The Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, District 6440, in partnership with Club Rotario Guatemala Sur, District 4250, has made positive and meaningful impact for the population in the Sumpango Municipality, Department of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.  This was achieved by implementing two major global grants (GG25643 and GG1411300) awarded by the Rotary Foundation with a total budget of $350,000 USD over the last eight years.
Partnerships and alliances have been the major building blocks in achieving success based on excellent relationship with the local and national governments, school authorities and the community.  This also is an example of  cooperation and collaboration between Rotary clubs and districts.
At the local level, Sumpango Municipality Mayor Lic. Efrain Paredes has been extremely helpful by extending collaboration, support and assistance from the municipality staff.  We are grateful and appreciative of his leadership during these eight years.  He provided consistency and continuity when needed to keep the projects advancing in spite of challenges.
The Mayor provided a testimonial letter to us acknowledging the comprehensiveness of addressing multiple community needs over an extended period of time.  His letter lists various causes such as water & sanitation, nutrition, health and hygiene, microcredit, health clinics, literacy, community economic development, just to name a few.  This is Rotary’s legacy for the people of Sumpango. 
Mayor’s original letter is in Spanish.  An English translation by an official “sworn” interpreter in Guatemala  is shown below. 
  • Past Director of RI and Trustee Jorge Aufranc; Rotary Club Guatemala Sur, Rotary District 4250, Guatemala, Guatemala
  • Past President Narayan Murarka, Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, Rotary District 6440, Barrington, Illinois, USA.
Dear friends Jorge and Narayan:
I am pleased to express officially, our thanks for the many projects supported and implemented by Rotary in Sumpango, Guatemala. The Municipality Council and myself, highest authorities of this municipality, are most grateful for the great work to our people, as was recorded and approved in the Act of the Municipality Council No. 90-2019 of November 11, 2019, our deepest gratitude. Your clubs have participated in these projects for more than eight years, which has resulted in a very significant benefit with a positive impact in our children, men and women in the community.
Jorge, your leadership and guidance during the execution of these projects has been extremely valuable. You guided your team effectively and this team was a key to implement the projects successfully. We could have not achieved our objectives without your support. As Municipality Council and especially on my behalf, we are very grateful.
Dear Narayan, we sincerely appreciate your contribution essential for the success of these projects. Your dedication is well known, travelling from the USA twice or three times a year to visit our town and have an active participation and follow up. You are a true friend and partner in the community. Thank you very much for that support. The Rotary projects touched the life of our people in many ways, especially the life of our children in the communities.
Let me give you a brief description of these achievements:
  1. Water, sanitation and hygiene. Through these initiatives, all the schools within the community have access to clean water 24 hours, seven days a week, as well as the lavatories, toilets and kitchen facilities. The impact of these initiatives benefits more than 10,000 children. This is extraordinary in terms of health benefit and education.
  2. Mechanical cows for nutrition. The installation of two mechanical cows in Sumpango has been fundamental in reducing malnutrition providing soymilk, high in protein, for children from one to five years of age. More than 500 children benefited from this project and malnutrition, according to official government data, reduced 10%, highly above national standard. Besides, soymilk has helped a group of women to start a small business using okara, a byproduct from soy, to fortify and enrich healthy food products. This has been functioning successfully for over four years.
  3. Health clinics. In our convergence centers in seven towns and the main center (CAP) in Sumpango considerable improvements in infrastructure have been made including furniture, medical equipment and accessories. This has permitted the health personnel to provide better services to the local people. Right now, over 40,000 people have access to the medical facilities.
  4. Micro credits. Rotary has given loans to forty women during the last two years to start their own business, using their abilities in weaving. This has improved their economic conditions.
  5. Water distribution system in Guachipilin. This project benefits twenty families (over 150 people) which allows them to have water at home for 24 hours, seven days a week. A new initiative for this small town. These families are willing to expand this project in the future to include a sewage system.
  6. Training in health, hygiene and menstrual hygiene. This training included effective health and hygiene practices which will promote the development of cleaning habits and will also promote cultural and behavior changes. The menstrual hygiene program was focused in the biology of the feminine cycle to avoid the girls to abandon the school.
  7. Literacy program. With the initiative of the Rotary club together with Fundación Ramiro Castillo and Conalfa, started a program to eradicate illiteracy in Sumpango. Great advances have been obtained; illiteracy has diminished 50% according to the data recorded by Conalfa.
  8. Various. Other activities have been implemented as computers, desks and tables for schools, water filters, repair and renovation in ceilings, windows, painting, ecological stoves with chimneys for the kitchens.
These matters simply outstand the most important achievements that have an ever-lasting impact in our people. I would be negligent if I don’t congratulate the effort of the team members of the Rotary Club Guatemala Sur that under the leadership of District Governor, Francisco Viau and with the support of Juan Gomez de la Torre, Gianni Frosutto, Juan Ramón Flores and Oscar Diaz and all the other members who also contributed when necessary. These people dedicated long time and effort to evaluate the needs,to find solutions and to guide all the steps during its implementation. Our deepest congratulations and gratitude to all of them.
I would also like to mention that our own personnel in the municipality acquired experience and expertise in the planning and execution of these important projects in association with the Rotarians. This has helped them to develop new abilities applicable to other projects.
I would like to conclude with a personal note. It has been very rewarding for me to meet and make friends with many Rotarians kind and affectionate with a great spirit of solidarity and love to their neighbors. I also enjoyed meeting many outstanding Rotarians who visited our township in several occasions. It has been grateful, and it was a great honor for me to be appointed as an honorary member of the Rotary club Guatemala Sur. I hope to continue being useful to this great group of men and women of the Rotary family, my respect and admiration to all of them.