Posted by District 7910 on Nov 09, 2020
A group of local Rotarians and non-Rotarians had planned to conduct a service mission last March in the Lake Attilan area of Guatemala, which is served by the charitable, non-profit Worthy Village. That trip was indefinitely postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Julia Rayberg co-founded Worthy Village several years ago. Through her enthusiasm and dedication, the organization has grown and services the Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
 

Rayberg (shown, right), who is also CEO of Worthy Village and a native of Rockland, MA, graduated in 2015 from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 2015 with a BS in business marketing. While traveling to Guatemala in 2013 with a professor, she was exposed to extreme poverty, and says it changed her life forever.

Today, Julia works full-time building Worthy Village, managing and overseeing programs, as well as organizational development. She works part-time as a non-profit consultant and travels back and forth often, spending about nine months of the year in Guatemala. Her hopes are that one day she can be “a small part of making a big difference in Guatemala.”

It takes only $20 a week to feed a family for two weeks, and, with the pandemic, Guatemala needs help more than ever. With babies are quite literally starving, Worthy Village sought to to raise $75,000 during the weekend of November 7 and 8, to keep Guatemala healthy through these unprecedented times.
 
Food, medical supplies, sanitation provisions and genuine caring have been provided by local Roatarians. In 2018, a group of 21 Rotarians and non-Rotarians from District 7910 traveled to Panajachel, Guatemala and spent a week installing water systems in homes in the mountains around the lake. Several Rotarians signed up to sponsor a family - at only $30 per month, which doubles the average family income.
 
Each year, Worthy Village holds a fundraiser in Rockland, where Julia’s father is a member of the Rotary Club of Rockland, which has been an ardent supporter of Worthy Village over the years. The 2020 fundraiser had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a serious loss of operating funds for Worthy Village.  
 
To compensate, Worthy Village held a “Move With Worthy Village” weekend on November 7 and 8. As a long-time supporter of Worthy Village, Past District Governor Dick Manelis pledged to walk five miles over the weekend. With the pledges of numerous Rotarians and non-Rotarians, he was able to raise $5,000 for the cause. (Shown left, are Dick Manelis, on the left, and Ray Pfau, on the right, of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, during the 2018 service mission in the Lake Attitlan region of Guatemala.)
 
Many good people were helped by many good people. Nice to see Rotary people in action.
 
For more information, contact Julia Rayberg at info@worthyvillage.org.
 
 
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