Since 1995, Rotarians from District 4150 in Northern Mexico and 5130, including Mendocino Rotary, in Northern California have come together every year for the annual Festival of Brotherhood.

The goal is to find an jointly fund humanitarian projects that help Mexican people in need. Projects have included a school bus for a town or lab equipment for a children’s hospital.

From Oct. 18-26, 2013, four Rotarians from Mendocino will be among those flying to Mexico for 10 days of project reviews. For many Rotarians, the experience is so rewarding, that they return year-after-year to participate n this humanitarian effort.

Here is an excerpt of what happened at one of the annual meetings, taken from the Festival of Brotherhood blogspot:

“In the Afternoon, all of the clubs from California met to review and collaborate on funding for the projects we had seen. Following the priorities of our Mexican hosts, we first worked out what funding we could for agreements from prior years that had not been completed. Next we talked about and worked on grant proposals for this year. hose grants were “matching grants”. They are funded by monies from the partnering clubs in Mexico and California. The funds the clubs put in are augmented by matching monies from our Districts, then those monies are supplemented by partial matches from The Rotary Foundation.  The more expensive projects often require more than two clubs working together. After the matching grants, we discussed and made agreements about proposals that do not meet The Rotary Foundation’s criteria for International Matching Grants. Those proposals would require clubs to work together with their own funds. While we were not able to fund everything we felt was worthy, we were able to fund an amazing number of projects.  Now when we return home we will seek out support for clubs who were not able to send representatives. It was inspiring and the fruition of a lot of planning and work.”

To get a better feeling of this annual event, visit the Festival of Brother blogspot.