PORTLAND, Maine (September 24, 2015) - Deb Walters, the grandmother whose yearlong kayak expedition to raise money and awareness for Safe Passage and the children living in the Guatemala City dump was put on hold earlier this year, will continue her journey today from South Carolina. Walters, who began the journey from Maine to Guatemala last July, has recovered after undergoing surgery at the end of January due to a herniated disk from paddling.
Before being forced to take a break from her expedition, Walters had kayaked 1,907 miles. Determined to finish the expedition, she will continue the journey from her last stop in Belle Isle, South Carolina and is tweaking the route slightly due to changed conditions.
"It was a tough decision to go back and paddle the remaining 1,000 plus miles of the expedition route," Walter reported on her blog. "But when I thought about the grit and determination of the children and parents at Safe Passage, I realized I had no choice. To properly honor them, I need to push myself and paddle on, and continue to share their stories."
Walters completed 65 percent of her expedition before her injury and to date has helped raise more than $400,000 for Safe Passage during her journey, helping earn her a Paddle with Purpose nomination for the 2015 Canoe & Kayak Awards.
About Safe Passage
The nonprofit organization was founded in 1999 by social worker and Yarmouth, Maine, native Hanley Denning, who died in a car crash in 2007. Safe Passage serves about 600 children ages 2 to 21 from 300 families around the Guatemala City garbage dump. More than 80 volunteers serve there each year, half from Guatemala. Donors support Safe Passage from every continent except Antarctica. www.safepassage.org.