Profesora Olivia Muñiz named Rotary Citizen of the Year

By Duane Eriksmoen


Rotary Citizen of the year Olivia Muñiz of feed the hungry

Each year, the Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende – Midday recognizes a non-Rotarian community member who represents the ideals of Rotary: service above self through the building of goodwill and better friendships in a way that is fair and beneficial to all concerned while embracing the value of truth. The name of the award is the Farley W. Wheelwright Citizen of the Year.

The Rotary Citizen of the
Year Award Ceremony
Tue, Feb 18, 12:30–1:30pm
Misión El Molino
Salida a Querétaro 1
Open to the public

And Rotary is proud to announce that Profesora Olivia Muñiz, Program Director of Feed the Hungry San Miguel, is the recipient of the award for the year 2013. Feed the Hungry provides hot, nutritionally balanced school lunches to 3,500 children in 25 of the poorest of the poor communities in San Miguel every school day.

The Rotary Citizen of the Year Award Ceremony will be Tuesday, February 18, from 12:30–1:30pm at Misión El Molino at Salida a Querétaro 1. The program will be free and the public is invited.

Olivia, or Maestra Olivia, as she is fondly known to her many friends and colleagues, is a sanmiguelense who worked as an English teacher and principal in public and private schools here before being recruited in1995 to develop a program to provide a healthy nutritious meal to hungry and malnourished schoolchildren. The daughter of a mail official and a housewife, Olivia is one of seven siblings, the rest being brothers.

She was promoted to her current position in 2008, expanding her responsibilities for extending the program from three kitchens to more than 20, feeding around 3,500 hungry souls every school day—a total of more than 17,000 meals every week. Too, the program assists five local charities. And, because homeless older adults were hanging around the schoolyards, her task was extended to helping them, as well.

Olivia has developed a highly efficient and effective program for identifying rural community schools needing a school lunch program to improve the nutritional health of the students, thereby improving attendance and scholastic performance of the schools involved. She has also developed workshops for the moms to understand how they can provide more nutritious meals at home.

To date Olivia has been responsible for selecting potential schools, design and construction of functional kitchens and hiring local women as cooks. She is responsible for the purchase, distribution and preparation of food for 700,000 meals a year.

To accomplish the huge task of

feeding some of the most needy children in the municipality, Olivia has designed and implemented a pool of highly trained and dedicated staff to help her implement her program.

“We’re a dedicated team,” says Olivia. “Our hearts are in the program, so it is easier and more efficient.”

In addition to the work Olivia has done to feed children, she also helped with the distribution of Three Kings Day toys, clothing and bedding to less fortunate children in the campo. She also coordinates the scheduling of Patronato Pro Ninos’ dental van to provide care to rural communities.

In her spare time, this young woman takes care of her 82-year-old aunt by visiting her before work and last thing at night before going to bed. She also teaches children to paint in the Ejido Tirado, Santa Julia and San Rafael neighborhoods.

It seems by all accounts that Olivia is integral to Feed the Hungry’s success. Her teaching skills have been very useful at Feed the Hungry, and its success could not have happened without her. Most importantly, she treats disadvantaged persons with respect.

Previous recipients of Rotary’s Citizen of the Year Award include Saul and Linda Whynman for their work with Casita Linda and the Audubon Society; Donna Quathamer for her work with Casa de los Angeles; Robin Loving Rowland for her work with Casa Hogar Santa Julia Don Bosco; Chela Martínez for her work with Centro de Desarrollo Agropecuario (CEDESA); Joe and Antonette Lim for their work with So Others May Eat (SOME); and Patricia Palacios for her work with Centro Infantile San Pablo.

“We are very proud of the outstanding work of these heart-centered community members,” said Rotary President Lee Carter, “and I find it interesting that there have been women recipients every year – not a part of the award’s design in any way.”

Rotary seeks to professionally, intelligently and inspirationally unite diversely competent leaders to ethically and responsibly lead people to generate sustainable solutions to the world’s most acute humanitarian challenges. This is accomplished through the strong connections of friendship and peaceful service.

For more information, contact Rotary President Lee Carter at, and see


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