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Even as the pandemic of Covid-19 continues throughout the world, with the help and generosity of our amazing partners and co-sponsors Bob Bitter and Phil Benner from Rotary District 5220 out of Pleasanton California, we were able to send a container of wheelchairs to Bolivia. We received the following letter and images from ChiChi Mendez from RC Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

“Dear Eva,

I attach these photos of the delivery of 10 wheelchairs in the town of San José de Chiquitos, which is just over 240 km from our city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

For this trip, our Rotary companions Maritza Céspedes and Susana Alarcón traveled by car on Friday 14, accompanied by a friend María Teresa Saucedo, it is a quality road on the route to the border with Brazil, it is the area that we call Chiquitania and the one that suffered the great fires of last year, along with the Brazilian Amazon.

In all the towns that suffered forest fires we have and are delivering wheelchairs, in several of them there are Rotary clubs, in this town of San José we formed a club about 10 years ago, but it lasted only 5 years, today we have the possibility of recovering it . It is not easy due to the pandemic but there are always volunteer partners who make the trip to share the delivery at all times.

The pandemic crisis continues strongly, we have not yet reached the plateau moment. Even with these 12 days of blockades that we have had by the government militants who escaped in November 2019, it has been very hard especially for the hospitalized patients because oxygen could not get to the hospitals that needed it, we trust in our Lord, may we have more peace of mind in the remainder of the year and we can hold a quiet national election on October 18.

We trust that at some point safe travel will resume and our friends from Pleasanton and Madera will be able to visit our country again.

Greetings to you and best wishes that you are very well together with your family, let’s continue taking good care of each other.”

Chichi mendez
R.C. Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Rotary - Monterrey MX 2020

In the last week of February, earlier this year, we returned to Monterrey, Mexico, for a wheelchair distribution and other “hands-on” community service.  On Friday, we painted a Senior Center for Alzheimer’s patients (“celery white” was the color they chose), planted five trees, and presented three people with wheelchairs. One of them was a polio survivor, which made the day even more powerful.  Because of the efforts of Rotary, and the Gates Foundation, we don’t really see any young people with polio anymore, and most people today don’t realize how devastating disease this was a half-century ago.

Along with about 20 other Rotarians from Northern California, we interacted with Rotarians from many of the Monterrey area’s 18 Rotary Clubs.  Their hospitality is legendary and it was so fun to look at their projects and enjoy Members Night Out dinners (including a restaurant known for its goat or “Cabrito” dishes) as we continue the “Amigos Para Siempre”, “Friends Forever” philosophy we adopted 17-years-ago with the Monterrey Rotarians.  It has been so rewarding for us to partner on so many projects.