Rotarians Dave Gassoway (Morning Club) and Vicki, Craig Nightengale and Elena, Michael Jaeger and Marilyn start a trip to Ecuador at the Equator museum.
Bob Rainville (Former La Grande club member) inspects hand dug water well. Poor water resources for rural communities is a major health problem affecting children most seriously.
Water supplies are often held in open concrete containers. These units are prone to contamination.
Restrooms are often pit toilets.
Sanitary conditions are often very old, dirty and hideouts for disease vectors.
Children in these schools depend on a healthy environment.
Rotarians in Quito work collaboratively with La Grande Rotarians on a water project funded by the local clubs, districts, and Rotary International.
In Bahia, local Rotarians work together in a larger project to provide fresh water to the community.
Bahia Rotarians explain the problems of rural residents of Bahia, Ecuador. Fresh water is trucked in and is expensive.
Local Rotarians work with many clubs to leverage enough funding to create a large water project.
La Grande Rotarian Craig Nightengale receives a Rotary flag from new found friends in Ecuador.
On all trips, La Grande Rotarians visit schools. Although formal projects include water systems and sanitary facilities, on-the-ground service projects focus on help for schools.
Children must bring their own materials to school. Parents are often hard pressed to fund these needs. Schools have little funding or resources.
Rotarian Michael distributes library books to rural teachers. Books are a precious commodity.
Visits to the countryside require finding a quick bite to eat. Care for a little egg pancake?
Elena and Vicki taste the various ways that Ecuadorians cook potatoes, pork, corn, and yes, guinea pig.
Where ever Rotarians go, children are curious about what fun games, pictures, or give aways might be in the pockets of visitors…
In Bahia, Rotarians learn about how women of the community recycle paper to make note cards, boxes and other stationary.
Local Rotarians help these women develop small businesses with micro banking techniques. Here one woman shows how they collect shredded paper from the businesses downtown.
Bahia Rotarians help these women keep good records of loans and repayments. La Grande Rotary purchased their entire stock of paper to assist the women and to use as a potential revenue-generation method to fund more water projects.
The benefit of these visits, collaborations, grants, and work of local Rotarians on the ground it to create fresh water and sanitary facilities for schools and communities. Pictured here is one of seven schools showing a new bathroom facility.
Clean bathrooms, clean water.
New wells and protected water tanks keep the bugs from contaminating the water.
Secure water storage and wells make a difference in the multiplication of serious diseases common to the equatorial jungle.
School children with clean water have a better chance to ward off illness and can thrive.
La Grande Rotarians always visit Otavalo, a giant market place for textiles. Meeting with families who weave their own scarves and other garments, we make a fair trade purchase of hundreds of items. These items are returned to the US and sold at holiday markets. The profits from these sales support the ongoing international project work.
In the end, La Grande Rotarians are committed to this kind of international work as it makes an impact with children. A happy face, a healthy child, this is what we work for.