“Working with the people in the Guatemala village changed my life,” spoken by Abby, one of eight Interact students from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School who reported to the Johnson County Rotary Club last Thursday morning.
 
She was one of a team of students traveling with adult Rotarians to help poor villagers in Guatemala be more productive with the resources they have at hand.  They worked on health issues such as eye-testing, distributing eye-glasses, checking and installing in-home water filter systems and ground-breaking to bring a clean water system to the village.
 
They helped in education by installing computers to be used in the clinic, the school to get new subject matter available on the internet, and they produced an English language teaching video to be used in the school and adult community.
  
They used machetes to clear land to increase the community gardens and taught good practices for growing good vegetables and fruit.
Paint-up/fix-up projects were also done for and with villagers as the community and young Rotarians grew closer together.
 
But probably the most important aspects of the trip was to build the feeling of community among the villagers and working together to bring that about.   In that aspect of community they found that some community leaders came forth to carry on the work that Rotarians had helped them to begin. 
 
These young students have discovered what Rotary is all about - people building bridges to understanding and better life around the world!