Courtesy photos

By Alanna Shepard

Recently, 130 Rotarians from Rotary District 5280 in Southern California, including several from the Rotary Club of Santa Monica travelled to Oaxaca, Mexico for their annual humanitarian trip. Working in collaboration with the two Rotary Clubs in Oaxaca, the group identified worthy projects that truly helped the respective communities. Some of the projects included: funding added classrooms for a school for autistic children, providing and installing solar panels where there had previously been no electricity, buying instruments for a school orchestra, providing clean water systems for a community, furnishing a remote mountain community with commercial bakery equipment to help train and retain young people, and delivering hundreds of youth backpacks filled with school supplies to various communities.

According to some members, the most fun projects were painting bright murals for the autistic kids’ school in Oaxaca, converting a former jail to a community library in Mitla and making adobe bricks from scratch for the proposed mountain village bakery. Forty Rotary Clubs participated in raising the needed funds for these projects, in addition to paying their own travel expenses and providing donations and labor. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, visit

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