Club Information
Chapala Sunrise Rotary

People of Action

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 10:00 AM
Restaurante Don Juan (Attached to La Palapa Don Juan)
Paseo Ramon Corona 32
Chapala Centro
Chapala, Jalisco 45900
We meet in person AND by ZOOM. ZOOMERS - Please email Chloe Clemens, club secretary, (using the link at the left) to get the link and password.
Click for our bilingual Facebook page
Home Page Stories
Nearly 60 Rotarians, friends and family turned out to celebrate the 90th birthdays of Rod Hensley and Henri Loridans. They read their biographies of their lives to the crowd, which were fascinating. Letra Ch Restaurant did an amazing job with the food and decorations and the cakes were spectacular.
Thirty Rotarians and guests caravaned the hour long journey from Chapala to Jocotepec - 1st stop Bio Tu. This is an ecological center that teaches sustainable practices such as composting, use of solar stoves, and using organic materials. They also have a butterfly reserve where they are "raising" several different species.  Club members went on to the Jocotepec Cultural Center where a local muralist, Chili, explained the elements of several murals in the town center.  From there the Group gathered for a delicious lunch at Restaurante Frida.
Nearly 100 generous and fun loving Lakesiders attended the sold out Chapala Sunrise Mardi Gras Party. Great Cajun food, hurricane drinks, fun games, a "Saints Go Marchin" In parade and a lucrative auction raised enough money for 25 student scholarships AND another 56, 000 pesos for other high priority projects and needs of the Club.  Nous laissons les bons temps rouler (  We Let the Good Times Roll!) .
Two members of the Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club have resumed the classes of health (physical and mental) information to community members joining our Diabetes Club.  Dr.  Oscar Ibarra Jr., M.D. and Erika Alamos ( nutritionist) are joined by another volunteer doctor, and psychologist to offer information about diabetes,  and strategies for managing the disease. Patients log their daily glucose levels and bring to the clinic for the analysis and support.  Tepehua Centro de Communitario has offered teaching space and most of the patients are from that needy neighborhood.  We plan to link our services with their Maternal and Child Health program.  Attendance at the monthly meetings has grown from November with 8 attendees to this weeks meeting of 29 villagers.  Attendees range in age form age 8-85!
We partnered with World Vision leadership and the Municipality of Chapala to transport 40 wheelchairs from Toluca, Mexico, house members of World Access and distribute to people with low resources in Chapala, San Juan Cosalá and Jocotepec.  Each wheelchair was fitted to the specific needs of individual recipients.
Our classes have begun at Ojo de Agua, teaching villagers about the water contamination and sanitation. This is preparing them for understanding the system and the long term maintenance needs. A visiting Rotarian from South San Francisco and another from Richmond Sunrise, B.C., joined us at the new site for our wetlands sanitation project and to see one of the classes.  The municipality of Poncitlán has laid about 200 feet of pipe to carry the flow of effluent to the new system.
Last week we assembled and distributed 20 heavy duty wheelchairs to deserving people at Lakeside.  The wheelchairs were funded by our club, Chair the Love, and Rotary District 4140.  This was our third distribution and we hope to do more in the future!
Chapala Sunrise hosted a Mexican party at Letra Ch restaurant for 80 people.  We played Mexican games ( Loteria, cubileto and balero), listened to Mariachis and watched folkloric dancer.  Entertainment and dinner were all incredible!
We are working on a design for construction of a wetlands waste treatment system for the village of Ojo de Agua.  They have donated the land and we are working with partners not only to engineer the solution but to educate community members  and address long term maintenance and sustainability of the system.
Our club has become much more involved in the pueblo of San Pedro Itzicán which has per capita, the highest rate of kidney disease in the Western Hemisphere.  We are beginning our work with getting to know the community and their desires, and working on nutrition, dental education and joining with others on early identification of kidney disease.  Hat's off to local leader, Anita Torres, who is championing the cause of this very needy and isolated community.  We distributed toothbrushes at the Kid's Kitchen feeding program, for 700 children that she oversees 5 days per week.
Chapala Sunrise Rotarians celebrated a very full year of action culminated by passing of the gavel from President Barbara Wilson to Karl Dyer.  The rains parted for the outdoor event at Adelita's restaurant with 65 people in attendance.  A new Board was installed.  Dr. Carlos Cerda and Susie Lindeman received Paul Harris awards for outstanding service to the community.  Barbara was joined by fellow outgoing Rotarian President of the Ajijic Club, Dr. Cherry Advanavich.  The two ex-presidents will continue their work together on a kidney disease prevention project to support the Lakeside community.
Today Club members visited Bambú Warrior; a vivero dedicated to promoting bamboo as a sustainable plant.  The uses are varied from hedges to walking sticks; flooring to bedsheets to articles for the home.  We even drank bamboo tea!  The small company has recently been awarded a government grant to apprentice and pay five young people to learn about growing the plants and making products that can be produced without very little equipment.
Six Rotarians drove East around the lake to paint the interior of a recently reopened Community Center in San Pedro Itzicán.  The paint and labor was donated by the Club.  Upon arrival, they found there was no running water.  Hands and brushes were washed in buckets of water from a nearby tap. Rotarians returned to finish the paint job, purchase and install a water pump.  The Community Center is now freshened up and has running water for its bathrooms and sinks.  Thank you Rotarians, Karl, Ken, Wil, Susie, Harvey and Mark!
We partnered with the SAFE Scholarship program to raise funds for local scholarships and other projects.  The Mardi Gras party sold out four weeks ahead of time and was a major fun and funding success!
After a completing a successful potable water project in Ojo de Agua, the village has identified as their next priority a small sewage treatment system.  We are exploring wetlands sanitation system as one option and have visited another village, Casa Blanca, where such as system has been installed. We also are identifying with the village and the municipal public works department a viable location which will dictate the engineering and appropriate system
COVID as brought challenges to Rotary Clubs worldwide.  Last week, we swore in our 43rd member, Peter Harrell, by  Zoom!
We visited a coffee growing area of a local coffee shop owner in Chapala.  Lalo Garcia Gonzalez owns a family run business called El Arbol de Cafe.  It is on Hidalgo as you enter into Chapala.  He taught us about the challenges and joys or growing organic coffee, had us pick coffee cherries and sample his coffee. We are thrilled to learn more about this process and to support a local business.
Christmas with CSRC members.. having fun and sharing the season by donating wrapped toys for children in a local barrio. ​​​​​​​
Members Becca Pohl and Susie Lindeman joined a health educator to teach about girls and women's physical changes and development.  They also distributed reusable menstrual materials, sewn by local village women to 113 girls in 3rd year secondaria (9th grade).  
Girls in rural areas of Mexico often stay home from school during menstruation due to embarrassment, and lack of appropriate hygiene products.  Chapala Sunrise Rotarian and nurse Becca Pohl is chairing a project that combines two service areas of Rotary; maternal and child health with economic development..  She, along with Spanish speaking colleagues, teach young teen girls in schools about female development, health and menstrual cycles.  She distributes reusable washable pads and products in bright colors and patterns.  She teaches women in the villages how to sew the products, paying them for their work. In these photos, Becca is joined by bilingual Rotarian Susie Lindeman in packaging the products.  She, along with Spanish speaking colleagues, teach young teen girls in schools about female development, health and menstrual cycles.  She distributes reusable washable pads and products in bright colors and patterns.  She teaches women in the villages how to sew the products, paying them for their work. In these photos, Becca is joined by bilingual Rotarian Susie Lindeman in packaging the products. 
In the past two weeks, we began our polio fundraising campaign.  In just that amount of time, we have already raised $1600 U.S.towards the final eradication of this terrible disease.  Pictured here is Ana Reyes Juarez,  a woman to whom we gave a wheelchair last June. This smiling woman gave us permission to use her photo so that other children won't suffer as she did.   In 1978, she contracted polio at the age of 2 in Chapala.  She underwent numerous spinal surgeries in Mexico City and Guadalajara to lessen the contraction as she grew.  We are proud to support the effort to wipe out this virus from the face of the earth!
Thanks to a generous donation from the Rotary Club of Fountain Hills,  Carlos Cerda, a dentist who is a member of our club is providing needed dental care to people who cannot afford it.  His first two patients are a double amputee and his 13 year old niece. Both have been trying to save for dental care from their jobs working at Walmart and making sandwiches but have not been able to put away the kind of money that is required for the extensive dental needs.  
Dr. Carlos also visited the village of Ojo de Agua and has registered 30 people who have significant needs; multiple missing teeth, rotting teeth and gum disease and other issues.  Dr. Carlos is donating his time and is negotiating with others to provide materials at a lowered costs, to stretch the donation dollars.  
Thank you to Fountain Hills for once again supporting the work of our club!
For three years, the Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club has worked on a Global Grant to get potable water to the homes in an isolated village named Ojo de Agua.  By partnering with the Rotary Club of South San Francisco and the Government of Poncitlán, along with support from other clubs and groups, we were able to dig a well, construct and electrical and chlorination systems, build a water distribution network of underground pipes and provide storage tanks and water filters for each of the 70 homes.  This is a significant improvement to the lives of over 300 people.  This week we did a test run of the system, flipped the electrical switch so that water was pumped into the distribution system.  We will be celebrating with the villagers on August 8th with a fiesta for everyone!
Chapala Sunrise supports an international project in Rwanda.  The Dream Beauty Academy trains women with few resources as beauticians, a high paying and well regarded vocation in Kigali.  Two of our members visited the Academy and were impressed by the rigorous 3 semester curriculum and the supportive staff.  When asked if there was anything that was needed, the Director suggested graduation kits of beauty supplies. Scissors, hairdryers, rollers, etc. are tools of the trade.  Upon receiving these kits graduates have the opportunity to set up a business at home, or work at a local salon.  The Club provides money annually, so that these women have the opportunity to work, as soon as they have earned the skills to do so.
Every year Rotarians around the world change their club leaders on July1st.  This year, as Barbara Wilson accepted the gavel from Past President Becca Pohl, she lauded Becca's leadership and adaptability in a difficult year.  Despite a pandemic, our Club grew in membership and in service activities as community members looked for connections and ways to "give back". 
Becca thanked her Board members for their outstanding work and a new Board was sworn in.  Paul Harris Awards were awarded for outstanding contributions to our club; Carlos Peña (who was absent) and Gabriel Vázquez Sánchez, Director General of Aipromades, an organization that is combatting the effects of climate change in communities around Lake Chapala.
This week Chapala Sunrise engaged in two active service activities.  The first was a return trip to the Huichol community to educate and distribute water filters and to provide more dentistry by Rotarian Carlos Cerda.  Closer to home, 8 Chapala Sunrise Rotarians assembled and distributed 23 wheelchairs to deserving adults at Lakeside, provided by Chairs of Love and Lake Mary Rotary, Florida.  Thank you, to Rotarian Susie Lindeman, for interviewing and identifying some of those most in need in Chapala. 
During our Emergency Food Relief program last year, we discovered a home for homeless senior women who could not take care of themselves.  The program is called Las Ancienitas.  The housing and daily services are provided by the Catholic Church, but there is no budget for food.  They simply rely on sporadic donations.  When we first visited the 41 women and the nuns that care for them, they had eaten nothing but lentils to eat for the past two days.
Our club has taken on this project of providing food every other week.  At times the ladies get beans and rice, but at other times a donation will include many flats of local berries.  We check to see exactly what they need and bring that to them.  We are able to do this not only through our only club's efforts, individual donations and through the generosity of the Stittsville, Ontario Rotary Club.  Thank you Stittsville Rotary!
Four Chapala Sunrise Rotarians brought dental, maternal health and sewing service to the Wixrarika (Huichol) people in a remote area of Northern Jalisco, in January. The group is connected to Chapala due to a sacred site that is on Alacranes Island, in Lake Chapala.   The region is isolated and arduous to get to.
Rotarian Carlos Cerda and his wife, Lulu, donated their time to drill, pull teeth, clean and provide dental education to 35 people during the 3 day stay.  President Becca Pohl and Administrator Alan Pohl assisted with dental support, teaching women about female body functions, hygiene and providing reusable menstrual pads ( made by local women in Chapala) and also expanding sewing capabilities through sewing machines.  The group left behind tables, desks and supplies for the local school, 3 sewing machines, brightly colored cloth, hygiene materials, food, and a lot of goodwill to a group that is an important part of our local culture.
The Club provided an hour of training about water and sanitation.  57 Attendees received a water filter for home use.   Thank you to the Lincoln, CA Rotary Club for funding these filters!  Hopefully, this will help reduce the incidence of illness and diabetes in the village. 
With the generous help of individual and sister Rotary Club donations, our Club has expanded its emergency food relief program in several ways.  In the last month we have increased our direct food purchase/packing/ and distribution of despensas( weekly bundles of food) from 48 to 125 families around Lake Chapala. We are now supporting the food needs of two local orphanages ( Hope House and Love in Action), serving 43 kids. And we are partnering with several like minded charities such as the Tepehua Centro Communitario, Poco a Poco and Lakeside Presbyterian to provide additional food to the communities that they serve.
Extraordinary needs being met in extraordinary times.   President-elect, Becca Pohl, has been training local women on how to make masks from specialized materials under a Buy One, Give One Program.  Masks have been distributed to 84 policeman , sick, and elderly people under this program.
We're closed but we are busy.  There is a rapidly emerging crisis of hunger in our greater community as factories, restaurants, fields and stores closed under government mandates.  Our Club is partnering with generous individuals and Clubs in Canada and the U.S. to raise funds to pay for weekly food bundles (despensas) with basic supplies and soap.  Club members are buying and distributing dispensas to villages in which we already have connections so that we can assure that the MOST needy are receiving the goods.  We are also working with other Lakeside philanthropic organizations who are doing the same kind of work and are serving different populations to help them fund their expanded efforts in this time of great need.
On Feb. 25th our Club hosted a fun dinner at Letra Ch restaurant, with live music and a dessert auction. We successfully raised over $38,000 pesos to support our projects.  
Frank Ewer shows off his impressive "balancing act" as Club president.
The 3 day Chili Cookoff is Lakeside's biggest annual charity event. Last year nearly 500,000 pesos was raised to be split by 9 local charities.  In order to contribute to the success of the Cookoff, we run the Mexican food booth and also work behind the scenes in the supply distribution for all of the vendors and operations of the three day event.  We are proud to be one of the cookoff's beneficiaries as our "split" goes directly to support other community groups in our area.
The 52 children in the primary school continue learning about potable water and keeping the sources of water safe. This week, the teachers also received training about the benefits of filtered water and in return, received Mexican made, low maintenance, filter system for their classrooms. Thank you Lakeside Charities, A.C. and Aipromades for your partnership in these programs!
The Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club has been working for three years to bring clean water, on a consistent basis, to the village of Ojo de Agua on Lake Chapala. This tiny village of 300 people has only had access to water during the rainy season, from streams off of the hillside.  Nevertheless, when we tested the stream water it was rated as one of the purest sources around the Lakeside.  Working in partnership with the local municipal government of Poncitlán, drilling began early this month and a clean, water was found at 200 feet.  The source appears to be sufficient to supply the village.  Further testing of the water must be done by the State Water authorities.  
Our Club has applied for a Global Grant, with international partner clubs of South San Francisco, Lincoln, CA, Fountain Hills, AZ and Winnipeg West, Manitoba to fund the holding tank, and distribution system and home water filters, throughout the village. In the meantime, club members are teaching water and sanitation classes in the village, using United Nations approved Project Wet materials.
Susie Lindeman was recently recognized by our District for her work to prevent Hepatitis C.  She travelled to Morelia, Michoacan to work with Rotarians to support this important effort, in a campaign called Hepatitis 0 (zero).
The Rotary Club of Winnipeg West, as part of their international outreach, has joined with our Club to raise money for water projects in Ojo De Agua.  Recently they sent a check for $1500 CDN which equals over 27,000 pesos.  Rotary Clubs around the world work together to help the less fortunate have better health, education and economic opportunities.  This is another example of the power of the 1.2 million members of Rotary.
Mexico has the highest rate of diabetes in the world.  Our local community is no exception.  Club members, in coordination with the Chapala Municipal Clinic, are leading diabetes education and support classes, once a month.  This month's class had 19 people attend.  Attendees can have their sugar levels tested and people who need medical attention or can not afford needed medications are referred to the Municipal Clinic.
At the November 21st meeting, Ken Amendt talked about a children's playground he had come across in the village of La Pena east of Chapala. Ken along with the local Pastor, and a group of children cleared the playground of weeds and debris. Now with funding from our club and matching funds from one of our club members, the playground equipment is going to receive a coat of paint to liven this playground up for the children.
Two of our Rotary members have begun a series of 7 lessons about water and sanitation in the primary school in Ojo de Agua.  UN approved Project Wet materials are being used.  Students are learning about healthy habits, spreading of germs and the importance of clean water. Through a grant from Lakeside Charities, Chapala Sunrise will also provide water filters for the classrooms and liquid soap containers for the bathrooms.  In the meantime, we are having fun with the kids!
Our 100y100 coordinator, Enrique Garcia, has reported that our project is still in the mix.  For anyone who has missed what we have applied for, we are hoping to support The Chapala Municipal Clinic with 2 Vital Signs monitors and an Ultrasound Monitor for the clinic's Emergency Room.  The total project cost is $132,000 pesos.  A good description of the Heart to Heart program and the 100y100 projects can be found here: .  Keep your fingers crossed!  For the 100 project slots available, our district alone presented 160!  
Let's help our sister club promote their Christmas Wreath Sale.  The Rotary Club of Fountain Hills has helped with our projects and now we have the chance to return the favor!  Click on the Download File Link, "Christmas Wreath Sale" on the left of this page to display a pdf flyer with descriptions and pricing.  Feel free to repost this information.  Every little bit helps.
Teaching young women to become cosmetologists
In this war torn country, the Dream Beauty Academy along with the Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club provides a graduation kit of tools of the trade so that each graduate can now make a living.   Creating self worth and a career path in these young women makes a big difference in this African country.   One hundred dollars ($100 US) buys a graduation Kit for each student.
History of Women in Rotary
Until 1989, the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary International stated that Rotary club membership was for males only.
In 1978, the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, USA, invited three women to become members. The RI Board withdrew the charter of that club for violation of the RI constitution. The club brought suit against RI claiming a violation of a state civil rights law that prevents discrimination of any form in business establishments or public accommodations. The appeals court and the California Supreme Court supported the Duarte position that Rotary could not remove the club's charter merely for inducting women into the club. The United States Supreme Court upheld the California court indicating that Rotary clubs do have a "business purpose" and are in some ways public-type organizations.
This action in 1987 allowed women to become Rotarians in any jurisdiction having similar "public accommodation" statutes. In October of 1987, the Rotary Club of Angels-Murphys D5220 inducted three women and in spite of threats to quit Rotary by some of the older male members - none did. Two of these three women went on to lead the A-M Rotary Club as president and one those has just completed over two years as charter president of the Angels Camp Centennial Rotary Club (a club which which is very proud of its 50% female membership). That president has completed 19 years of perfect attendance.
The RI constitutional change was made at the 1989 Council on Legislation, with a vote to eliminate the "male only" provision for all of Rotary. Since that time, women have become members and leaders of clubs and districts throughout the world.
Barb Wilson presents our newest female member, Velia Unzueta, with a pin to celebrate Women in Rotary.
Nine Rotarians pitched in with a lot of physical labor to help take down the booths, tables and chairs at the annual Feria de Los Maestros.  The coordinator of the Feria was very appreciative of our willingness to do the unglamorous job of "clean up", especially when the other volunteers were exhausted after three days of work.
Other Rotarians also pitched in over the three days weekend by hosting artists for 3 days at their homes, announcing ( bilingually) stage events, and helping with admissions.  Truly a weekend of "Service above Self".
Our environmental partner, Aipromades, is following through on a commitment to our "adopted village" Ojo de Agua. In a community assessment last October, villagers identify clean water and sanitation as their top priorities.  We are providing workshops for villagers and kids, over 5 Saturdays, on the identification, collection, disposal, recycling, composting possibilities in the village.
On September 27th, our Club donated 20,000 pesos to Escuela Foraneh #1 Jose Vasconcelos in Chapala for a permanent playground roof that protects from the rain and sun as students play and assemble outside.  This secondaria (middle) school is inner city with little space for students to congregate outside the classroom.  The parent club has been working for three years to raise the funds for this project and our donation gets them nearly to the top.  We hope that other like minded people and clubs will donate to help finish off this project.
Frank Ewer and a new Board of Directors were sworn into office at a Changing of the Button ceremony of on July 1, 2019 at Manix Restaurant.  More the 50 people attended the lively party in which Hector España Ramos thanked this 2018-2019 Board before he turned the gavel over to our 2019-2020 President.  Frank and his Board committed to making positive change in our communities.  Past President Hector España Ramos and Beverly Denton received Paul Harris Fellowship awards for their extraordinary service to the Club.  A delicious dinner, music and dancing followed. 
Club Executives & Directors
Rotary Foundation
Executive Secretary
Membership Director
Upcoming Events
June 2023
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