Treated water for schools in Nogales

Doug May

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke has a partnership with the Rotary Club in Nogales, Sonora to construct and install drinking fountain systems in schools. After a period of planning, coordinating, and applying for a global grant from Rotary International, the installation is progressing. Rotary has worldwide projects like this that are funded by grants from the international organization. Our club has many ongoing projects in nearby schools and communities, but this is the second large international water project in our 22-year history.

There is, without question, a need for treated water in Nogales. Parents who can afford to do so will send bottled water with their child to school. A few systems of this design were installed initially by the Rotary Club of Nogales and have been functioning with great success. As is typical for an international project, all system components and materials are purchased in the host country to support their economy. Both SaddleBrooke and Nogales Rotary clubs have worked together to develop this project and apply for the grant. And while communicating with Spanish-speaking members has been a challenge, it also made the effort interesting. Four other southern Arizona Rotary clubs joined with ours to contribute toward the matching grant.

Several of our members have participated in bringing this project to fruition, with Mark Miller and John Ruland being the current champions.

There are more than 100 schools in Nogales, Sonora that would be targets for drinking water installations. The current global grant will fund installations in 24 of them over the next several months. Our members enjoy updates with presentations, and some travel to see the progress. It is common for people in the local neighborhood to celebrate activation of a new system. It is fiesta time for them—a tradition in Mexico. Projects like this are very rewarding for Rotary club members, as fulfilling needs throughout the world as volunteers is business as usual for Rotarians, and potable water is a high priority.

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is an active service club with a prime focus on youth. In addition to international projects, we help schools and activities outside of schools in nearby communities. We have members who are Ranch residents, and we hold meetings in the clubhouse at the Ranch. Join us for lunch on a Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Agave Lounge of the SaddleBrooke One clubhouse. For more information, contact Wendy Guyton at 520-404-5712.