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In 2002, the San Clemente Rotary Club began conducting free annual health fairs in Guatemala. Local Rotarian Ricardo Nicol identified the need for improved health services in a small, impoverished rural community where many of the town’s residents could not afford medical, vision or dental appointments, or simple things such as eyeglasses.

The SC Rotary started buying medical equipment for a new medical center, which opened in 2016 in Santa Catarina Mita, more than a three-hour drive from Guatemala City.

The rotary club leveraged donations from local Rotarians, friends of the Rotary, and contributions from Rotary International Grants. SC Rotary has also partnered with other rotary clubs in the U.S. and in Central America to expand the size and scope of the project. Rotarians assist in planning, administering and improving the center’s services, as well as making regular visits.

This year, the SC Rotary leveraged matching funds through The Rotary International Foundation to raise $90,000 for the center. The money will be used over the next year to offer free health fairs, establish a new diagnostic laboratory, expand the recuperation room, and install equipment to ensure a continuous power and water supply.

Free health fairs are the only access some families have to treatment for acute and chronic diseases, not to mention vision, dental and health checkups. The Center always needs eyeglasses. To donate new and used eyeglasses or donate to the Guatemalan clinic, email Klaus Schadow at schadowkc@cox.net.

San Clemente has an engaged and diverse Rotary Club, providing service to many local, regional and international organizations and charities. To find out how you can be part of the solution, or to be a guest at an upcoming Rotary meeting, email Bob at burnsr@stifel.com or John at jcox@frescamed.com.

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