In 2003, Club Member Jorge Zambrano supported by Andale Restaurant, started serving a hot lunch one day a week to the families who live at the garbage dump outside of Puerto Vallarta. These families eke out a meager living sorting through the garbage for anything of value which can be sold.
Over time, as the program grew, the Rotary Club was able to rent land from the church in Colonia Magisterio - Rotary Puerto Vallarta Sur constructed a kitchen and eating facility on the church lands. In addition to a hot lunch being served weekly, there were also volunteers to teach English to adults, and a craft class for children.
In 2015, the program was required to leave the church lands and the Rotary Club negotiated the use of a government building no longer in use, one block from the church lands, for the lunch program. This building sits on the land where the Community Centre will be constructed in the future.
The program continues each Monday serving a hot lunch to the adults and children of Colonia Magisterio, with the ongoing support of Andale Restaurant and Montero Distributions, which donates fresh fruit and vegetables to be served with the hot lunch.
Every year at Christmas, the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Sur hosts a Christmas Posada for the families. Children have a visit from Santa and each child receives a gift. There are also games, piñatas and candy for the children.
Donations of clothing, shoes, personal care items (soap, shampoo, tooth brushes and paste), school supplies and sport equipment are always welcome, as are volunteers who wish to participate in serving lunch.
Donations may also be delivered directly to Andale Restaurant.
Colonia Magisterio is the location of a large recently constructed Regional Hospital. For families of limited financial resources who live outside of Puerto Vallarta but need medical care at this hospital, there is no where for them to stay as they cannot afford hotel rates. Many sleep on the streets outside of the hospital while their loved one is kept in hospital receiving medical care.
The Community Shelter will provide these families with a place to stay and have a meal, and will provide members of the local community with a place to meet and learn through community programs.
The plans for the Community Shelter include dormitories for both men and women with shower and bath facilities, as well as laundry facilities. There will be a communal kitchen as well as areas for children to play and learn.
The project is currently in the fund-raising stage however, the construction of pilings and building supports have started.
A recent presentation outlining this project is available for download below the Photo Gallery,
This video provides an introduction to the lunch program and the community which Rotary serves.
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