Rotarians build houses in Mexico Two flagship projects -- Senior outreach and building houses in Mexico -- gave new insights to Rotarians on how to get the youth involved to make community life a cherished experience.

Rotarian Tom Hartrick hands Rotary Club of the Delta President Mike Green, seen on the ladder, a brick to place on the expanding structure that will become a family’s home in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. The two were part of a Rotarian effort to help bring relief to this poverty-torn area. Photo: Mike Green
Rotarian Tom Hartrick hands Rotary Club of the Delta President Mike Green, seen on the ladder, a brick to place on the expanding structure that will become a family’s home in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. The two were part of a Rotarian effort to help bring relief to this poverty-torn area. Photo: Mike Green

In keeping with the motto of ‘Service Above Self,’ Antioch’s Rotary Club of the Delta (California, US — D 5160) members have been working overtime to help others in their own community and beyond.

And with 2017’s theme being ‘Making a Difference,’ Rotary President Mike Green was excited about two particular projects – senior outreach and a trip to Mexico to build houses.

“I have a great Rotary club,” said Green. “We do really neat things in the community, and I’m proud to be a member.”

The senior outreach effort is coordinated through Episcopal Senior Services, which generates a list of seniors in need of home repairs.

Green and his team venture to different homes on the weekends to help.

He said the work is as light as changing light bulbs or smoke-detector batteries and as heavy as replacing a leaky sink faucet or mending a downed pergola.

“The cool thing is that even those members of the club who don’t feel they have a lot of skill are finding themselves to be helpful by sitting with the senior and talking to them while the job is completed,” he said.

“The seniors love the help, and we’ve run into really incredible people.”

Another undertaking that wrapped up in late December was a voyage to San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, to build homes and supply drinking water.

The members wrote to Rotary International for a building grant and were able to purchase a compressed earth block-making machine and a reverse osmosis water purification system, which would help provide usable drinking water at an inexpensive price.

“We started making giant concrete blocks with a little bit of cement, clay, sand and water,” said Green, who said the use of the plentiful sand in San Luis was not only more economical than cement but more environmentally friendly.

“It’s less raw material. What we’ve also noticed is the homes we’ve built have typically been cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”

A significant part of the Mexico trip for Green and other Rotarians who accompanied him was getting local youth involved and inspired to help their neighbours, no matter how far those neighbours may be.

“New volunteers from 16 to 80 got to see how there are other ways of living in our world,” said Rotarian Tom Hartrick.

“It is more important to raise awareness and show our youth, so they will be able to raise awareness for future generations until these living conditions are eliminated.”

For Kevin Landski, Rotary president-elect, who together with his wife and daughter has participated in multiple relief efforts in the region found the experience shaped his daughter as a person.

“It had a profound impact on (my daughter) to see the depth and scale of poverty that exists down there,” said Hartrick.

“It affected her so much that it became a frequent topic of discussion at home. Soon after that, our conversations have turned toward education, as she thinks that is the best way out of poverty.”

Source: The Press

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RI Director Bharat Pandya is Treasurer for Rotary International for 2020-21, when Holgar Knaack will be RI President, JohritaSolari will be the Vice President and Stephanie Urchick, the Executive Committee Chair.