Hundreds of families continue to benefit from Rotary Partnerships
Thanks to Deborah Simon with The Rotary Club of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for bringing more awareness on the need to end suffering of families in Guatemala and for inspiring others to help eliminate the disparities. Women and children suffer and die in Guatemala. They have inadequate medical care, weak nutrition, and poor water. Through service projects funded by rotary grants and partnerships, many families have survived serious illness and death. Many families have been able to access improved medical care, safer water, and better nutrition.
Deborah’s efforts to save mothers and children were heard by me at a rotary function in Boise, Idaho. In addition, clubs in my district had already partnered with Deborah and District 5520 on projects. Because of this connection, I invited Deborah to be our keynote speaker at the governor’s banquet and to help facilitate a panel at our Rotary District 5930 Conference Celebration in my hometown of Rancho Viejo, Texas. I had been so inspired by Deborah’s efforts and that of all our Rotary partners that I wanted to get more of our Rotary clubs involved in maternal and child health as well as water and sanitation projects. 
With our celebration’s Rotary Community Service project panel, attendees were able to listen to Deborah speak on the need to confront complex humanitarian issues with local and global solutions. She elaborated on project details, ideas, and more. The audience in the room had Rotary representatives from my district, Honduras, Mexico, US/Canada, and Guatemala!  
At our celebration, I presented Deborah with a Super Star Award to recognize her efforts in improving conditions in Guatemala related to maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, and water and sanitation.  Additionally, I congratulated Deborah on her unstoppable humanitarian relief accomplishments and our District 5930's willingness to continue to collaborate with Santa Fe Rotary club, District 5520, and other partners in the years to come. Dr. Elaine Hernandez, our district’s international service chair and a rotary foundation cadre technical adviser, also presented Deborah with a District 5930 Inspirational Award for Deborah’s commitment to End Hunger in Guatemala.
We were honored to have Deborah serve at our district conference celebration. We thank Rotary District 5520 and their clubs for their “Hearts, Hands, and Hope.”
Again, I would like to thank numerous Rotary Districts who offered support and guidance with our Conference Celebration. Thank you to our very own South Texas D5930, Northern Mexico D4130, Greater Houston Area D5890, Santa Fe, New Mexico D5520, Sue Goldsen, Past District Governor D6400, and Hector Mendoza, Mayor of Trujillo, fellow Rotarian from Honduras.
Our plan is to convene and have an International Multi District Event in Brownsville, Texas this fall.  All are invited to the event. Together we will help determine what the most pressing needs in our communities are and how we can address them through clubs, districts, other partnerships, and The Rotary Foundation. Volunteers are welcome!
Elsa and I want to thank everyone involved to help make this an informative and inspirational District Conference Celebration for all who attended it! I believe we accomplished the goal.
Andy Hagan, Governor, Rotary District 5930, 2018-2019
PS: I have included testimonials from Rotarians sharing their experiences at the conference celebration with Deborah Simon 
Ellison Crider, Governor Elect, 2019-2020, Rotary District 5930:
It was great to reconnect with Deborah at our District Conference this weekend. Her update on the improvements at the Zona Reyna Clinic, which my club helped to finance, was appreciated by myself and other club members. It's always good to see exactly where our money is doing good in the world. Deborah is indeed an inspiration to us and the Rotary world. She talks the talk and walks the walk. Well done!
Nianna Gustovich, Rotary Foundation Chair, Rotary Club of McAllen Evening
Deborah Simon is a Godsend to the communities of Guatemala. She sees the need and moves Heaven and Earth to meet it. She has saved countless lives at present and thousands more yet to benefit from her hard work and dedication. Her service above self has trained mid-wives and saved babies. Her striving to get an ambulance has made urgent medical care available to outlying communities, and her work on the Agricultural and Learning Center has provided a way for one particular community to become self-sustaining at farming, allowing for better nutrition both for mothers and children. Upon seeing the results of her efforts, enabled by our global grant in District 5930, I began to cry, knowing that life was somehow made better by the small efforts that we as a club make to participate in global grants that support all those projects. Through writing the words and maintaining the historical documentation of such amazing endeavors McAllen Evening Rotary has been able to share in the miraculous transformation of a community. District 5930 has an amazing heart to fund such incredible grants that lead to healthy communities and improved lives in parts of the world we have never seen. Keep striving to be the good in the world Deborah. You are truly a Rotarian who exemplifies that Rotary has heart.
Debbie High, Past District Governor, 2016-2017, Rotary District 5930
Deborah Simon gave an inspirational update on her humanitarian work at our District 5930 Conference Governor’s Banquet on May 4th at the Rancho Viejo Conference Center, Rancho Viejo, Texas.  She provided background on the needs and information on the collaboration between our two Districts 5930 and 5520 to improve maternal and child health in some of the most remote villages in Guatemala.  Deborah captivated a sold-out room of Rotarians, Rotaractors and Friends of Rotary with the inspirational stories, which at times were heartbreaking, but became stories of hope through the collaboration of many. 
Ramiro De La Garza, Governor Elect, 2019-2020, Rotary District 4130
Today, Rotary Foundation financed projects rely heavily on community assessment needs. Rotarians like Deborah Simon had already been working with those tools before they were mandatory. Her contributions with a Grant Seminar at the Rotary District 5930 conference allowed community assessment theories to become pragmatic and more understandable for Rotarians that are willing to help with projects and want to ensure those projects connect to validated community needs and challenges.  All the attendees of district conference in Rancho Viejo were pleased to have a true sustainable project designer among us, sharing the real deal of Rotary connected through meaningful service. I hope to meet a lot more Rotarians like Deborah very soon. Rotarians that plan, work, succeed, and share.
Tom Plumb, Member, Rotary Club of Port Isabel
I was attracted to Deborah because I viewed her as a kindred spirit and was impressed by her inspirational message and envious of her work in Guatemala particularly with the indigenous population.  I have added her to my Hands to Honduras mailing list and plan to check in on her Web page regularly.  And, of course, when I was younger and had more hair and was not turning hair was red...soooo, another reason for kindridity...
Elaine Hernandez, Ph.D., District International Service Chair, Rotary District 5930
Deborah Simon received the "Inspirational Award" from District 5930 for her commitment to END HUNGER in Guatemala.  Deborah Simon understands her purpose in life.  She found her calling. She is a nurse who dedicates time and resources to helping those who live in severe poverty and who lack access to quality healthcare. Deborah understands her humanitarian role in protecting pregnant women and newborn infants from dying during birth and soon after.  She understands how difficult it is to find and receive adequate medical support when you live in a remote, rural village in Guatemala. And she understands that she can apply her vocational talents through Rotary to ensure maternal and child health outcomes for so many who might otherwise die. Deborah Simon is the inspiration.