Features — 17 March 2015 — by Adele Ramos
Belize assumes 5th governorship of Rotary in July

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 12, 2015–On July 1, 2015, Rene Villanueva, Sr., 64, becomes the 5th Belizean to hold the governorship of the Rotary Club for District 4250 constituted by Belize, Honduras and Guatemala.

At the end of February, Villanueva, a veteran broadcaster in Belize and proprietor of Love FM, was installed as governor-elect at a three-day convention held in Guatemala City, which he attended with a sizeable Belize delegation. Villanueva is to succeed current district president, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Weaver of Guatemala, for a one-year term.

“As Rotarians we want better villages, better countries and a better world. We give [of] ourselves, our time, our resources and yes, we give even our lives towards making this world a better place than we found it. We do it through the greatest humanitarian organisation in the world – Rotary. But we must do it together because in unity there is strength. In my mind, the secret to taking our great [district] 4250 to indeed a higher level lies in all of us in Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala. Working together, learning of each other, appreciating each other, loving each other,” Villanueva said in his acceptance speech.

Rotary’s international convention will be held from 6-9 June 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Villanueva told us that the new president of the movement, K.R. Ravindran from Sri Lanka, will be installed. Gary Wang of Taiwan serves as the international president until June 30.

Rotary has 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs across 210 countries in the world. Belize has 9 clubs with 145-150 members, but per capita Belize has more Rotarians than the other two countries in the district, Villanueva said. Guatemala has 29 clubs and Honduras has 31 clubs.

Since Villanueva will hold the governorship for the district for the next year, Belize is slated to host the next district convention from April 13-16, 2016 in Placencia, where Villanueva’s mom – Helen Elliott— served as the village’s first rural health nurse.

As governor, Villanueva will visit all 69 provinces in the Belize-Honduras-Guatemala district of Rotary.

Four other Belizeans have served as governor for the district. They are Andre Lopez, Marcelo Coyi, Salvador Espat and John Searle, the first person to hold that post.

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