Grandmother Kayaking to Guatemala to Aid Kids

Author: Jean Mikle [Asbury Park Press]

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — What could inspire a 63-year-old grandmother to paddle a kayak 2,500 miles on a yearlong trip from Maine to Guatemala?

For Deb Walters, the motivation came from her experiences with residents of a gritty neighborhood perched at the edge of a festering garbage dump in the heart of Guatemala City.

Nearly 10,000 people, including about 1,000 children, live alongside the dump, where they scavenge and recycle trash for a living, and sleep in huts made of scavenged metal, bits of cloth and plastic tarps. They are called guajeros, or recyclers.

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