Guatemala Service Trip
Rotarians and Unity Church Returns from Guatemala Service Trip
Sixteen people from the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, Rotaract, and Unity Church recently returned from nine days of service in Guatemala. The group partnered with Mayan Families, a non-profit dedicated to educate, feed, shelter, and heal indigenous Guatemalans. In Guatemala, nearly 80% of the indigenous population lives on less than $2 a day and 50% of children are chronically malnourished. Additionally, over 3 million Guatemalans lack access to safe drinking water.
The groups were able to raise over $17,000 to assist families in towns around Lake Atitlan. Throughout the week they built 1 home, installed 12 stoves, assembled 6 water filters, installed 2 concrete floors, worked in preschools, and distributed school and medical supplies to local families. 
Several members of the group also sponsor nine children year-round. The sponsorship allows the children to attend school, seek medical care, and have a reliable supply of food. Sponsors were able to connect with their students, meet their families, and deliver items they desperately need. 
For many in the group, the trip was a refreshing reminder of what’s important in life. "Not only do we do great work down here on behalf of Rotary, Unity Church, and Mayan Families, but we also get to see what another culture is like,” said Bill Dutton, Director of International Services with Santa Barbara Rotary. 
 This was the fourth year the Rotary Club of Downtown Santa Barbara has participated in this project. The Unity Church has been involved for the last two years. Both groups are scheduled to return next year and will be seeking donations to continue to implement this important work.