English Teaching Program in Guatemala

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About

Safe Passage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working in Guatemala City to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families living in extreme poverty around the City's garbage dump. Our programs are designed so that each child can gain the skills needed to obtain stable jobs, to be self sufficient and to lead their families out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way.

Formal education is far beyond the reach for many of the children living on the periphery of the Guatemala City garbage dump. They are unable to afford the school uniforms & shoes, enrollment fees, school supplies and books required by the Guatemalan public schools. With financial support from Safe Passage, each child is able to attend a local public school for the half-day term.

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Reviews

10 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Benefits 9.5
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  • Fun 9.5
  • Facilities 10
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Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Courtney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience and love living in Antigua

I am currently volunteering at Camino Seguro and I have loved every moment. They have a great saftey network established in the area that you work which is important as the community can be a dangerous place. There is such a huge ammount of support when you need it, and the project is so fulfilling to work within.
You are able to adapt what you are doing to all your skills and they are very flexible.
My spanish has improved immensely as you work with mainly Guatemalan employees, this experience has helped me move from a beginner in spanish to intermediate within a couple of weeks.
I also love living in Antigua as it has such a vibrant and fun community.
Thanks for having me Camino Seguro!

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Kajetan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

I worked as a long-term volunteer with 2nd / 3rd grade children at Safe Passage from July 2005 till July 2006. Since then, I have visited the project several times for shorter periods in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and each time was amazed by the rapid progress of the organization and the children that it takes care of.

Main tasks of the volunteers include assisting the Guatemalan teachers in their respective classrooms (helping children with their homework, organizing art lessons, workshops, games, etc.), teaching a particular age group in the highly interactive English program, organizing sport lessons in the Sports program or taking over long-term roles such as IT teacher or responsible of the project’s library. Volunteers receive a formalized training at the beginning of their stay and are placed to make best use of their capabilities.

The personal impact volunteers have obviously depends on the length of stay – long-term volunteers are able to develop a much more personal relationship with their colleagues, the children and their families, meaning that their guidance and help – especially in difficult periods – becomes extremely valuable. At the same time, short-term volunteers introduce fresh ideas, offer new perspectives and are absolutely necessary to “keep the project going”. In any case, the volunteering experience at Safe Passage is extremely rewarding – teachers, children and families are very welcoming and open, the working atmosphere (with extremely motivated volunteers and staff from all over the world) is great and realizing how little it takes to contribute to making a huge difference in so many lives is a great lesson by itself.

During my various visits, I have witnessed constant improvements of the program: It nowadays not only targets children, but also their families and the entire community – parents can join the literacy program and community events are organized throughout the year. Furthermore, normal school education is complemented with sports, art and health programs; violence / drug prevention programs and professional psychological support for some of the children are other very important components that have been added in recent years. Even more impressive is the personal progress of many of the kids enrolled in the program – it is great to see how some of them develop into real personalities and young leaders in their community and finish school with ambitious plans for life.

From a donor’s perspective, it would be nice if the impact of the program (number of students graduating, etc.) could be measured on a regular basis. While personal accounts and stories are certainly inspiring and important, impact metrics would help to make the work even more transparent.