Library program is on Safe Passage project in Guatemala

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BRYANT POND — Greenwood resident Pat Stewart will speak on the Safe Passage project in Guatemala at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Whitman Memorial Library.

Since 2007 Stewart and her husband, Henry, have travelled to Guatemala annually to work with the program in varying capacities, including sponsoring students, raising funds for an adult literacy program and working hands on in the program as classroom aides.

Hanley Denning, Maine resident and Bowdoin graduate, founded the project, which pays for tuition and uniforms so Mayan children whose parents work in the Guatemala City Dump can attend “public” schools, which they could not otherwise afford. In addition, the project provides a hot meal and a half-day support program at the project’s facility on the outskirts of the dump. The children and their families also receive dental and medical care and social service support, when needed.

Hanley was killed in a tragic accident in 2007, but her spirit lives on as more than 500 students pursue the dream of education that is lifting them out of otherwise hopeless poverty.

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Pat will also bring a DVD that briefly describes the program, along with some Guatemalan craft work and beautiful jewelry made by the mothers in the adult literacy program.

The talk is free and open to the public. All are welcome to learn about this inspiring, Maine based effort to change the lives of hardworking, but illiterate, individuals through education.

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