Why does Derek hardacker have this garden gnome? He might have been thinking about bringing it back to the Chemainus Rotary Club’s annual Al Johnson Memorial Auction which is coming up April 13. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus Rotarians help build a better life for Guatemalans

Houses, stoves and shoes the primary commodities supplied for the locals by volunteers

Chemainus Rotary Club members are back home again after wrapping up another successful venture in San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala.

It was the sixth consecutive year of the club’s presence in the region. On the trip this time were: Tom Andrews, David McCormick, Derek Hardacker, Danny Dare, Richard Calverley and Hardacker’s daughter Kim Porter from Whitehorse.

“We built two homes, funded and handed out 30 propane stoves, supported a child nutrition program and provided beds and shoes to children and families selected by a local women’s volunteer group,” noted Andrews.

“The gas stove program is a wonderful success story,” he added. “We visited five families to see first-hand how they are doing managing the new process of cooking with gas. Gas costs one-seventh the price of wood. The families were extremely happy and grateful for being recipients of the stoves. Chemainus Rotary is funding an additional 30 stoves and tanks this year based on the success and sustainability of this program.”

After a trip to San Lucas Tolimán to pick up shoes, Team Rotary had the satisfaction of watching some excited kids trying them on in front of their parents. Funding for the shoes came from projects by students at Ecole Quarterway and Ecole Hammond Bay, two French Immersion schools in Nanaimo.

The houses were quite an undertaking to build, given the difficult terrain.


Derek Hardacker working on one of the houses in Guatemala. (Photo submitted)

Danny Dare working on the roof of the first house. (Photo submitted)

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