Reflections from the 2016 Uniendo America y Project Fair in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

By David Griggs, member of the Rotary E-Club of Lake Atitlán-Panajachel, Guatemala

The Rotary clubs in Central America are divided into two groups: District 4240 with the countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, and District 4250 with Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.

Each year, the two districts participate in a joint Project Fair, commonly known as the Uniendo America Project Fair, hosted in one of the seven countries. Clubs from the two co-hosting districts showcase booths displaying their service projects and opportunities for others to support their initiatives. Often times, other nongovernmental organizations with programs in these districts also exhibit partnership opportunities.

International clubs interested in international service activities are invited  to attend the fair, learn about local priorities, discuss project partnership opportunities, and build life-long friendships. While project fairs unite programs that need support with donors who are able to fund them, the friendship extend well after projects are implemented.

This year, the Uniendo America Project Fair was held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at the end of January. About 100 individuals from Canada, the United States, and the seven host countries participated in the event. In addition to booth exhibits, training workshops and presentations were interwoven into the agenda. Janna Glucksman, Regional Grants Manager for The Rotary Foundation, gave a valuable talk on Rotary’s global grants, stressing that grants must be sustainable and measurable. Janna explained “sustainable” to mean long-term solutions which continue to mitigate local challenges long after TRF and Rotarian funds have been used. Janna reviewed the various steps in the global grant process emphasizing the importance of starting a project by working with the local community to identify assets and needs, and align approaches with local values and cultures to encourage local ownership of the project.

Round table discussions around each of Rotary’s areas of focus promoted engaging conversation.

There were other events of a more light-hearted nature. On Thursday night we all had a delicious dinner together at the Hotel Honduras Maya and were entertained by a delightful troupe of native dancers. Friday night was open and I took advantage of the opportunity to see the movie “Guerra de las Galaxias” (“Star Wars”) on the big screen in English with Spanish subtitles. On Saturday afternoon, a large group of us went on a bus tour to Valle de Angeles. We had lunch at Restaurante La Florida and then had some free time to wander through the interesting village and shop.

Mark your calendar: next year’s Fair will be hosted 26-28 January 2017 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Visit www.uniendoamericaprojectfair.org  or contact Hector Castro for more information.

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Author: rotaryservice

The Rotary Service Connections blog helps Rotarians plan effective and inspired service projects. If you have questions, comments, or story recommendations, contact us at rotary.service@rotary.org

7 thoughts on “Reflections from the 2016 Uniendo America y Project Fair in Tegucigalpa, Honduras”

  1. How else & where else will vignets or shall I say seeds of global love morph able to human love germinate and develop to a real international ecosystem where genuine fellowship and love manifest.?
    I think we would have been far away from these imperatives to homo sapiens if there were no rehearsals like Rotary projects and their characteristic internationality and one- worldmidedeness despite our cultural diversity.24/5/16,153am

  2. How else more penetrating ly effective yet wisely can Rotary clubs & global service projects help to attenuate religious fundamentalistsxenophobias,open hatred unashamely responsible damages,destructions locally & globally?

  3. What’s UNESCO & allied Un bodies responsiblenfor peace and welfare and preservation of humanity agenda for a holistic peaceful world ?Is violence with high tech warfare & the explosives in vogue in the 21st century when we should be evolving into homo FABER?

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