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Santa Barbara Downtown Rotarians to Change Lives in Guatemala

This new ONIL stove built by S.B. Rotarians uses 70 percent less wood, and smoke is vented outside.

“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

This is the foundation in which Rotary exists. Established in 1918, the Santa Barbara Downtown Rotary Club was established to help like-minded business people network and give back to the community.

Flash forward almost 100 years, and you continue to have a group of dedicated volunteers wanting to give back to the people around them.

Each year, a group of Rotarians take the extended flight to Guatemala where they have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of the native Mayan people.

The native population of Guatemala was subjected to a 30 year civil war that resulted in segregation and the false premise of being subservient in the culture.

Mayan Families, a nonprofit organization operating in the highlands of Guatemala, believes in increasing the welfare of this indigenous population that was unfairly mistreated in recent history.

Everything from education, family aid, shelter and income-generating programs to elder care — this organization helps the victims of an unfortunate situation to regain deserved reverence.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara saw a need that met its mission and decided to take action. On Feb. 19, 2016, ten Rotarians alongside four members on the Unity Church of Santa Barbara will venture to Guatemala to assist the native Mayan families better their environment and daily lives.

This group will aid the Mayan Families program by sponsoring children to remain in school, installing water filters and fuel efficient stoves, participating in the elderly and family feeding program, delivering medical and school supplies and more.

Rotary club of Santa Barbra is welcoming cash sponsorships that will directly go to the Mayan Families organization. It also seeks donations of medical supplies and school supplies.

If you are interested in helping with this great cause, please contact Nikki Ramirez at 805.886.8992 or [email protected].

Steve Peterson, Bill and Bonnie Dutton, Dan Herlinger, Michael Self, John Self, Don Jack, Terri Eddy, Kathleen Blake and Kirk Green make up the group that will be traveling to Guatemala.

For additional information, please contact Nikki Ramirez at 805.886.8992 or [email protected].

Nikki Ramirez represents Santa Barbara Downtown Rotary Club.

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