2021 Annual Report

Page 1


THE PATH FORWARD Photography by José Ramírez

I have a profound memory of my first visit to Camino Seguro. I was sitting in the cafeteria after spending time at the dump, watching people scavenge through garbage for things like plastic bottles. It was heartbreaking and overwhelming to see a level of poverty that had been previously unimaginable to me. As I sat there, with the stench of the dump all around me, I watched a group of girls playing and laughing with one of Camino Seguro’s teachers. They were in uniforms that disguised their poverty. They were happy, engaged, and learning. It was literally the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. Jeff Katz Donor and Safe Passage Board Member

WHAT WE DO: Safe Passage transforms lives by providing students with an excellent education, a higher quality of life, and pathways to a job with dignity so they can achieve a better future for themselves and their families.

WHO WE SERVE: Safe Passage serves over 500 students in PreK-9th grade, as well as approximately 300 families in the impoverished community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump. Through a holistic approach that includes education, nutrition, social services, and healthcare, our impact includes nearly 3,000 people annually.

Photography by Mike Ritter

HOW WE DID IT: In 2021, through the ongoing upheaval from the pandemic, we continued on with our vision of serving not only our students, but their families and the greater community. Through a combination of remote learning, and increased nutritional, psychological, and health services that included vaccine clinics, we persevered together through difficult times. We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated staff, hard working students, and generous donors who made last year a success. Thank you for helping us to provide opportunities despite the challenges.

Photography by José Ramírez

FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dear Safe Passage Family, As I write these words, and after more than two years of uncertainty and upheaval caused by COVID-19, students are finally back on campus, learning with their teachers, and experiencing the basic and fundamental joy of being kids again in the classroom. The hallways are filled with laughter and contented hearts (including teachers)! Our experiences in 2021 demonstrated our learning community’s ability to not only persevere, but to grow stronger even when faced with incredible challenge and adversity. It is more apparent than ever, how critical a high-quality faculty, innovative curriculum, devoted community, and a loyal family of supporters is to breaking the cycle of poverty for those we serve. As you’ll see evidenced throughout this annual report, the trials of 2021 also served as an engine for creative solutions, expanded programs, sound financials, and an unyielding dedication to our mission. Our first cohort of graduating 9th graders successfully entered “Oportunidades,” our reimagined and improved high school enrichment program. The McAdams Family Garden and Learning Annex was completed and six new classrooms constructed. Our advancement rate for students across all grades remained above 90% in the face of unthinkable adversity and while utilizing a distance learning model that could not rely on virtual instruction methods. And we achieved a staff retention rate of 89% during one of the most turbulent and uncertain eras of our history. The annual report also celebrates each and every donor, supporter, partner, and stakeholder that made this success possible. Nearly 2,200 donors and institutional benefactors gave in 2021, with support hailing from the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Guatemala. And like all authentic and sustainable efforts toward positive change, our success was only made possible by this global family working together. Thank you for your love, care, and making the dream of Safe Passage a reality. Trae Holland, Executive Director/Head of School



We added 9th grade! As the final step in the expansion of our full-day accredited school, this was the culmination of a long-held dream of getting our students to a critical point in their lives and into high school, which dramatically increases their chance of future success.


Throughout the year, we completed extensive remodeling to increase spacing and added new facilities for proper social distancing, in an effort to safely return to campus. This included new labs and classrooms. In addition, we completed our playground project and secured funding and began planning for our new middle school, the Innovative Learning Center.


In the fall of 2021, Safe Passage worked alongside the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of Guatemala to provide vaccination clinics in the community, a first for those in Zone 7. We are proud of our efforts in bringing this opportunity to our community, educating ourselves and one another, and giving families the choice to protect themselves and their neighbors.


Despite nearly two years of at-home lessons, helping siblings with homework assignments, and navigating a myriad of other challenges throughout the pandemic, we are proud to report that we maintained a 92% advancement rate, compared to the 17% that is typical for those in our community.


*We were able to welcome 34 students to our inaugrual 9th grade class in 2021 and most of them moved on to high school.

*We expanded our Oportunidades classrooms to house over 50 students, including our first class of middle school graduates.

*Over 1,000 people were vaccinated on our campus in 2021. Only about 5% were previously estimated to be vaccinated in the dump community.

*We saw an average retention rate of roughly 90% for both students and teachers in 2021. We also had over 400 students advance, despite losing over 670 days of face-to-face instruction.

Photography by José Ramírez

ONE STUDENT’S PATH TO SUCCESS, BLANCA’S STORY Blanca, family, and staff at the 2020 Oportunidades graduation

Blanca, now 19, started studying with Safe Passage in the 4th grade and continued on to Oportunidades and Próximo Paso.

With three children in her family, and the cost and access to quality education seemingly out of reach for just one child, Blanca’s parents sought the help of Safe Passage and were able to enroll all of the siblings. When she recalls her years with us, Blanca is most fond of her time spent in the library, a luxury that public schools in Guatemala do not offer. That and having access to computers and technology, which is also out of reach for most Guatemalan students. Blanca credits her many current opportunities to her time spent in the program and believes that she would otherwise be at a difficult stage in her life, without the education that she has received. Last year, Blanca began the “Ayudar es Sencillo” (Helping is Simple) program, a collaboration with local Guatemalan organization, EPA. With a focus on construction drawing, she is on her way to earning a diploma in construction and is learning valuable life skills. Currently working as an assistant to a concrete, slab, and wall driller, Blanca has enjoyed getting to use the skills that she is learning. In her words, “I have felt good working, although it is difficult because society thinks it is no job for a woman, but women can do it!” While Blanca is making strides in her career, she plans to go further in her educational journey and will be starting university to study Architecture. With the help of Próximo Paso, she was able to navigate the application process and plans to begin her studies in 2023. When asked if she wanted to share anything with our global family of supporters, Blanca said: “Thank you! It is a great effort that you provide for us…there are no words to thank all of the people who dedicate not only financial contributions, but also their time.”

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FROM CHALLENGES It has been almost two years of challenges and changes to adapt to a new reality and continue to serve our students and their families. Pablo & Staff on Campus


Our services went from being face-to-face to a total of distance model, where we delivered educational 7,480 educational guides to follow our mission of educating, as well guides and 8,448 as gift cards to ensure the nutritional needs of our disbursements of food students were met. We also developed tele-medicine and hygiene supplies were given in and tele-psychology programs, and continued our 2021 Crianza con Cariño (Family Nurturing) program remotely, helping 37 families. The continuous support from social workers by telephone and virtual media, who communicated with our families at least twice a month for more than 7,000 follow-up communications a year, were vital in ensuring that we could help students and families maintain their physical and mental health. 47% increase in poverty rates and highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world (WorldBank & UNICEF)

With the economic hardships brought by the pandemic and the government restrictions that kept our children out of school, many of them were forced to work inside or outside the home, taking care of their younger siblings, cooking, cleaning the house, or supporting their parents in economic activities such as recycling or informal trade … Along the way, they forgot to be just students, they forgot to be kids.

Currently, our students are returning to their classrooms, and we finally can see them again and give them back the education and care that we want for them. However, their return represents many challenges, such as assessing their academic progress, reinforcing routines within the school, compensating for the time away, and keeping them healthy while they are with us. Every challenge brings with it an opportunity and now it’s time to seize that opportunity and explore the full potential of our students, our staff, and Safe Passage itself, to provide our families once again with health, hope and opportunities through education. Pablo Jose Callejas Galvez, Director of Integral Health Services

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS *Data reflects figures from January 1 - December 31, 2021

Use of Funds† 72% Program 20% Fundraising 8% Administration †For operating purposes.

Program Breakdown 40% Education 28% Support Services 16% Family Services 11% Nutrition 5% Health and Wellness

Sources of Operating Revenue 60% Annual Campaign 20% Sponsorship 10% Grants 4% In-Kind 4% Endowment 2% Events




Program Expenses












*Source: IRS Form 990 and reflected as a percentage of total expenses. Figures from 2020 are for 18 months, due to a change from fiscal to calendar year, and 2021 numbers are preliminary. Safe Passage is a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) organization. Camino Seguro is a Guatemala-registered non-governmental organization. View our Financial Statement and IRS 990, audited annually by PGM Accounting of Biddeford, Maine by visiting www.safepassage.org/financials.


DONATE www.safepassage.org/donate

RECURRING www.safepassage.org/recurring-giving

SPONSOR www.safepassage.org/sponsor

VOLUNTEER www.safepassage.org/volunteer

VISIT www.safepassage.org/visit

JOIN A TEAM www.safepassage.org/teams

LEGACY www.safepassage.org/legacy

U.S. Office 49 Farm View Dr, Suite 302 New Gloucester, ME 04260 (207) 846-1188 info@safepassage.org

As of December 31st, 2021

President Carolyn Johnson U.S. Co-Vice President Jessica Britt U.S. Co-Vice President Ines Saravia de Stahl GT Treasurer Ellen Meyer Shorb U.S. Secretary Rebecca Martin Evarts U.S./Spain Kevin Gonzalez GT Douglas McAdams U.S. Kolia O’Connor U.S. Christian von Oppen Germany Juan Francisco Roldan GT/Austria Ernesto Jose Viteri Arriola GT Alyson Welch U.S. GT = Guatemala U.S. = United States

SAFE PASSAGE VISIONARIES For today, tomorrow, and the road ahead.

Marguerite Callahan Dr. G.M. & Mrs. Barbara Degraeve Andrea & Creighton Hoffman Richard Horn & Susan Rashid Horn Dr. Larry Matthews Patricia & Henry Stewart Scott Bahr & Suja Thomas *Members of the visionaires have ensured the longevity of their support by making a gift from their estate. To learn more, visit us at www.safepassage.org/legacy

Guatemala Office 6a. Avenida 11-95 Zona 7 Colonia Landivar Ciudad de Guatemala (502) 2440 4388

“Many people said it couldn’t be done. Many people to this day still think it can’t be done. I had to show them that I had the courage and heart to hold onto the vision through the most difficult of times.” Hanley Denning, Safe Passage Founder

Thank you for helping us hold onto our vision in 2021.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.