Service above Self on the Sea of Cortez

By Azucena Mazón & Shandra Keesecker-Rivero

Thanks to the just over 55 projects of Rotary International Utah District 5420 carried out in Puerto Peñasco last week, sectors from education to health and housing received enormous benefits during the District’s 2014-15 Conference.

rotary-UT-5420-jun2015 (1)In a truly monumental step for the area, Puerto Peñasco hosted Utah 5420’s District Conference, which included the participation of some 700 people who visited the city from June 8th – 13th. On the conference’s final day, June 13th, various presentations were made across the community of projects completed during the week. This included the presentation of four furnished homes, for which families had already been selected, as well as a re-dedication of the elementary school aptly named “Rotary” on the northern side of the city.

The Rotary school, which was home base for many of the District’s numerous projects, received benefits including new paint inside and out, a new perimeter fence, installation of computer equipment and playground equipment, among other efforts.

At the Dialysis Center, where various Rotary Clubs from Utah have already provided tremendous assistance over the past year through the provision of an ambulance, crash cart, and funds for a dialysis machine, this time had Rotary members digging into the dirt with their own hands in order to plant trees around the clinic. By doing so, this meets one of the “green area” requirements outlined by the Federal Commission on Health Risk Protection (Cofepris), which is yet another step to acquiring certification of the Dialysis Center so that it can begin operations.

Additional projects across the community included trips to the Esperanza Children’s Home north of town in order to provide support via cleaning supplies and filling of other needs, construction of an addition to the local “piñata factory” complete with a handicap-accessible bathroom, work alongside individuals from “the piñata factory” all of whom are graduates of La Montaña school for children with special needs, a dental clinic, a very successful vision awareness campaign and distribution of nearly 800 sunglasses throughout the community, setting up a health clinic at a local junior high, as well as supplying of computers and training in setting up computer rooms at area junior high’s, among many others.

Rafaela Félix de Figueroa, Puerto Peñasco First Lady and President of the local DIF, who has taken the dialysis center project on as one of her principal goals, expressed her appreciation to members of the Utah Rotary clubs for the support they have provided to the Dialysis Center not just with the recent landscaping program but also for the specialized equipment and materials they have provided, along with all of the support and benefits they have brought to the community across Puerto Peñasco.

It is worth highlighting the collaborative efforts of Utah District 5420 and the Rotary Club of Puerto Peñasco Mar de Cortés over the past year has been fundamental in the donation of two ambulances – one for the Dialysis Center and the other for Red Cross – as well as acquiring two school buses for local schools (one that arrived and another on its way), as well as additional equipment for the Dialysis Center.

Safe travels, thanks for being here, and come back soon!

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