The government of Guatemala awarded the Order of the Quetzal, the country's highest honor, to The Rotary Foundation last month, in recognition of Rotary's humanitarian work in Guatemala and its contributions to the campaign to eradicate polio.
During a ceremony on 2 September held in Guatemala, Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Fernando Carrera Castro presented the award to Rotary International President-elect Gary C.K. Huang.
The Order of the Quetzal, established in 1936, recognizes officials and organizations from Guatemala and elsewhere for their work in the arts, sciences, politics, and humanitarian service. The Rotary Foundation received a badge on a sash necklace designating its rank of Grand Officer, one of six ranks. The badge, a ten-pointed cross with five branches and a medallion, represents the coat of arms of Guatemala.
"On behalf of all Rotarians and Rotary, we are honored by this award from the Guatemalan government," Huang says. "We want to share this with all Rotarians."
While in Guatemala, Huang met with local Rotarians and visited several projects funded by The Rotary Foundation. During the past three years, Rotary clubs in District 4250, which includes Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, carried out projects with funding from 43 global grants. Global grants fund large-scale international projects with sustainable outcomes that address Rotary's areas of focus.
One project, in partnership with clubs in Illinois, USA, provided schools in the rural region of Sumpango with washing stations and latrines, as well as kitchen equipment and furniture. Another grant brought computers and a mechanical cow, a stainless steel machine for producing soy milk, to an all-girls elementary school in Santa Maria de Jesus.
"This award is not just for the Foundation or the Rotarians in Guatemala, but for Rotarians all over the world," says Jorge Aufranc, past governor of District 4250 and a member of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur. "It is international recognition for the work that all Rotarians do."
Learn more about The Rotary Foundation's global grants.