International projects

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Dear Amigos!
Amigos de Guatemala does not send many emails but wanted to share this exciting news.

What can I say other than I am ECSTATIC, bouncing off the walls! Amigos de Guatemala did it. A couple of months ago, Amigos de Guatemala shared that we partnered with Project C.U.R.E. to perform an assessment of the medical center in Zacualpa and two smaller clinics regarding their equipment needs. The Project C.U.R.E. team determined that the clinics needed to replace broken and outdated equipment valued at $500,000. That would fill a 40-foot long shipping container. Amigos de Guatemala was tasked with raising the shipping costs for the donated medical equipment.

We accomplished this through your help, a Rotary district grant as well as a guardian angel in the form of a non-profit called Advance Guatemala, changing lives through access to better medical care. THANK YOU!

The needed equipment will be gathered at Project C.U.R.E.’s Phoenix-area warehouse and will be on its way to Guatemala once the equipment list is complete and loaded into the container.

Amigos de Guatemala is a small operation focusing on access to education and healthcare. This opportunity to change the lives of over 70,000 indigenous Maya will forever change the health of the Zacualpa community.

                                           Click images to open

Thank you Advance Guatemala and Project C.U.R.E for being wonderful partners. To a long and fulfilling partnership.

How can you help? Spread the word. There is always the need to help with education opportunities such as scholarships, keeping the library update to date besides the numerous medical needs. Please contact us at:

Amigos de Guatemala
P.O. Box 940
Cloverdale, CA 95425

Con amor,





Spring 2016 Newsletter from Amigos de Guatemala

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Happy Spring to all of you Amigos!
After returning from another fulfilling and joyous trip to Zacualpa, Amigos de Guatemala hit the trail running. Updates and presentations seem to be the norm for the past couple of months. I am always to humbled by all of the love and support from all of you. Thank you!

So much has been happening that I am not sure where to begin. The successes of Amigos de Guatemala would not happen without partners. These partners come in the form of individuals, groups such as the different Rotary Clubs, or “boots on the ground” through ADIZ – NGO (a non-government organization) and a new partner, Project Cure.

I want to focus on this newest partner. Project Cure is a wonderful non-profit based in Colorado. Their focus is to help outfit medical clinics and hospitals in the third world. With five warehouses across the United States, Project Cure collects all types of medical equipment to be donated to these under equipped medical centers. All of this equipment is donated.

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Adelita, an Amigos de Guatemala graduate and lab technician in the Zacualpa medical center.
Amigos de Guatemala was honored to have one of their executive directors join us during our January visit. Katie Mabardy interviewed the medical directors and key staff at three different medical centers, the largest being Zacualpa. All three clinics were built and outfitted in the late 1970’s. Some of the original equipment still is in use, some is broken and none has been replaced. Can you imagine a medical la without a microscope or an exam room without proper lighting? It is amazing what these clinics are able to achieve with little resources.

Project Cure is filling a 40-foot shipping container with $500,000 worth of medical equipment to partially re-equip the three clinics that meet the needs of our students and an entire population of over 70,000.

The task of getting the shipping container to the Maya highlands falls to Amigos de Guatemala. Imagine one half of million dollars worth of medical equipment for $25,000, the cost of shipping! That is less than 40¢ per person!

Any support in this major project is greatly appreciated. The difference in the lives of students, their families and the entire community is incalculable.

Graduates of Amigos de Guatemala will receive a direct benefit. They are now nurses and lab technicians who will be using the donated equipment to care for their community.

If you would like to help us meet the medical needs of our students and the community of Zacualpa, send your tax deductible contributions to:

Amigos de Guatemala
P.O. Box 940
Cloverdale, CA 95425


Copyright © 2016 Amigos de Guatemala, All rights reserved.


Mexico Wash+ Program

by Jim Goodrich,  Water Projects Chair

The Groveland Rotary Club has joined seven other Rotary Districts around the world to spearhead a fantastic new joint water and sanitation (WASH) (plus) initiative between Rotary International and the government of Mexico. The Rotary Districts include three from South Korea, two from the US, and (currently) two from Mexico. In this program, the Mexican government is providing 80% matching funds to Rotary’s 20% to fund water and sanitation projects in rural communities in Mexico. A 5-year, $1,000,000 pilot program is coming together in 2015 to address WASH needs in three rural communities in Oaxaca State in southern Mexico. If this pilot program is deemed successful, it will open the door to similar joint funding of WASH projects throughout Mexico. Groveland Rotary Club has pledged $1,000 toward this program and District 5220 has agreed to match funds raised by clubs within District 5220, up to $10,000.

Jim Goodrich, past president of Groveland Rotary Club, joined several other Rotarians in 2014 to begin negotiations with several Mexican government agencies and universities. These agencies and organizations will partner with Rotary Clubs/Districts to assure that the WASH needs of rural Mexicans are met and the projects remain sustainable. The organizations partnering with Rotary include:

  • The Mexican National Water Commission (CONAGUA) is the national water resources agency for Mexico and will be the conduit through which Mexico will match Rotary funding; CONAGUA will also assist in identifying and prioritizing communities that will receive the funding.
  • The Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), is a public research center located in Jiutepec, near Cuernavaca, Morelos. The institution has broad responsibilities to develop, research, and teach disseminate knowledge and technologies for the sustainable management of water in Mexico. IMTA will assist Rotary and CONAGUA in selecting appropriate WASH technologies that will help insure long-term sustainability. They will also provide assistance with conflict resolution when dealing with indigence Maya people, who have a history of discontent with the Mexican national government.
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the National Autonomous University of Mexico, established in 1910, is the major university in Mexico, and one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the Americas. UNAM will assist Rotary and CONAGUA with selecting appropriate WASH technologies.
  • The College of Mexico (COLMEX), is one of Mexico’s most respected academic institutions. Located in southern Mexico City, it specializes in teaching and research in social sciences and humanities. COLMEX will assist the program with demographic information and geographic information (GIS) in the form of mapping.
  • The Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL) is the government department in charge of social development efforts in México. The Secretary of Social Development (SEDESOL) is a member of the Executive Cabinet. SEDESOL aims to eliminate poverty through comprehensive, collectively responsible human development, achieve adequate levels of well-being with adjustment to government policies, and improvement through social, economic and political factors in rural and urban areas to enhance local organization, city development and housing. SEDESOL will assist the pilot program in addressing the other Rotary Areas of Focus.

Once projects have been identified and design details agreed upon by the funding parties, funds will be transferred into a joint trust account managed by a commission appointed by the Rotary and government funding partners. This mechanism will assure that funds are present when the projects begin, as well as help prevent financial abuse during the project.

Currently (March 2015), memoranda of understanding (MOUs) are being developed between Rotary and each government agency/organization. These will be completed and signed by Fall 2015. Concurrently, the seven Rotary Districts involved in the pilot program are raising funds and a Global Grant is being prepared. The financial goal for Rotary is to raise $200,000 by the Fall of 2015. This includes $100,000 from Rotary Clubs and Districts and $100,000 from The Rotary Foundation. This $200,000 from Rotary will be match by $800,000 from CONAGUA.

In addition to address the WASH needs of these communities, Rotary Clubs will also be evaluating and addressing the needs that fall under the other Rotary Areas of Focus, including Literacy, Infant and Maternal Health, Disease Prevention, Conflict Resolution, and Economic Development. Sustainability has a better chance of succeeding when all Areas of Focus are addressed.

A Needs Assessment Team will be traveling to Oaxaca in April-May 2015 to evaluate WASH needs, as well as the needs in the other Areas of Focus in the three communities selected for the Pilot Program. The Team will be testing a new questionnaire jointly developed by The Rotary Foundation and the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG). This questionnaire will then be used around the world to assess the needs of communities that will be receiving assistance from Rotary and the Rotary Foundation.



February 2015 Newsletter from Amigos de Guatemala

Dear Amigos,

I am writing this as I am sitting in the airplane heading back from Guatemala.

Many thank yous and greetings from all of the students to all of you who make the Amigos de Guatemala program a success. Fredy and the ADIZ team continue to make strides in the Zacualpa area.

Seven young women graduated this past October. Bob and Jan Hatmaker’s dream to focus on educating girls has become a reality. Over 70% of the scholarship students are female! While there is still the “machismo” world in Zacualpa and the rest of Guatemala, we are slowly seeing a change.


The volunteer team was hard at work during our visit. They tackled everything from conducting English classes to interviewing the new students to translating your students’ letters. We were all happily tired at the end of each day

Upon returning home, I will be busy getting your students’ letters, translations and pictures together to send your way. These letters are written with love and appreciation. I hope to have them all sent by the end of the month.

Amigos de Guatemala will be continuing with a couple of projects focusing on dental and vision needs. Through the generosity of Dr. Jenner Argueta’s expertise, many students receive the much needed dental care. ADG funds the materials needed and Dr. Argueta donates his talent. This year will be the first to have many students vision checked. Studying is hard when one cannot see the blackboard or read his book. Your donations help support these programs.
Copyright © 2015 Amigos de Guatemala, All rights reserved.
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Written by Robert Hatmaker

The Groveland Rotary Club has supported an international project – Amigos de Guatemala – since 2003. Under the leadership of Rotarian Robert Hatmaker, Amigos de Guatemala began with the Groveland Club supporting the construction of a new school kitchen in the village of Jaibalito, Guatemala. Since 2003 more than 15 Rotary clubs have joined in the support of this wonderful program. The program is centered in the area of Zacualpa, Guatemala serving 19 rural villages of indigenous – Maya – people who suffer from poverty, low literacy rates and physical, social & political isolation.

Amigos de Guatemala has completed over 21 projects including new school classrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and water systems. Many of these projects were supported by 10 Rotary grants. Our largest and most important project is the Amigos de Guatemala library in Zacualpa serving the scholarship students and program.

In 2005 Amigos de Guatemala began a scholarship program for middle and high school students – grades 7-12. Public school in Guatemala is only grades K-6. Students must pay to continue in secondary school. The secondary school scholarship program is now the primary focus of Amigos de Guatemala. Many of the members of the Groveland Rotary Club sponsor a student. Some of the members have sponsored students since 2004. Many more sponsors are needed to support qualified students.

The scholarship program emphasizes the education of rural girls. The program now sponsors 65 students. Forty nine of these students are girls. The central meeting place for these students and their families is the new Amigos de Guatemala Library.

Amigos de Guatemala is co-directed by Rotarian Robert Hatmaker (Groveland Rotary) and Jean Herschede (Healdsburg Rotary). There are no Rotary clubs in or near Zacualpa. Therefore, we partner with Association for Development in Zacualpa (ADIZ) NGO. ADIZ manages the scholarship program and the library in Guatemala. Under the direction of ADIZ legal representative, Fredy Argueta, this partnership has been a key to the success of Amigos de Guatemala.

For those interested in reading more about Amigos de Guatemala, please follow this link: .


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