Maine kayaker stops in Myrtle Beach area as she paddles 2,500 miles for a cause

A light rain fell from the gray sky as Deborah Walters, 63, of Troy, Maine, paddled her kayak into the harbor at Lightkeepers Marina in Little River on Monday afternoon. Walters raised her paddle over her head in a traditional kayaker celebration after reaching the marina, where she is taking a holiday break from her almost 2,500-mile paddle.

She left Yarmouth, Maine, in July on a yearlong quest to paddle from her home in Maine to Guatemala to raise funds and awareness for Safe Passage, a nonprofit that helps children of families who live in poverty in a part of Guatemala City where a huge garbage dump is located. Parents spend their days combing the dump for food, clothes and anything they can resell and Safe Passage helps their children have opportunities to go to school.

Walters said she first went to Guatemala City nine years ago on a trip with Maine Rotary Clubs. She said that while there she met mothers who repeatedly told her all they wanted was for their children to learn to read and have a better life.