived at the project I immediately felt like part of the community. I have been working as an english tutor with the high school aged students, and having the opportunity to interact with the students and form meaningful connections with them is unlike any other volunteer experience I've had.
Everyday at the project is different and brings new challenges and opportunities. Working as a part of the international volunteer group has given me the chance to meet and work with people from all over the world. I have greatly enjoyed my experience here and I know that I will be returning in the future to work with this incredible program.

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Janice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm heading into the last week of my 5 weeks with Camino Segura (Safe Passage). I've had a chance to observe how the project works with children and adults through education, health, physical and emotional, nutrition, and how well it is structured to make a difference in the lives of young students living near the city dump. Kids feel secure here, they get an education and so much more, a safe place to learn and grow. Parents are invited in to be part of this opportunity and they know the value of the education their kids are getting.
I love that Camino Segura also provides support through education for teens, ESL, and work projects for young moms, parenting programs, and literacy skills for older adults.
In a country that does not always prioritize education, Camino Segura is a beacon of hope. As Nelson Mandela has said, " No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Education is the great engine of personal development."

International volunteers add an element of intrigue and exposure that regular classrooms don't always have. Come make a difference by sharing your time and talents and be prepared to be transformed by the experience!

Just a word of warning for mature adults who like the relaxed, retired life, the days are long, starting and ending with a 1.5 hour school bus ride to Guatemala city, so be prepared. It makes for a long day. If you do stay with a family, you do come home to a meal prepared for you. Kind of makes up for time on the bus.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The first day overlooking the dump- overwhelmed by the sites, the smells, the stories of devastation - that was challenging.
The very next day, meeting students and seeing so many smiles, along with dedicated staff, made it all worthwhile.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Jessica Liou

Service has always been a large part of Jessica's life, from volunteering as a lacrosse coach to tutoring students in low-income communities. Now Jessica is looking to take her fervor for service to organizations abroad.

Jessica Liou

Why did you choose this program?

In my junior year in high school, I participated in a Support Team with my school to work with Safe Passage for a week. During our time there, we spoke with the executive director and several program coordinators and gained incredible insight into the organization and its objectives. Inspired by the message and the laughter and resilience of the students, I returned after graduating from high school for 6 months as part of my gap year.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I received a pamphlet and a handbook prior to my arrival, and the volunteer director aided with finding a homestay. However, all the expenses were from my own savings, as I was not going in affiliation with any school or college. It helped that I had prior experience with the country and the program from my visit with the support team, but the volunteer director was incredibly helpful with any questions I had.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Try to come in with an open mind and be adaptable to any changes in scheduling or roles at the organization. Safe Passage is constantly growing according to the different needs of its students and the community, so be flexible to whatever adjustments that might be made during your time there. Also, patience is an incredible asset, especially when working with kids.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

On an average day, a volunteer wakes up at around 6 am to get ready for the 7 am bus for work. Depending on which age group the volunteer works with, they will go to their respective buildings and work from 9 am arrival to 4 pm, with lunch sometime between 11:30 am to 1 pm.

In terms of the work itself, it depends on the age of the children. In the Jardin, volunteers assist teachers with taking care of the 3-6 year olds. In the Colegio, volunteers assist teachers in their classroom with maintaining order and helping students with their work. In the CRE, volunteers tutor/teach students in a variety of subjects from English to Chemistry. Then, at 4 pm, volunteers all return to Antigua from the capital on the volunteer bus.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear before going abroad was living on my own, especially as I was only 18-year old when I first arrived in Guatemala. I had experience with living away from my parents because I had attended a boarding school; however, I had never been in a situation where I had to shop for groceries, cook for myself every day, pay rent, and fix shower heads on my own. After breaking a blender and eating hardboiled eggs everyday for a month, I adapted to the situation and learned how to do many things for myself, mainly cooking unburnt, flavorful food.