Dr. Deb Walters generally gets asked the same question when she talks about her kayaking adventure.
The 63-year-old grandmother is paddling from her hometown of Yarmouth, Maine, to Guatemala. Why would anyone want to do that? Walters wants to raise awareness and money for children living in garbage dump communities within Guatemala.
Walters started her journey July 11 and she estimates that it will take her a year to reach Guatemala. She will be updating a blog to document her adventures. Within her first day, she met four kayakers who joined her for the first 12 miles.
Her motivation began when Walters visited the garbage dump in Guatemala, where she met families who would search for food and recyclable products within the dump site. The parents' main wish was for their children to go to school, where they could learn to read and better prepare themselves for the future. She is working to raise money for the Safe Passage model school, where she hopes to raise money to add additional grade levels to the school
The 2,500-mile trip will take Walters along the eastern shore, with stops along the way to spread word of her campaign. She will take a boat from Florida to Belize, but will resume kayaking to Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
Although Walters suffers from arthritis, she is a big fan of long distance kayaking. She wanted to combine her love for kayaking and her desire to raise money for the Safe Passage school. During the past 30 years, Walters has led instructional kayaking trips, and she has even done a kayaking tour through the Arctic.
For more information, including how you can donate to the cause, go to SafePassage.org.