Rotarians Unite for Community Fellowship
By John Doherty, photographer: Sharon Doherty
During the Day of the Dead festival in this wonderful town we call home, the Escuela de Educación Especial (School for Special Education) enjoyed a marvellous visit from a fun-loving group of folks from Cupertino and Hayward in California. This Rotarian group of accountants, real estate brokers, financial specialists, travel and photography enthusiasts, business owners, and retirees share a passion to help others. As Rotarians, and along with their partners, they enjoy initiating “Random Acts of Kindness.”
The School for Special Education is a non-profit founded in 2011 to serve deaf and hearing impaired children and young adults in the San Miguel area. Grants approved by The Rotary Foundation provide library books, literacy materials and equipment, training for teachers, and sign language instruction and outreach. In addition, their support for Vocational Education equipment and training in carpentry, cooking/baking, sewing, and jewelry making teach valuable employment skills to the older students.
The visiting Rotarians witnessed first hand the benefits of their support by participating in classroom and workshop activities with the students and faculty. They also enjoyed a skit performed by the students in sign language and interpreted into English explaining the history of El Día de los Muertos. All were touched by the warm cultural exchange that took place between the visitors from north of the border and the local Escuela community. Local Rotarians from the San Miguel Mid-day Club also shared fellowship with the guests.
The visiting Rotarians also experienced explorations of the Cañada de la Virgen pyramid, Charlie Hall’s glass etching and candle factory near Atotonilco, a nearby rural hacienda, a cooking class, and several shopping and gallery visits. By all accounts, these were thoroughly enjoyed by the visitors. Of course, such a visit is not complete without the experience of sharing fine meals and good music, including several mariachi serenades. One highlight was the Catrina Parade during which the visitors participated in dress-up and painted faces … such good fun!
These “Service Above Self” activities embody the ethos and spirit of Rotary International, in doing good deeds during their time with us in San Miguel. This is the second visit to San Miguel initiated by Rotary Clubs from California, and we truly hope that they will visit many more times in the future.