My Rotary Youth Exchange — this year has opened my eyes

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

By Victoria Alvarez, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Argentina to the United States

Most of you have probably heard of Rotary Youth Exchange, and maybe some of you have even been involved with the program. I recently completed my exchange year in the United States, and wanted to share the perspective of someone who has just taken part in one.

I come from Argentina, a little country on the edge of South America that you may have heard of recently because of the World Cup. It is in many ways very different from the United States. In signing up for an exchange to America, I stepped out alone into a culture unlike any I had experienced, in an unfamiliar environment, in a house I did not know, to live with people I did not know. Leaving behind family, friends, and most of what was familiar. Continue reading

You are never too young to change the world

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton present a certificate to Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton recognize Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

By RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay, Rotary Club of Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

When RI President Ron Burton asked me to convene one of his five Presidential New Generations Conferences, I was thrilled with the idea. I know firsthand the potential our youth represent, especially after accompanying my husband, Luis Vicente, as President of Rotary International in 1996-97, as we took part in 21 Presidential Conferences for New Generations around the world that year. Luis’ vision for youth set the stage for Rotary International’s support of New Generations and the creation of Rotary clubs composed of young people.

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To Buenos Aires and back for polio eradication

Competitors in the Doble Bragado cycling race in Argentina take a moment to promote polio eradication. Photo courtesy Rotary District 4855

Cyclists in the Doble Bragado promote polio eradication. Photo courtesy Rotary District 4855

By Marcelo Frangiosa, governor of District 4855 (Argentina)

Rotarians in District 4855 recently had a chance to share Rotary’s polio eradication message with cycling enthusiasts during one of Argentina’s premier sporting events, the Doble Bragado.

As a result of a lot of hard work from many Rotarians in the district, thousands of spectators and nearly a hundred competing cyclists learned why Rotary is so committed to ridding the world of this crippling disease. Continue reading

Promoting polio eradication in Argentina

Rotarians in Argentina display an End Polio Now banner at River Plate soccer stadium. Photo courtesy of District 4855

Rotarians in Argentina display an End Polio Now banner at River Plate soccer stadium. From left José Luis De Laurente, Roberto Fontanella, Federico Frangiosa, Marcelo Frangiosa and Javier Costalonga. Photo courtesy of District 4855

By Marcelo Enrique Frangiosa, governor of District 4855 (Argentina)

On Sunday, 2 December, our district had a very busy and very happy day. It started with a “Polio Plus Fellowship Asado,” a barbecue where more than 150 Rotarians and friends celebrated their friendship, while raising funds for polio.

After taking a “This Close” photo, part of the district polio plus committee and I rushed to the River Plate Stadium to focus even more attention on the polio eradication efforts. Our team circled the soccer stadium proudly displaying the End Polio Now banner. Continue reading

Group Study Exchange made me the Rotarian I am

Ana Cáceres become a Rotarian thanks to taking part in a Group Study Exchange.

Ana Cáceres became a Rotarian after taking part in a Group Study Exchange.

By Ana Cáceres, a member of the Rotary Club of Autonomia, Argentina

Being part of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team to District 5420 (Utah, USA) and District 7510 (parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA) provided me with the main ingredients I needed to become a Rotarian. More importantly, the experience shaped my life.

On 15 March 2007, I began my exchange period in Utah. I knew enough English to communicate but adjusting from almost 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit)  in Santiago del Estero to the chilly American spring was rough! Continue reading