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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Rotarians from Canada Changing PV Lives

Angel Reyes - Vallarta Opina
February 17, 2012

More than 150 people with disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life through the combined efforts of the members of the Rotary Club of Camrose, Alberta, Canada, who for 11 years forged bonds of friendship and fellowship with the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Pitillal and have since transformed the lives of more than 1500 people.

Allen Rustad, Carman Mason and Ken Rustad, from the Rotary Club of Camrose, met with Ivan Applegate Curiel, chairman of Discapacitados Vallartenses or Handicap Services of Vallarta (DIVAC), and members of the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Pitillal to make a symbolic delivery of a wheelchair to Esperanza Moya Becerril 74, who suffers from osteoarthritis in both knees and wearing of the cartilage which greatly complicates standing and walking.

In addition to the 130 wheelchairs, DIVAC also received 20 walkers, 10 crutches, wood and metal canes, knee, wrist, and ankle splints and orthotics to be delivered to those with a temporary disability which can be returned when no longer needed.

"It's very important support that we provide year after year as Camrose Rotarians and Divac have delivered nearly 4,000 wheelchairs in 11 years through this program, but the demand is even greater. Every day there are more people with disabilities and many sometimes are not aware of the possibility of receiving support."

"This time, we're asking for a contribution of 400 pesos which is symbolic as are chairs at a cost of 7,000 to 15,000 pesos and are of high quality, manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. We chose to ask for this contribution because many people have misused the chairs we have found in markets, or simply not using them or not using them in the best way possible," said Applegate.

For his part, Carman Mason highlighted the work of the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Pitillal along with DIVAC and commented on the long process that they continue to bring Rotary wheelchairs to benefit families in Vallarta.

"We ask for the help of the government of Alberta, Canada, through our club, for delivery. But, this year, we had the privilege of helping to bring them down to the facilities at DIVAC. We worked with the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Pitillal because we are confident that they will be given to those who really need it. We see that many poor people in Mexico do not have the means nor the manner to get these items, and that perhaps the government is not able to provide, so we're happy to bring them through humanitarian programs of Rotary International"

Mrs. Ezperanza, as the first beneficiary, thanked them very much for their noble work and great effort, and said that without doubt the wheelchair will change her life as it had become very difficult for her to fend for herself and she was unable to work to acquire one on her own.

Poor people who need orthopedic equipment can contact DIVAC at 225-5368 or visit Calle Mike Lemus 151 in the Cajos neighbourhood, where they must submit a copy their official identification, proof of address, no medical certificate is required but the recipient must attend to be given a wheelchair that is correct for their weight and height. "Here, we will only assign it if the device or the wheelchair is on loan or whether it will be delivered on an ongoing basis," said the president of DIVAC.

On February 20, 2012, at 1:00 pm, the wheelchairs will be delivered to the poor people who have completed applications.

  Learn more about Club Rotario Puerto Vallarta Pitillal

  Learn more about DIVAC Handicap Services of Vallarta

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