At our May 14th meeting Renee Senko, past president of the Vegreville Rotary club, and Caitlin Johnston, current president of the Vegreville Interact Club, came by to give a presentation on their recent trip to Belize. 
 
Renee and Caitlin joined 8 other volunteers to assist in building a playground at Paraiso School in Corozal.  The playground equipment consisted of repurposed equipment from a playground in Alberta that had been recently upgraded. The Emmanuel foundation handles the logistics of sourcing out and transporting decommissioned items that would be invaluable elsewhere. In Paraiso the local Rotary Club made the necessary preparations to facilitate the build and provided the visiting Canadians with an experience they would not forget.
 
The Vegreville students helped pay for the trip with a series of fundraisers, including a bottle drive and a spaghetti dinner event. An extremely heavy fog in Calgary delayed their departure and threatened to derail the entire trip but it finally dissipated. By all accounts the experiences of meeting the citizens of Corozal and enjoying their culture and the area's natural beauty made any challenges worthwhile.
 
This was the Vegreville Rotary Club's fourth playground build in Belize and they're eager to plan the next one.
 
Stan Bissell,  Rotary Club of Whyte's International Services chair and a Belize playground build veteran, had intended to assist with this build and had recruited his son Liam to join him.  The weather delay in Calgary unfortunately required them to return home.  Stan is eager to return to Belize when the opportunity presents itself.
 
For more information on the Emmanuel Foundation and the tremendous work they do in Community Development go to https://www.efoundation.ca/