THE CLARENCE DEMAR MARATHON INC wrote -
Each February students from Monadnock Regional High School Interact (student rotarian) Club give up their vacation time to travel to El Salvador where they work long, hot hours building homes for families who literally live in shacks of cardboard and rusted sheet metal. A few years ago the village of Talnique saw many homes lost to a devastating earthquake and this has been the focus of our Interact students who volunteer alongside Keene Elm City Rotary's adult advisors. Working in a third world country, providing impoverished villagers with permanent housing and a lifestyle change that is unimaginable, these experiences are life-changing for our students. They witness first hand the love and abiding appreciation of the people and in particular the children. With thoughts of these children our students return with an awareness of their own good fortune and how important it is to give back to those who have so little. The work is dirty and physically demanding as concrete posts and blocks are hoisted in place, mudded and scraped. Cement and mortar are mixed by hand shoveling with water, gravel and sand being carried up hill in dry wall buckets. There is one day off for a cultural experience shared with us by one of our San Salvador rotary friends. Each of the other 5 days flies by with challenges that reap incredible rewards, smiles, hugs and tears. Not only do the students devote themselves to this work week, as members of Interact they fund-raise during their school year, doing whatever jobs they can to provide funding for building materials and for their room and board. Each student is also responsible for their own airfare and many have to work other jobs to foot this additional bill. Our club is devoted to this International Service project for what it represents to the families and children of El Salvador and to our own Interacters who are transformed into citizens of the world. We thank you for your support of this very important project. Team DeMar funds will help to build this program by providing opportunities for students who may otherwise not be able to go and to provide additional tools and special village projects such as water, sewer and recreational development.