On Thursday, August 3, the Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan hosted hosted DG Julio Grazioso (Guatemala) and Assistant DG Luis Barcarcel (Xela). Juan Carlos Chevez hosted a very nice luncheon, and Emilio Crespo supplied many dishes from Hotel Cacique.

We had an excellent meeting with great team presence. David Griggs, Bruce Clemens, and Vivian Harvey were present online. More than 10 RECLA members participated, and many prospective members also were present, for a total of 22 present.

After a junta directiva review of overall goals from 11-12:15, DG Julio gave a rotary presentation from 12:15-1:15 in excellent English, practicing for presentations in Belize. He will forward his powerpoint presentation, and Dr Will Bogel will distribute it as requested. This was a great team effort, and Dr. Will believes we will have a very positive relationship with the DG and partner in both country and district projects.

Dr. Will expresses gratitude to all Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan members for a very successful 2016-17, as we look forward to an excellent new Rotary year and synergy from our team.

Students from AMA work to improve Lake Atitlan

At the last meeting in March, 9 fifth/sixth grade students from the Atitlan Multicultural Academy (AMA) in Panajachel, along with their teacher, were recognized for their efforts to improve the condition of Lake Atitlan by planting tul along the shore of the lake. By helping to reforest the tul along Lake Atitlán, students work to promote the lake’s ability to cope with environmental contaminants while improving local economies through the handicrafts made by local tuleros.

The students spoke about their concerns about Lake Atitlan and were awarded a “Save the Lake” Certificate. During this project they also developed a slide presentation about ways those who live around the lake can join in efforts to help save the lake.

Their teacher, Joe Dvorak, is from Tully, NY, was a Rotary Youth Ambassador to Spain as a high school senior, representing Rotary District 7150.

Mama Hope and El Arbol de Niño

Three representatives from Mama Hope, an international global development program, Katie Carey from Boston, Katrina Boratko from San Francisco, and Ingrid Villaseñor from Panajachel, presented their plans for a partnership to develop for an eco-school in Panajachel,El Arbol del Niño.

Building will take place over the next three years, and when completed, in addition to a holistic educational center for 100 students, El Arbol del Niño will develop an ecofarm employing local families and an ecotourism program with birdwatching and hiking opportunities.

Rotary Meeting in Guatemala City, April 1

On April 1, William Boegel, President and Mayra Tobias, Secretary, represented our club at the meeting for Presidents and Secretary Training (PETS), an annual program for updating the leadership functions of Rotary clubs. In attendance were the governor-elect, current past governors, assistant governors, district instructors, and a large group of Rotarians in leadership positions throughout the country, providing an enriching sharing experience for all.

The presence of our local officers at this type of activities generates contacts with other national clubs and allows us to present information about our achievements toward the fulfillment of our goals, in addition to fulfilling our club obligations and responsibilities.

Learning more about procedures with Rotary International helps our club members learn more about the benefits of Rotary membership, while at the same time building strong friendship ties with other local Rotary groups.

Seventh annual surgical mission completed

Report from Dr. Will Boegel, Lake Atitlan Rotery e-Club president:

Opal House and Fidalgo Island Rotary pediatric orthopedic surgical week from March 4th till March 11th.

A team of five foot and ankle surgeons, two pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and 3 anesthesiologists performed 34 major bone surgeries on poor children and a few adults
with serious orthopedic deformities, many of them congenital. This “no charge” surgical service reaches poor families all across Guatemala who have no resources for private surgery.
The cooperative Rotary effort took place in the San Lucas Toliman parroquia hospital which recently received two excellent x-ray machines, paid for by a Global Grant.

Many thanks to all who serve the truly poor of Guatemala.

Mardi Gras information session

The Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan sponsored an information room at the annual Mardi Gras celebration at the Panajachel Colegio International for local community programs, including several bilingual schools, the Audubon Society, and health programs. Several members of the Lake Atitlan Rotary spoke with visitors about the value of membership in our local group.

Panakids at Rotary

In early March, the Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan recognized the teachers and students of Panakids, a local bilingual elementary school, which been named a “Save the Lake” school for the students’ efforts on promoting information on water conservation and phosphorus-free soaps. Teachers explained the mission of the school, and each of the children described how they are influencing their families and friends.

Tul project report for February 3, 2017 

Planting TulAbout a dozen Tzununa locals and over 70 non-residents converged in Tzununa to plant tul in about half (150 meters) of the 300 meters of plantable shoreline around Tzununa.  AMSCLAE (Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán) and CONAP (Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas) provided the boats to bring the tul.  About a dozen people from AMSCLAE, CONAP, and the Amigos Atitlan Tul Technician joined the army of volunteers from several municipalities and 4 fisherman’s associations along with many other volunteers from ¡Sembremos Tul!  
The entire tul replanting and regeneration project is coordinated by Lake Atitlan Environmental Interests Group.

The Rotary E-Club of Lake Atitlan continues to support the tul project with a donation to purchase the tul plants and the supporting rock in which it is planted, and Rotary members assisted in the actual planting.  In addition, the Asuncion Rotary group in Guatemala City is supporting this effort.
The planting and replacement of tul provides a natural plant which is essential to reducing the presence of cyanobacteria in the lake. By making use of the local material, tul, the project results in saving time and money.  Importantly, it revives traditional practices which play a vital role in the culture of the Mayan population who live around Lake Atitlan. 
At the same time, Atitlan Organics coordinated the pickup of over 30 large trash bags of garbage from along the shore of the lake. 
The next planting of the tul around Tzununa will take place on February 17th and will continue to be held on the first and third Fridays of each month.

2017 Uniendo América Project Fair in El Salvador

January in Central America is Rotary Project Fair time. The two districts – (1) Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras and (2) Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama – select one country to host this annual event.  This year the Project Fair was held in Salinitas, El Salvador, at the Royal Decameron Hotel on the Pacific Coast. 
Rotary E-Club Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, is known as the “Coffee Booth” for our selling of locally-grown organic coffee, with 1/2 of the proceeds going to the coffee-growing families and the other half going to the Rotary Foundation International.
Five members of the Rotary E-Club of Lake Atitlan attended the Central American Fair.  As a club, we are especially concerned with supporting projects involving providing clean drinking water, sanitation, and any project that will help the water quality of Lake Atitlán.  This project fair provides opportunities to participants to present information about Lake Atitlan to Rotarians from the United States and Canada, as well as in other parts of Central America.

Central American Fair
The Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan would like to invite you to attend our regular Thursday bilingual meetings, which take place at the Cacique Hotel from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Call (502) 7762-1205 for more information, or follow our meetings live via GoToMeeting.

cleaning2-1The Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan, in coordination with the Rotary Club, Asuncion; the Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán y su Entorno (AMSCLAE), represented by Luisa Cifuentes; and Amigos de Santa Cruz, represented by Anna, joined the Municipality of Panajachel and the Panajachel recycling center in a cleanup morning near the Rio San Francisco.  Dr. Will Boegel and Shawn Eisenhauer represented the Rotary.  The urgency of this lake crisis of eutrophication was explained to all 30 people in attendance.

The Rotary group is continuing their hard work to educate people around the lake about the great need to prevent Lake Atitlan from dying, and donations will be gratefully accepted to assist with this effort.

The Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan would like to invite you to attend our regular Thursday bilingual meetings, which take place at the Cacique Hotel from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Call (502) 7762-1205 for more information, or follow our meetings live via GoToMeeting. Our next meeting will be October 27th.


Dr Will Boegel
The Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan President
[email protected]