There is more to being a host than a nice welcome.  The Club Rotario Pereira Perla del Otύn (PRC) begins to plan for a Rotaplast mission 6 months ahead of a proposed date by requesting a mission from Rotaplast International. 


Olmedo and Alberto, two members of the Club Rotario Pereira Perla del Otύn

Once a date is approved, they begin by contacting the hospital manager for  2-3 operating rooms, recovery room space, a ward, waiting room and intake room, lunch area, changing and storage areas.  They need a large area for first day of intake which is held outside.  They need a big waiting room and 4-5 consult and evaluation rooms.  It’s a huge amount of space.  They hold a dance for 400 people surrounding the ballroom with Rotaplast pictures. Sponsors need to be solicited to help pay for the hotel, bus, lunch and snacks.  They request local, city and state government grants.  Permits have to be obtained from Risaralda (their state) to get more funding.  Interpreters must be secured.  Police need to be set up for our protection.

6 weeks before the mission, they make up and distribute fliers and pamphlets to companies in Pereira and the surrounding communities, and to priests to announce in their churches. Then there is TV and radio. They arrange and pay for shelters run by the nuns for those patients who travel many hours for this opportunity.  They start pre-registration to determine how many patients might show up.      

If needed, some doctors and dentists are provided by the hospital and some volunteer from the Pereira community.  Additionally, Rotaplast sends a medical team.      


Martha (left) and Judith (right), two of the Women's Auxilary Members

A multitude of tables and chairs and cloths have to be secured, set up and taken down or locked in every day.  THIS IS LABOR INTENSIVE FOR A ROTARY CLUB THAT HAS 31 MEMBERS! Ten Rotary members join us and work every day.  Rotary wives work hard to arrange snacks and lunches.  One even translates every day as long as needed.  And then, they serve us in the hospitality of Colombia.  PRC works with  the Sonrie Foundation – that follows up with medications and speech therapy.     

So Rotarians and friends, you work hard to raise the funds for the smiles.  You send District volunteers for non-medical needs.  Without the host Rotary Club structure, there would be less accomplished.  PRC is an excellent partner.


PRC Rotarian Master of Ceremonies. Hedmann Alberto Sierra Sierra (left), Volunteer, Alicia Ruiz-Orbin (center), and Interpreter, Jose David Gonzalez Villada (right).