Our Honduras Ties
The list of our Club’s involvement in International Projects is extremely numerous. Worthwhile International Projects have included a metal roof for a school house in Honduras; Nepal relief to build schools $45,000-55,000; and Covid relief grants between our Club and Ian Riesley of Australia $162,000.
Our Club has most notably been involved in Honduras managing 10 grants over 13 years for $500,000. This program not only involved furnishing dollars but feet on the ground. Our Honduras connection and subsequent projects was the largest undertaking in recent Club history. Through various contacts The Norma Love Foundation was introduced to the Club in 2003 and the Board approved supporting this Foundation. A list of projects was provided.
In order to accomplish this endeavor our club needed to partner with a Rotary Club in Honduras. In early January 2004 a Tegucigalpa Club representative and director contacted our Club and informed us that they were able to work with us. Numerous projects followed and resulted in a trip to Honduras by Don Mebus and Steve Zimmer in 2004. On that trip they met the Nueva Tegucigalpa Rotarians and some government officials (this was where they sat with the President of Honduras on the plane on the way down). They flew over the mountains to visit Norma and see what the situation was in Mocoron. They narrowly escaped from the village and Puerto Lempira as a hurricane bore down on them. They traveled back to Tegucigalpa for their flight home by flying to San Pedro Sula and traveling by local bus (chickens and pigs included!) This was our first real service involvement in Honduras. Don and Steve went on to visit Honduras two more times. Don went back six more times in the following years.
In 2005 Scott Hendricks took over the management of this project that lasted over 13 years and 13 trips, all but one working directly on a grant. One time Scott went and camped out at our local representative’s place to get him to finish the final report! Visitors over the years from our Club have included Bob Griffin, Don Mebus, Val Gibson, Bonnie Harris, Dan Blumberg, Steve Zimmer, Walter Virden and Earl Harcrow. Four Past District Governors and at least 10 other individuals from our District have also been. Through the years many of our Club members have made personal donations to purchase Christmas gifts, athletic equipment, building materials, medical supplies, etc. During the later years, the partner Club in Honduras changed to the Roatan Rotary Club where Arlington Rotarian Earl Harcrow now resides.