Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Rotarians building an education in Guatemala

  • Print

Bruce Sloane hopes his organization’s role in helping build schools in Guatemala will have a ripple effect on the nation’s education system.


Sloane — a semi-retired engineer and immediate past-president of the St. Boniface/St. Vital Rotary Club — recently returned from the Central American nation, where the club is participating in the Ripple Effect Program with Guatemalan Rotarians to build and support the construction of schools in Mayan communities with no educational facilities.


Working with Guatemalan Rotarians, club members help identify communities in need of schools. And if the community can provide a school, the government will provide a teacher, Sloane said, noting the average classroom is built to accommodate approximately 25 children and is between 600 and 700 square foot.


He said club members have played a primary role in the growth of the program since it began in 1998 — two years after the end of the civil war in Guatemala — as they have helped build six schools and supported the growth of others.


"We’re using wood, tin and concrete floors. The schools are not elaborate, but they’re workable," Sloane said. "They also have sanitation problems, as there are no bathrooms or latrines, so we like to build washrooms, too."


Sloane said a key component in the program is the fact local community members are involved in the build.


"It’s humbling, because you see people (in Canada) take more, but you wouldn’t see that there. They just need a hand. Most of the kids have really been marginalized, as their parents are manual labourers. The fact that some schools now have computers represents 200 years of transition in one generation," he said.


"The country is so beautiful and it’s interesting to meet people that only came out of a war in 1996," Sloane added, noting the work in schools is supported by the club’s fundraising efforts, as well as private and corporate donations and support from the Canadian Rotary International Development Committee.


Sloane said the St. Boniface/St. Vital Rotary Club has existed for almost 70 years and has more than 50 members from different professional and business backgrounds.


On a more local level, the club also supports organizations such as St.Amant and Teen Stop Jeunesse in St. Vital and Camp Manitou in Headingley and is also involved with annual Rotary Career Symposium at Winnipeg Convention Centre.


"We are a business club, a social club and a service club all in one," Sloane said, noting the organization is always looking for new members.


Members meet for lunch every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at Niakwa Country Club, located at 620 Niakwa Rd.


For more information, email gmbsloane@mymts.net.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Northwest Winnipeg may be getting a new subdivision with homes for 5,400 people. Do you think it’s a good idea?

View Results