September 2020 was Rotary’s Education and Literacy Month, we would like to celebrate Rotarian Kim Rogers’ passion for education in Guatemala. 
As the saying goes; "Rotary open doors of opportunities." 
After affording me the opportunity of being an Exchange Student to Chile in 1987, Rotary has had a profound influence on my life for more than 30 years. After a major life change last year, I used my education and experience to start my own non-profit organization to benefit children in extreme poverty in Guatemala. I moved there at the start of the year, but I’ve been stuck here in the States due to Covid-19. However, I’ve used this time to build a strong foundation, fine tune our website, and have spoken at several Rotary Clubs across the county. In a short amount of time, I’ve also been able to raise over $15,000 to be used for food donations and school projects.
The most amazing opportunity thus far, happened recently with a connection from my hometown club in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Thanks to Facebook (and some old friends) I was introduced to Vanessa Vega, a Guatemalan woman sent to Oregon some years ago as a Rotary exchange to my home club. Once she found out about my projects, she asked her host parents if they knew me. Turns out we had been neighbors and I grew up with their kids. They soon became very interested in our projects in Guatemala, and after some discussion made a sizable donation which will enable us to start a water and bathroom project for a very poor rural school. It will be so exciting to start a project I’ve had on my heart for over two years now. What a testimony to have Vanessa (an Ambassador for World Peace sent from Guatemala to small town Oregon, USA by Rotary International some fifteen years ago) come to our project school, help pass out supplies and meet the students who will benefit from the generosity that she inspired. This is the influence of Rotary…..two teenage girls, two different generations, one from Oregon and one from Guatemala, having an impact on several hundred more Guatemalan children who will benefit immensely from the loving hearts of Rotarians. It’s a magical story of the power of Rotary.
September is World Literacy Month, and this theme goes hand in hand with the primary missions for both Rotary and the organization I founded, Heart for Guatemala. The people of this amazing country suffer greatly from poverty and a lack of education. But, little by little, if we can each do something to support and foster literacy, we’ll provide more opportunities, and thus create a better life for our neighbors in Central America.
Kim Rogers
Heart For Guatemala, Founder & Executive Director