Rotary on the Front Lines in Times of Crisis
Rotary International has a long history of providing swift, effective disaster relief worldwide. Working on the ground through their global network, Rotary channels resources directly to the areas in need, aiding in recovery and rebuilding efforts.
From funding emergency shelters and clean water facilities to rebuilding schools and homes, Rotary’s relief operations are comprehensive and impactful. Importantly, the support doesn’t end when immediate needs are met; Rotary is committed to long-term, sustainable recovery projects, ensuring communities bounce back stronger than ever and are more prepared for the next crisis.
When disaster strikes, Rotary’s commitment to service brings hope and tangible aid, making a profound difference in the lives of those affected.
Seaside Rotary in Action
In 2018, the low-lying areas around Felipe Carillo Puerto (1 hour south of Tulum) were ravaged by flooding. Thousands of homes, businesses and schools were destroyed by the waters. The crops of tropical fruit such as pitaya and papaya, the sales of which supported many families in the village of Chumpon, were decimated meaning a whole harvest season was lost.
The Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside teamed up with community leaders and other volunteers to bring much-needed food, medicines, cleaning supplies and building materials to help the residents of Chumpon get back on their feet and back into their homes. This massive effort, made possible in coordination with members of the Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Empresarial and the Rotary Club of Tulum, helped thousands and children and families who would otherwise be at great risk for malnutrition and illness.
We were able to rebuild homes, clean and remediate mold, replace roofs and even refurbish the Pitahi Marmalade Cooperative in the village so that their small factory was once again functional.
In 2020, During the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disaster left in its wake, thousands of people found themselves out of work and unable to support themselves or their families. Many were forced to return to their pueblos to eek out whatever living they could manage with the support of their families back home. With little or no support from the government, the families who remained faced a grim future.
In response to this unprecedented health and economic crisis, the Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside organized and funded two community soup kitchens to feed the families and children left behind. Seaside Rotarians shopped for and prepared healthy meals which were distributed to anyone in need.
Additionally, thousands of ‘despensas’, were distributed to those unable to access the soup kitchens. These deliveries of dry food items and hygiene basics were essential to get through this time of great uncertainty.
Seaside Rotary’s extraordinary fundraising efforts made it possible to support thousands of children and families until the restrictions were finally lifted and work resumed on the Riviera Maya.