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April 1, 2019: A Calgary West Presentation Homes of Hope, annual housebuilding trip to Mexico

The major presentation today, shared by Marlene, Dan Doherty, Gwyn Lewis, Meredith (Gwyn's partner) and Ron Brookes, was an overview of the Homes of Hope build in Mexico, just outside Tijuana, between March 7 and 10.

A slide show of photos gave an excellent perspective of the home construction, the volunteers and the Mexican families impacted.

The collective budget, contributed by several Calgary and area Rotary clubs, allowed for building five homes. Four were built by volunteers from those clubs and a fifth was built by young Mexicans. Volunteers were split into teams of 12 to 15, with each team assigned to one house-build and its associated Mexican family.

A video, Canmore Rotary Mexico Trip 2019, described a building project by a team of 10 students, funded by the Canmore club. The participating students are required to “pay it forward” by subsequently raising funds for the following year’s project. Each home, including the furniture package, costs $10K. So far, those Canmore students have already raised $15K.

video by Tracy L.G. Photography

Ron, Gwyn and Meredith summarized their experiences: the wonder of seeing such a huge impact on families’ lives and the depth of help and appreciation expressed by those families. As one of them said, “You have to be there to truly appreciate the significance of the change a new home creates.” And, as our District Governor said, “It’s not about building a house, it’s building a home for some of the poorest people in the area."

There were many questions and answers from the floor, before Shelley thanked the presenters for their contribution, their presentation, their insights and their obvious enthusiasm for this annual event.

reported by Les Morgan

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