Around the globe, Rotarians connect with partners to build healthy, sustainable communities –to help the people in the communities to realize their dreams.
Projects in Guatemala
In partnership with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), RCM implements specific, sustainable projects that improve infrastructure, health and education for rural communities in the highlands of Guatemala.
In a truly remarkable partnership, the newest project brings together resources from twelve Rotary clubs, five Districts, two foundations, the Rotary International World Fund, and EWB to build a vital clean and reliable water source for Escuintla Hospital, a critical medical facility. The estimated cost of the project is $195,598.
Water for drinking and sanitation at the hospital is in short supply. The primary water source is two antiquated and failing wells. A secondary temporary source is the municipal system which can be accessed in emergencies for only two hours per day. During those two hours, water service to the city is cut off. Can you imagine living in your home under those circumstances, not to mention a hospital? Patients are even requested to bring their own water supplies with them when seeking medical services. Along with the ongoing patient care requirements, additional burdens have come with the massive medical issues associated with Covid-19.
Click here to watch a short video of the raising of the water tank. Click here for the most recent update in Guatemala.
Looking back, in 2014 RCM and EWB constructed a roughing filter for the municipality of Joyabaj, Guatemala, to improve the water quality for its 25,000 residents. Rotarians traveled to see the project first-hand – RCM has since made the Guatemala trip an annual tradition, with opportunities for members to participate directly in the implementation of projects.
Then RCM and EWB built two pedestrian bridges serving several nearby communities to provide better year-round access to markets in Joyabaj. This project includes training in agricultural practices to assist locals in making the most of their improved marketplace access. In addition, RCM and EWB built two news school in the Joyabaj suburbs, cramped, windowless schoolroom. The new three-room schools with bathrooms and a handwashing station serve communities of mostly Quiche Indians though the sixth grade.
RCM and EWB work collaboratively with Guatemalan communities to seek sustainable projects with the greatest impact. Often these projects are supported by grants from Rotary International, other Rotary clubs, and individuals and foundations that recognize RCM’s persistence in making a difference.
RCM recently hosted a delegation of professionals from Serbia interested in exchanging ideas around innovation in water treatment part of the Open World program. Rotarians hosted delegates in their homes, provided a warm welcome through social events, and arranged for behind-the-scenes tours and talks in many of Milwaukee’s educational institutions and innovation hubs.
Members build global connections through programs like Open World and other cultural exchanges sponsored by Rotary International – bridging differences and promoting international goodwill.
Rotary International’s signature program, Polio Plus, was established in 1985 and has since been dedicated to eradicating polio around the world. More than one million Rotarians have volunteered their time and personal resources to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio. With only two endemic countries left, the campaign continues, supported by donations from RCM and other Rotary clubs around the world.