MEXICO: Neighbors and Friends

We have so many things to be grateful for in america. Especially the privilege to help others through philanthropy. This week we focus on the great opportunity we have in our district to reach across the southern border and enhance relations with Mexico.  Consider joining the USA Mexico Friendship & Global Grants Conference in Sedona, AZ. on November 19, 2015 : Follow This Link to the USA/Mexico Friendship & Global Grants Conference

Several of our club members will be there working on a developing project in Mexico. Dick Eisenach is spearheading this initiative, and coincidentally, received the Service Above Self Award from Rotary International last month.

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What an honor to have such a distinguished award recipient in our club and leading the way on this project that you will hear more about in coming weeks. He truly is a gift unto the world and we are fortunate to have him as a part of our club, district and zone.

BRINGING EDUCATION TO RURAL MEXICAN AREA, ONE SCHOOL AT A TIME

Carolina Gonzales Rivas, a scholarship recipient and member of the Rotary Club of Jaltemba-La Peñita, Mexico, talks about how Rotary has influenced her life.
When Mariana Day moved in 1989 to the small beach town of Chacala, in Nayarit, Mexico, she noticed that the surrounding rural areas struggled to maintain schools. And most children weren’t able to go beyond an eighth-grade education. Day, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Bahía de Jaltemba-La Peñita, in Nayarit, had started a local scholarship program before she joined Rotary. Called Changing Lives, the program provided students with high school tuition, uniforms, school supplies, and transportation.

In addition, Rotary clubs from the United States and Mexico have been investing in the education of children in Nayarit since 2003, providing scholarships and libraries and rehabbing school buildings.

The lasting impact in the region is apparent.

“I think the combination of the scholarship program and Rotary’s interaction with the schools has made things seem possible, has changed the climate of education here, and the way the people think about education,” Day says.

One example of Rotary’s impact is Carolina Gonzales Rivas. She was able to attend high school thanks to Day’s scholarship program. Rivas is currently working on her master’s degree and has recently joined the Rotary Club of Jaltemba-La Peñita.

“I think that what Rotary is doing by supporting education and supporting students is to have a vision for life, to have aspirations – that’s what is going to change the world,” Rivas says.

The Rotary Club of Berkeley, in California, USA, along with the Bahia de Jaltemba-La Peñita club and other North American clubs, recently tackled their largest project to date: a monthlong renovation of La Preparatoria 20 de Noviembre , a high school in the village of Las Varas. Funding came from a Rotary Foundation global grant and the financial contributions of six Rotary districts covering the 25 Rotary clubs that participated.

A total of 90 volunteers including the school’s teachers, students, and students’ parents, improved the old buildings and built three laboratory classrooms. All three feature new equipment and technology and can be used by local residents as well as students.

Eduardo Dominguez, a member of the Bahía de Jaltemba-La Peñita club, says one of the biggest rewards of these efforts is the fact that a college education is now a real possibility for local students.

“There are many young people in Mexico with huge potential and with much to give, as long as they are given an opportunity,” Dominguez says. “Rotarians are helping those opportunities to occur, for [these young people] to become contributors to their communities.”

By Daniela Garcia
Rotary News
26-Aug-2015

Author: Aaron Fritz

Joined Rotary in 1999. Past President of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club, Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, Past President of the Rotary eClub of Arizona, and current Assistant Governor for District 5490. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. 2nd Generation Rotarian.

One thought on “MEXICO: Neighbors and Friends”

  1. I think there is little question that education is the road to self-fulfillment! That said, an individual with a high I-Q or a top shelf education without a solid sense of self-worth and personal value will never achieve his/her maximum potential as a whole person. I am an author and have written a short three volume children’s book series, with its central theme being personal value and self-worth. Target audience, age 4 to 10. You may view excerpts of these at iskidfoundation.org To date our foundation has given away approximately 10,000 copies in three languages in eight countries. The title of the series is “The Is-Kid Adventure Series” We have created Bubble Bees as the main characters because aero dynamically Bumbles should not be able to fly, but they do obviously. The thought being conveyed that “Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true” The two main characters are brother & sister kid bees named Isi & Kidi. I-S standing for I’m Somebody and Kidi meaning this is all about kids.

    We would be delighted to try to make books available at no cost to schools and child advocacy groups where Rotarians are working. It is my firm belief that kids with low self-esteem are more prone to making bad decisions for themselves, decisions which can follow them for a lifetime.

    In closing, while not a requirement, I should mention that the “Is-Kid Foundation” would also be thrilled with ANY financial support that Rotarians are able to provide..

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