Neal Beard, Lawrenceburg Rotary Club President-Elect at the time, gave an informative and moving presentation on a recent Rotary Club World Community Service Project in Honduras. Five local Rotary Club representatives became part of a team of 32 people from five different Rotary Clubs along with Peace Corps volunteers to help provide safe drinking water and electricity to homes in rural Honduras. The project was funded by donations from eighteen Rotary Clubs, as well as Rotary Club International and Peace Corps grants.
Honduras is a country in Central America about the same size as Tennessee with a population of seven million, 56% of whom are under the age of 18. Villagers previously had to carry all of their water uphill from a local stream, washed their clothes in the same creek, and had no electricity in their homes. The project team, working with local residents and volunteers, constructed a 10,000 gallon water tank, installed power to a drilled well, ran water distribution lines and built water storage reservoirs for thirty-eight homes, set power poles, and wired each home with one electrical outlet and one light fixture in each room. In addition, they built recreation equipment and donated books and supplies to local schools.
Neal explained that although the team accomplished quite a bit during their visit, he felt that the human impact and shared good will were most significant. He thanked the local Rotary Club members and his fellow volunteers for their support and encouragement and believes that "we have touched many people and improved a lot of lives". Based upon the shared impressions of the local volunteers and many photos of smiling Honduran villagers, everyone involved with the project appeared enriched and moved by the experience.