FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington junior Bryce Neal is eyeing a life-changing experience next February.

Neal, treasurer of the UMF Rotaract Club, will be traveling as part of a group to Guatemala during the school’s February vacation to volunteer with Safe Passage. The 12 people taking part include UMF students and alumni, community members and Mt. Blue High School students.

“Our adviser (Al Feather) is very adamant about when we come back, we’ll be changed,” Neal said.

The UMF Rotaract Club will hold a fundraiser for the trip from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in UMF’s Lincoln Auditorium.

“It’s going to be an awareness event and fundraiser at the same time,” Neal said. “We’re going to be screening a documentary and talking about Safe Passage.”

The documentary, “Manos de madre,” highlights the poverty and poor living conditions in Guatemala. Neal pointed out that the big objective for Rotaract was not only going on the trip and making a difference in the lives of Guatemalan residents but raising awareness in the Farmington community as well.

He spoke of the mission of Safe Passage, a nonprofit based in Yarmouth.

“They provide educational opportunities to empower children and families around the Guatemala City dump,” Neal said.

According to the nonprofit’s website, “1 out of every 3 residents has never been to school. Most parents have only a fourth grade education. The average family of six lives on just $4 per day — less than a dollar a day per person. With limited opportunities and training, many adults struggle to make a living in the informal dump community.

“Guatemalan public schools provide only 4 hours of education each day, and many of those hours are spent in rote memorization. Strikes, weather and other disruptions cause up to 30 canceled school days per year. Even the most motivated students have a hard time staying engaged and enrolled.”

By volunteering, the Safe Passage teams raise the Guatemalan standard of living and help bring the county’s citizens out of squalor.

The 12 spots available to go on the trip filled up quickly, Neal said.

“We had a lot of interest,” he said.

In addition to Safe Passage, the Rotaract students are deeply involved in the local community. They hold trick-or-treat for Mallett School students in Farmington, have a Christmas tree auction during Chester Greenwood Day, take part in a holiday food drive, and volunteer with local organizations.

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