It all started with an Idea, one Rotarian who saw the excitement and passion within the Rotaractors surrounding him, knew they could work together and make a huge impact.
Jeffrey Hager, a Rotary Club of Everett Port Gardner member, proposed an idea to a group of Rotaractors about going to Guatemala with Hands for Peacemaking to install stoves in a village. An excited Rotaract Club President then proposed it at a presidents meeting as they were discussing their yearly international projects, looking for ways to join together on a larger scale.
Weeks went by and before we knew it we were planning fundraisers, organizing a trip, booking flights all in anticipation to put ourselves to work in a rural Village outside of Barillas, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. We had spaghetti feeds, pub nights, bowling, concerts, car washes, a gala, and Krispy Kreme sales. Almost $90,000 CAD later we hit our goal together.
24 Rotaractors from across District 5050 were headed for beautiful Guatemala. After 11 hours of traveling we arrived in Guatemala, tired and jet lagged, but the travel didn’t stop.
The next morning we began the 18 hour journey to the state of Huehuetenango and to the city of Barillas. There we would begin our introduction to the project at the Hands for Peacemaking mission house. The majority of our time was spent in a village called Cementario Jolomontaj. We played with the children and interacted with the families of the village, they were our main priority where we were installing.
Fortunately with the amount of Rotaractors we had, and the level of efficiency 24 of us produced, we successfully installed a total of 88 clean burning stoves spreading through three villages.
We are all extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to experience service on an international level and hope to be able to do it again someday. Of course this whole experience would not have been possible if it weren’t for the support we received from the Rotary clubs of District 5050 who believed in our cause and believed in us. We thank you for supporting and encouraging service above self as well as helping us make a difference.