Do you know Safe Passage?
If not, please visit the site linked above and learn about them. It's a wonderful organization founded by a young woman named Hanley Denning, who went to Guatemala in 1997 to learn Spanish and had her life changed. She saw young children at work with their parents in the Guatemala City garbage dump, scavenging food and items to sell in order to survive - and she founded Safe Passage in order to help some of those children go to school. The program has grown tremendously and I'm thrilled to sponsor a wonderful girl there, K, for the last 4 years. Back in late August, when things were looking bad and sad here, I got the following letter and photos, and they MADE MY DAY. My month, my year! Check it out:
Dear Mary Beth,
It is our pleasure to inform you that your sponsor child, K, recently took part in her Quinceañera. This rite of passage in Latin culture traditionally marks a girl’s 15th birthday with a celebration of her transition from childhood to womanhood. 21 Safe Passage girls celebrated their fifteenth birthdays in 2011 and we celebrated them in a joint party on July 31st.
For two months leading up to the event, the girls attended various workshops touching on themes such as: self esteem, pregnancy prevention, body changes, being a professional woman, and emotional intelligence. The sports program also organized a Latin dance workshop each Saturday leading up to the party to give the girls time to bond and become more confident in their dance skills for the big day.
For more information you can read blog posts about the event and preparations at http://safepassage.org/blog/2011/08/02/big-day
Attached to this email is a photo of your sponsor child on this special day as well as a photo of the full group of quinceañeras.
Here she is: So beautiful!
K is 5th from left in front
I love that the organization is small enough to send sponsors these personal types of messages. I love what they do. I dream of going to Guatemala one day to volunteer in the program. (Better brush up on my Spanish though...)