San Clemente Rotary International Service

The Rotary Club of San Clemente has been involved in service internationally since its inception over 65 years ago. As Rotarians with the motto: Service Above Self, there has always been a strong push to not only help those in our community, but reach out and around the world.
Reaching out to the world can be done in two primary ways. First by organizing and implementing projects based on the ideas and passions of local Rotarians. The second way is to give monetary support to the programs already in place and run by Rotary International, the governing body all Rotary clubs belong to.

Below is a brief synopsis of some of the projects that local Rotarians have organized and implemented in the very recent past.

Guatemala Dental Clinic

The San Clemente Rotary Club has established a year-around Dental Clinic in 2007 in Santa Catarina, which is run by a local volunteer group AMOR.  A part-time dentist provides services at significantly reduced costs and no-costs to poor and needy people from 44 villages surrounding the City. The up keep of this continued venture is monitored by the Rotary clubs in San Clemente and Santa Catarina.

Guatemala Health Fair

In 2000 our first health fair was organized and put on in the city of Santa Catarina. We now send Rotarians every fall to participate in what has become a marvel of local involvement from the people of Guatemala, as they supply doctors, dentists, and nurses from neighboring major cities and provide services including preventive health care, emergency assistance, and education in good health practices. In addition educational materials are distributed including the book “Where There is No Doctor” for villagers to take back to the most secluded villages and provide them with understanding on lifesaving skills like first aid and sanitation among other things. To date we estimate the health fair has served (people, if you know the number or can estimate. If not change this sentence to how many we helped at our last one) . We are also very proud that the event like the dental clinic is highly sustained in man power at this point by the native Guatemalans as this gives the project the greatest chance at continued success for many years to come.


Guatemala Kids

We have been working with the Santa Catarina Mita volunteer group Fraternidad Catarineca to support 2 children over several years at the beginning of their school experience. Club members  met the Kids during the 2010 Health Fair and have so far provided them with their first items, focusing on school supplies (backpack, books, shoes, uniforms, etc.) and making sure they have access to regular medical & dental check-ups.

Hospital Supplies to Mexico

Through our association with the local hospital here in San Clemente and the Rotary Club in (city), Mexico, we have been able to arrange the sharing and transport of equipment and beds to the people of Baja Mexico. This is a great example of Rotarians simply being aware of an entity with something to donate (Saddleback Hospital) and connecting them through Rotary’s contacts to people in need. In terms of work and monetary commitment this is a small ongoing project, but the organization of Rotary around the world is what makes it happen instead of going to waste. And you can bet the people of (city in mexico) are glad to have these valuable resources.

Haiti Relief

The readiness of Rotarians to give and to serve is never more evident than in times of humanitarian crisis like those seen in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the region. Before telethons could be organized and Hollywood celebrities could get on board, San Clemente Rotarians were sending relief in two specific forms.

Shelter Boxes –

In Haiti one of the most pressing needs was for adequate shelter for the thousands of people who were displaced when their homes were destroyed. We saw the answer to this in the shelter box program. Enclosed in each shelter box are essentials like a tent and stove as well as other items for a family to cope after a disaster. These boxes, already put together by as the brain child of a Rotarian, working with Rotary was able to ship them out immediately. Rotarians around the world kicked in what they could and the San Clemente joined the cause of helping immediately by sending these boxes to the people of Haiti. Learn more about the shelter box program and how it continues to help people in disaster torn regions by going to their site Shelter Box USA

Operation Rainbow-

Another early need of the Haitians, was for medical attention. Orthopedic surgeon and Rotarian Gus Gialamas came to the San Clemente Rotary Club and asked for assistance in sending him and a group of doctors to the boarder towns of the Dominican Republic (where refugees were fleeing) and set up mobile hospitals through a group called Operation Rainbow. Gus returned with heart wrenching stories of the devastation, but also the hope they were able to spread through their life and limb saving work.

These are just a few of the most recent issues the San Clemente Rotary Club has undertaken in their quest to live “Service Above Self”

There are numerous other examples and ways to get involved, including taking part in an international project on the Rotary International level.  Click here to see some of the great things being done by Rotary International around the world that you can be a part of.