By Daniel Eduardo Zavala, Rotaract Club of San Joaquin, Venezuela
In 2010, I had my first exposure to Rotary during a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) event in San Cristobal, a beautiful city in my country of Venezuela. A secretary at the university I was attending recommended that I would get a lot out of the event scheduled for the following weekend, and being up for adventure, I said yes. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I didn’t know what the future held for me. But taking part in that RYLA led me down a path that would change my life forever. I learned how many people around the world were working to make this world a better place. I met people my age or younger who were committed to improving their communities. And it made me want to do the same.
After that RYLA, I returned home with a desire to do all I could to help eradicate polio and bring about positive changes in my country. I joined Rotaract, and began taking part in international service projects. In all, I probably traveled to more than 28 countries, helping out in cities all over the world.
Rotary has given me the best experiences in my life. I traveled to Guatemala to provide food, clothes and toys for children living near a garbage dump. In Venezuela, I built and repaired parks for children. In India, I learned many new things about their culture, and following that, made trips to Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Sri Lanka and other countries. I always tried to give of myself and leave the communities I visited with more than when I had arrived.
In serving alongside members from other countries, I learned that we are all different but equal, sharing a common goal of making a difference in the world.
When I began serving through Rotaract, I was an IT student. Now I am a lawyer and programmer, a proud Rotary program alum, and a District Rotaract Representative. This is my Rotary adventure. I now have family around the world. And I am looking forward to the day when I join Rotary.
What is your story? How has Rotary changed your life?
Is really good share my experience with all the rotarians and Rotaractors form all over the world.
KUDOs to the Rotarians/club that followed up to capture this potential Rotarian after RYLA!
You are just one of the many that has been so blessed with RYLA. Live your life as a living testimony and inspiration for the Rotary and the Community.