To install the 100th Latrine, members of our staff and members of the Rotary Club in San Pedro Sula joined forces to accomplish this incredible milestone! 
Last year El Ayudante (Honduras-based mission) received a grant from Rotary International  to build and install 100 latrines. Before receiving the grant, El Ayudante had only installed 90 latrines since they started the program in 2013. In May they installed their 100th latrine from the grant bringing our grand total of installed latrines to 190! The same team, also with tremendous support from Rotary and visiting Rotarians, have installed more than 1,100 water filters from here in Lo de Reina to as far away as Selguapa, a new community almost 2 hours up the mountain. Read more about their good work in their May newsletter.
 
Keep reading to learn more about two $500k challenge grants that have benefited from significant financial support from generous D6290 clubs. In short, two grants (Guatemala & Honduras) involving 78 schools impacting 42,000+ students. Now that's what we call making a difference!
 
 
We'd like to acknowledge and thank Gail Ringelberg of Grand Haven Rotary Club who, for several years, has served as a trip leader in support of water & sanitation programs in Central America, with strong focus on Honduras. You may recall a related article published this spring that summarized the February 2018 trip Gail led to El Ayudante. While visiting with the local San Pedro Sula clubs the team learned of a significant challenge grant issued by Rotary Foundation - a $500,000 grant to bring water and sanitation to the in-city schools that do not have adequate facilities. At the time of their visit there was a funding gap with a looming April 1st deadline. Upon returning home to D6290 we issued a passionate appeal to several clubs who stepped up in a big way. Thank you to Lowell, Traverse Bay Twilight and Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Clubs, also WEHOP (Water & Environmental Humanitarian Outreach Programs), and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. Collectively, when combined with a private donation, $14,000 was raised which bridged the funding gap and put them over the top! This grant will involve 30 schools impacting over 26,000+ students.
 
Earlier this Rotary year Petoskey Rotary Club also stepped up in a big way to help support a similar WASH challenge grant in Guatemala! This program will be implemented in the
SacatepĂ©quez Department, Guatemala at 48 schools located within 11 municipalities. Over 16,000 children will benefit.
 
These massive $500k challenge grants are two of only four such awards by Rotary Foundation, and are intended to form a best practice basis for similar future projects. Goals of these "WASH" grants are to transform and positively impact lives of children by providing:
  • clean filtered water and WASH stations
  • access to gender segregated sanitary facilities with flush toilets at each school
  • facilities for girls with necessary amenities to respond to their needs during the menstrual cycle
  • effective hygiene educational program to encourage habit formation and to promote behavioral changes
  • menstrual hygiene management program focused on the biology of the menstruation cycle and safe practices
  • extensive training for menstrual hygiene – goal is to have girls stay in school
The other WASH grants are being awarded in India. Programs are on an aggressive timeline, with work completed within 2 years.