Ajijic Rotary Club celebrated November as Rotary Foundation Month


Ever wondered how Rotary Clubs manage to fund the many, sometimes expensive, community projects they are involved in? Of course, they do fundraising like all other on-profit organizations, depending on the generous support of local businesses and lakeside residents, and heavily rely on their members, known as Rotarians, to physically help and spend many hours on projects, using their expertise and talents. But that is not the only way that Rotary Clubs can maintain their local activities.


The Rotary Foundation plays a fundamental part in empowering Rotarians to take action to improve lives in their communities. The Rotary Foundation helps fund the humanitarian activities of the Clubs, from local service projects to global initiatives such as the eradication of polio throughout the world. The Rotary Foundation, founded in 1917, has awarded more than US$1.9 billion in grants, which are distributed by local Rotary Clubs. However, there are 33,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide, and to obtain a grant from the Rotary Foundation, a Club has to go through a time-consuming application process, whether or not in partnership (matching grant) with another Rotary Club. The Foundation is very selective. Its decisions are based on assessed community needs and the commitment of experienced project managers. A thorough review of each application in terms of post-funding sustainability is also part of the process. In adherence to Rotary International standards, projects must be completed on time and within budget. Officials from the Foundation may come to view and inspect a site for themselves.

The Rotary Club of Ajijic has been serving the community and making a positive difference in the Lake Chapala area since 2002. It is very fortunate to have 42 dedicated members composed of Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, and other nationals, who work in Mexico or are retired here. They are leaders, and business or other professionals. The Club currently has 19 international partners in other Rotary Clubs in the USA and in Canada.

Among recently completed projects in the last year or two are:

A solar energy water and electric system, together with commercial kitchen equipment, at Hope House;Industry-standard woodworking machines and tools for a comprehensive furniture making training program at Hammers;

A solar energy system at Love in Action;

Computer lab equipment and musical instruments at the San Nicholas de Ibarra Secundaria school;

A potable water facility in Tlachichilco.


The Rotary Club of Ajijic is excited to have the following community projects constituting the current project plan, and for which the Club is seeking partners and funding:

Love in Action Facilities Repairs. Maintenance repairs to buildings, and upgrading of kitchen equipment.

Humane Education Alliance. Anti-violence/bullying prevention/intervention and conflict resolution curriculum for lakeside public schools.

San Juan Cosala Malecon Expansion. Additional recreational facilities.

San Juan Cosala Soccer Sponsorship. Funding to purchase uniforms, shoes, and equipment for the formation of a soccer league.

Stop Hunger Program. Distributing meals in poverty-striken/poor areas.

Ajijic Fire Department Equipment. Fire trucks, apparatus, personal protection equipment, and an ambulance

Tepehua Young Adult Education. Educational program for drug and violence prevention, and sexual awareness with gender perspective for young adults.

Hope House Multi-Sport Field. Building an athletic field where the boys can exercise, learn different sports, and learn how to be team players. The field would also benefit the local village of Ixtlahuacan.

Codeni Dance. Workshops for developing dance and music skills, and providing positive alternatives to urban street life and delinquency. The program is intended for all youth at risk in Guadalajara and other communities.

Hope House Industrial Arts/Literacy Training and Agricultural Training. Outfitting an existing facility with tools for life-skills training purposes. Providing a solar water heating system, a storage shed and tools. In addition, the purchase of fish, seeds, and other items to yield a thriving aquaponics system for providing both food and a meaningful agricultural training for the boys.

Tepehua Maternal Health. A contination of the Maternal Health Program. Education and prevention instead of just curing problems.

Habitat Tepehua and Foundations of Hope. Teaching the men in the local community how to repair and build, especially foundations that will not move or crack, and contain water pipes for connecting to city water supplies.

Wheelchair Distribution and Seating Clinic. Providing wheelchairs and other mobility equipment to disabled poor children and adults in Guadalajara and the surrounding area, including the training of physiotherapists.

Hands On. Providing labor and addressing maintenance needs of two orphanages and a community center.

And of course Education. The Club's long-established program Scholarships, for which the Club has set up an Endownment Fund that enables others to contribute to the program; and the ongoing program ARDAT (Rotary Dog Assisted Therapy), which utilizes trained dogs to help children improve their reading skills and teach them respect for animals (and hence for each other). This should help prevent violence and bullying.


To contact the Rotary Club of Ajijic, view photos of projects, or obtain information about membership, please visit www.rotaryajijic.org.