February 12, 2021
Our Rotary club member, Domingo Bernal, grew up in Guatemala and a piece of heart will always belong there. Last November, when his birthland experienced devastating damage caused by back-to-back hurricanes Iota and Eta, just two weeks apart, it severely compounded local hardships already made harder by COVID-19. 
Now a businessman living in Guelph with his family, Domingo was heartbroken to hear from Guatemala contacts just how bad the situation and suffering was. So he decided to act. He jumped into fundraising mode and then travelled to Guatemala, spending four weeks helping to organize practical relief and connecting with aid agencies. His contribution and self-sacrifice was an exemplary example of Service Above Self. This has also laid the groundwork for future projects to help with the start-up of small enterprises in Guatemala to generate family income and improve quality of life for participants. 
Domingo is now chair of our club's World Service sub-committee for Latin America, and he has specific ideas on how Rotary can make a difference, in both Guatemala and Honduras, short term and long term. Domingo is our favourite kind of Rotarian ... a "make it happen" kind of person with vision, passion and huge empathy, so this story is likely to have many follow-up chapters!
Meanwhile, Domingo's fundraising for Guatemala continues through an ongoing Bottle Drive collecting beer, wine and liquor bottles: http://www.videsa.org/bottle-drive/  and donations through www.videsa.org/donate. You can contact Domingo (through the Videsa website) to arrange pick up, or you can drop them off at location, or even return your bottles to stores to redeem the deposits and then make a donation to Videsa. 


Videsa is a community that believes in the life-lasting change that comes from entrepreneurship. We create tools for self-sustainability and quality  of life for everyone. We are challenging adversity by building and strengthening people. 

A small initiative may seem just that – small.  But it can change the future in big ways. Through training and encouragement, Videsa empowers individuals to put their hands to work and to use their skills to create sustainable income. Let the spirit of entrepreneurship filter down to those who need. Allow them to see the possibilities of success.