People of Action is a collection of stories of the incredible things that Rotarians across District 5360 are doing in the community and across the globe.  



Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise –
Los Amigos Project

Los Amigos is an international service project organized by Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise and has involved 12 Rotary Clubs in District 5360.  Each year since 2011 Los Amigos has coordinated the donation of decommissioned Canadian vehicles to Mexican communities.  These 46 vehicles are now in regular use in 21 communities in the states of Sinaloa, Nayarit, Vera Cruz, Jalisco and Colima and include 19 ambulances, 9 fire trucks, 12 handi-buses and 5 school buses.  The vehicles are used for medical emergencies, fire-fighting or transportation of young students and disabled individuals in Mexico.  
Los Amigos is funded through Rotary and government grants, donations and sponsorships.  Rotary clubs in Mexico assist by identifying appropriate destinations for the vehicles.  Throughout the year Rotarians work diligently with their local communities to obtain donations of de-commissioned vehicles, supplies and services.  The vehicles are inspected and made roadworthy.  A total of 94 Rotarians have been recruited as volunteer drivers who make a 7 day, 3,800 km journey from Lethbridge to Mazatlan.  Each year a group of project ambassadors have paid their own way to join the drivers in Mexico and support the project.  Rotarians in Mexico welcome the Los Amigos team of drivers and ambassadors and host celebrations in each community that receives a vehicle.   
An advanced training program, coordinated by Rotary Club of Lethbridge, was launched in 2015 and delivered in Mazatlan to help emergency medical technicians and firefighters develop their skills.  In turn, they offer training to their co-workers.  The Los Amigos training team consists of experienced trainers including licensed paramedic/firefighters.  Topics include emergency medical services and firefighter training.  Sessions and printed materials are offered in English and Spanish.  The next training program will be offered in 2019.  
Other generous donations have enhanced the project.  
In 2018 Gilbert Patterson School in Lethbridge worked very hard to prepare a collection of musical instruments that were transported in the Los Amigos vehicles and donated to Concordia Music School in Mexico.  Plans are underway for another collection of instruments in 2019.
Since the Project began in 2011, a huge collection of medical and emergency equipment has been delivered in the Los Amigos vehicles each year.  This includes walkers, wheelchairs, tools, uniforms and emergency vehicle equipment.
A satellite project has also evolved from the Los Amigos Project.  While delivering vehicles to Mazatlan area in 2014, the Los Amigos team recognized the need to build a new school for kindergarten aged children.  The University of Lethbridge Rotaract Club partnered with the Rotary Club of Mazatlan to build the Kinder Urbivilla Del Real which opened in 2017.  Rotary Club of Lethbridge East helped stock the new school with supplies.  The school now features two buildings, six classrooms, a bathroom and an administrative office, with nine fully accredited and government-supported teachers.

Everyone involved in the Los Amigos Project has experienced the goodwill that comes from building international friendships.
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile