"Transforming lives through education in Colima, Mexico"

Project Amigo began 34 years ago as a result of an experience of Rotarian Ted Rose, who became an accidental tourist in the vicinity of Colima and nearby Cofradia when he took the wrong bus when he was looking for a volcano in the area, Volcan di Colima.  He was so struck by the kindness and generosity of the people of the village, who were  impoverished, that he was moved to repay their kindness in a typically Rotarian way.  After much thought and discussion with local people, he decided to provide assistance to educate the children of this area.  Edmonton area Rotarian Merle Taylor gave an aspiring account of Project Amigo's history and ongoing activities.
Merle has been very involved with the Rotary Club of Edmonton Glenora for many years as a member and past president, and it was in these capacities that she first became acquainted with Project Amigo.  She became so impassioned about the work done through Project Amigo that she joined its Board of Directors in October 2017.
She told us how Project Amigo assists school-aged children and youth with the costs of attending schools, including costs for registration, school supplies, transportation, uniforms and shoes, hot meals and even accommodation for university students.
It's not a "free ride" for the students,  however.  Project Amigo scholars must commit to maintaining a GPA of 8.5 or better, attending the homework club weekly, contributing at least 10 hours of community service per month, and writing to their sponsor.
Volunteers get involved in many ways, including assisting with English literacy skills development, book sorting and distribution, building facilities at the schools such as sidewalks, play areas and soccer fields, clothing distribution, assisting with school excursions and arts&crafts projects.  An elementary school student can be sponsored for as little as $135 per year.
Project Amigo offers several kinds of humanitarian service "working vacations" that can be as short as a day or as long as two weeks.  The trip cost includes accommodation, as well as many activities and meals but not air fare.  Depending on the type of trip, there can be a specific theme, such as literacy, holiday fiestas for the local children, youth work weeks or customized trips. You can learn more about these exciting travel opportunities here: https://www.projectamigo.org/humanitariaservice
Merle Taylor and her sister, Catherine, enjoying some breakfast at the meeting.  You can view more of our photos here: https://rotarytorontowest.smugmug.com/