One of the most fascinating events in the world is the migration of billions of Monarch butterflies each year from Mexico to Texas. Less well know is the migration of Rotary butterflies between the Rotary Club of Marshall Texas the Club Rotario de Villa de Alvarez in Colima, Mexico, in 2003.  (re. Balloons and Butterflies Analogy) 
 
Rotary butterflies come in all sizes and backgrounds.  Many of them require help from others who posses the needed resources unavailable to them.  Often, that means bringing those resources great distances at great cost.  In many cases this involves Rotary clubs, as was the case with the two Rotary clubs above. Rotary International's Foundation also became a partner (butterfly) in this heartwarming story, as told by our late Past President Jim Taylor.
 
"Frank Dias was President of the Rotary Club of Marshall in the year July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2002. He announced at the beginning of his presidency that he desired a sister-club agreement between the Rotary Club of Marshall and a club in Mexico. Further, he had a companion goal of a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant in conjunction with our sister club.
 
Much time was spent in trying to locate a suitable club and development of a project to meet the guidelines of the Rotary Foundation. We floundered for quite awhile in trying to find a suitable sister club and project. Finally, Mary Kathryn Kirkpatrick put me in touch with Susan Hill of Project Amigo headquartered in Cofradia de Suchitlan. This is a small village located near Colima, Mexico.
 
The mission of Project Amigo is to enable the poor children of Colima, Mexico to achieve their highest potential by providing educational opportunities, material support, enrichment activities, and medical and dental services; and to provide opportunities for volunteers from developed countries to help and become friends with the disadvantaged children in Mexico; and to foster friendship and understanding between Rotarians from developed countries and Mexico.

Susan and her husband, Ted Rose, visited our club a few years ago and became acquainted with Mary Kirkpatrick. Language was a major barrier, and if we had not the connection with Susan Hill nothing would have happened.   Thanks to them, the Sister Club Agreement was finalized in October 2001.
 
 
Work on the matching grant began in April 2002 and was not finalized until March 6, 2003. Marshall invested $2,500.00 in the grant, de Villa de Alvarez invested $250.00 and the Rotary Foundation contributed $2,750.00. A computer lab was established in a grammar school in El Naranjal, which is a tiny poor rural area. This lab enables the children to see and learn things that they could not previously fathom. It vastly expanded their horizons.
 
The Board of the Rotary Club of Marshall voted to send Jim Taylor to Colima in April 2005. The goals of the trip were to:
  1. Visit the computer lab in El Naranjal to observe it in operation and discuss the lab with the teacher and meet the children and obtain their observations and interest level.
  2. Attend a regular meeting of our sister club.
  3. Tour Project Amigo's projects involving other Rotary Clubs and Matching grant projects in Colima and surrounding areas.

Conclusion: Our sister club only had 9 members but they participated in five Matching Grants last year. The fellowship during my visit to their club meeting was outstanding even though we did not speak the same language. The relationship between the clubs has been rekindled and the clubs are communicating and learning about each other to a much greater extent.
 
Communicating with Susan Hill and Ted Rose has vastly improved the relations between the two clubs. Further, Susan and Ted are very interested in Marshall's Diploma Plus Program. An information packet has been forwarded to them with respect to this outstanding youth program."
 
Last updated by Jim 9-17-08, and Formatted for this newsletter by PDG Jim Fitzgerald, June 1, 2018