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‘Angel of the Garbage Dump’ inspires northern Michigan author’s latest book


Hanley Denning saw poverty and desperation in its ugliest form, and refused to turn a blind eye.

In the Guatemala City garbage dump, she witnessed garbage pickers competing with vultures for the food dumped by trucks, and toddlers playing amidst rats.

The experience prompted Hanley to call her family in New England and ask them to sell everything she owned and wire her the money. She launched an educational nonprofit called Camino Seguro, which means “safe passage.” It’s helped pull thousands of children out of the teeming filth of one of the largest urban landfills in the Americas.

Northern Michigan author Jacob Wheeler has written his second book about Guatemala.

Northern Michigan author Jacob Wheeler has frequented Guatemala and writes about Hanley Denning in his new book, “Angel of the Garbage Dump.”
Wheeler will read from his book at an event at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort on December 15, at 6 p.m. He’ll be joined by fellow author Anne-Marie Oomen.

For more information about Angel of the Garbage Dump, visit

Ever since he was young, Dan has been fascinated with radio. From hearing the dulcet tones of John Gordon broadcast Minnesota Twins games, to staying up late listening to radio theater, he was captivated by the imaginative medium.