23 District 7890 Rotary Clubs have joined together to fund
the 20th, 21st, and 22nd sustainable water and sanitation projects in Guatemala
Twenty-three Rotary Clubs in northern CT and Western MA (Rotary District 7890) have joined together to fund a project that will bring fresh drinking water and sanitation facilities to three needy communities in Guatemala.  Including matching funds from The Rotary Foundation a total of $160,273 was raised.  Adding this amount to the funds raised during the previous ten years brings the twelve-year total to $785,568.
Contributing clubs from Connecticut were Avon-Canton, Bloomfield, East Hartford, East Windsor, Enfield, Hartford, Kensington-Berlin, Manchester, Newington, Plainfield, Rockville, Salisbury, Suffield, Torrington-Winsted, Watertown, West Hartford, Wethersfield-Rocky Hill, and Willimantic along with Massachusetts’ clubs in Holyoke, Pittsfield, Westfield, West Springfield and Wilbraham/Hampden
Three Rotary clubs from neighboring Massachusetts/Rhode Island District 7950 – Chariho, Wakefield and Westerly, RI; three in southeast Florida’s District 6990 - Ft. Lauderdale North Beach, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach; two from District 5030 in Washington – Lake Forest Park and Seattle #4; one from District 7040 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada; two from District 7850 In Northern VT,NH & Quebec – Drummondville & Saint-Hyacinthe; one from District 6560 in Indiana – Fishers Rotary Club; the Rotary Club of La Antigua, Guatemala in District 4250 and the private Fondation Coup de Coeur contributed funds to achieve the goal. 
Two Districts, 7890 in Northern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts and District 7850 in Northern VT, NH & Quebec contributed $10,000 each and District 6560 in Indiana contributed $2,000 in District Designated Funds.  Such contributions are matched dollar for dollar by The Rotary Foundation in Global Grants thus resulting in a total of $44,000.
These funds will pay for the materials needed to complete gravity fed water system with gray water filters, vented pit latrines and improved vented stoves for the 270 families (1,620 people) who live in the rural communities of Pamezul, Vista Hermosa and San Vicente, Guatemala.  All labor is provided by the men and women in each village. These projects continue the goal of Rotary International to have every Rotary Club support an international water and sanitation project every year.  By working together, pooling their resources and obtaining Global Grants with matching funds from The Rotary Foundation, the Rotarians have been successful in adding size and strength to their chosen projects. 
District Water Committee Chair and Manchester Rotarian Rick Lawrence again spearheaded the drive to raise the necessary funds by making presentations about the project to the Rotary clubs throughout northern CT, western MA, and central RI as well as several clubs in south eastern FL and one in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  In March he and his wife traveled to Guatemala to visit the three villages that were funded the previous year.  While there, he documented photographically the improvements and expressions of gratitude displayed by the members of the village, utilizing these during his presentations and showing the Rotarians how important their past contributions were to these indigenous Mayans.
The project’s implementation will be coordinated through the host partner, the Rotary Club of La Antigua, Guatemala and its cooperating partner, ALDEA (formerly Behrhorst Partners for Development), a non-profit organization with ties to over 75 communities in Guatemala.  ALDEA helps train community-chosen people as a health promoter, a village dispensary manager and someone to oversee use of medical emergency transportation funds.  ALDEA also provides extensive training in sanitation, personal hygiene, maintenance of the water system components, micro loans, nutrition, including help in school and home vegetable gardens, as well as educational talks about family planning and birth spacing.  In Guatemala over 50% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
This Rotary project will help address some of the basic causes of poor health in this area and will help the villagers address basic sanitation – water systems, gray-water filters and latrines – in order to help prevent the constant illnesses that afflict the population, particularly children. 
At a recent meeting of the Manchester Rotary Club representatives from clubs contributing to Pamezul, Vista Hermosa, and San Vicente, Guatemala water projects are as follows (L-R):
Front Row:
Ken Golden - Manchester; District Governor Elect Kate Sims - Manchester; Richard Kisiel – Suffield; Past District Governor Mike Barnett - Manchester; Elaine Pavasaris – Kensington/Berlin; Past District Governor Eileen Rau – West Hartford; District Governor Dave Mangs – West Hartford; Bob Horrocks – Wakefield, RI; Milton Rosenberg – Enfield.
Back Row:
Rick Lawrence – Manchester Rotarian & Project Chair; Francesco Pagano – Hartford; Ed McCarron – Holyoke, MA; Tom Accomando – Holyoke, MA; Bill Hall – Plainfield; John Walker - Willimantic; Bob Newbold – Newington; Gary Ruchin – Rockville; Chris van Hemelrijck – Wakefield, RI; Past District Governor Larry Ottoson – Wilbraham/Hampden, MA; Dave Amberg – East Hartford; Alex Messes – Bloomfield.
For further information, contact Rick Lawrence at elawrlaw@sbcglobal.net or (860) 558-2793 Cell.