The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is currently hosting Agustin Perez Leal, high school junior, from Las Grutas, Argentina who arrived in Pagosa Springs August 28th. Being from a small town on the Atlantic Ocean, he’s enjoying the similarity of a small community and the contrast of the elevation and the mountain scenery. His parents are both business professionals and he has a younger brother. Agus is smart, athletic and loves all sports and trying new things. He is an avid soccer player and is excited to snow ski.
At Pagosa Springs High School, he is enrolled in typical American classes including Math and English in addition to unique electives like Wilderness Skills and Metal Fabrication. He has started playing on the boys’ high school soccer team and participated in the annual team run up Wolf Creek Pass. Agus’s first host family is Jean Garcia and her son Trey, high school junior.
The international Rotary Youth Exchange program has been suspended since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the restart of the international exchange program, 19 students are being hosted by Rotary Clubs in the Mountains and Plains District, covering western and southern Colorado. Additionally, 19 Colorado students from this district are spending their year abroad as outbound exchange students.
The Rotary exchange program is always interested in talking with students that are interested in the outbound program and families that are interested in hosting a student. Anyone who is interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact Rotarians Lisa Scott, 970-749-4268 or; Marianne DeVooght, 970-731-2009; Ronnie Doctor, 920-946-6367; or Granton Bartz, 970-946-2827.
The Rotary Clubs in Pagosa Springs have participated in the International Youth Exchange Program for decades. Students apply for this opportunity through the local Rotary Club and are interviewed and selected to participate in the program. Once a student is placed, they spend 10 months in an exchange country and live with two or three different families during their time abroad. This way, they experience different family environments and meet a wider variety of people.
Pagosa Springs has two Rotary Clubs and Rotary is always accepting new members and invites anyone who would like to explore the opportunity to contact any community Rotarian or the names listed above.
For more than 110 years, Rotary International is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together dedicated individuals to exchange ideas, build relationships, provide service to their communities and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are over 46,000 clubs and over 1.4 million members worldwide.