Rotary, it is a changing. Our guest speaker this week was Tom Brown. Tom is a Rotarian, a member of the Scotts Valley, California Rotary Club. Talking to us about Project Amigo, a multi-Rotary Club project (over 600 Rotary Clubs) in Colimas, Mexico, and he spoke to us from his home in  Virginia. And that my friends is Rotary in the 21st. Century!


The Volcán de Colima, 3,820 m (12,533 ft), also known as Volcán de Fuego, is part of the Colima Volcanic Complex (CVC) consisting of Volcán de Colima, Nevado de Colima (Spanish pronunciation: [neˈβaðo ðe koˈlima] (listen)) and the eroded El Cántaro (listed as extinct). It is the youngest of the three and as of 2015 is one of the most active volcanos in Mexico and in North America. It has eruptedmore than 40 times since 1576.

Project Amigo got its start back in 1985 When Tom and his wife Francy visited the area and realized the poverty that existed there. Tom and Francy figured out one of the ways to break the poverty cycle in this area was to give a decent education to the children and allow them to get decent jobs and become independent of the need for help from others. 

  In doing his initial research into the educational system in Mexico Tom and Francy discovered that while education in Mexico is free, everything from transportation to the pencils the students use for their lessons is not free and the cost of all the incidentals puts a good education out of the reach of most families in Colima.

Their efforts led to the development of Project Amigo. For $600/year a student gets all the things the Mexican government does not supply for a good education. This year the project is providing 161 scholarships to students in Colima.

Project Amigo also sponsors “service weeks” where individuals make a $1,200 donation and spend a week in Colima helping out where help is needed. 

Watch Tom's presentation to the club here: