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Alberta Rotary Club members Mexico bound with Los Amigos Project

Southern Alberta Rotary Club members make their way to Mexico to deliver donated emergency vehicles on Sunday, Apr. 24, 2022. Jacyln Kucey, Global News

On Sunday morning, 16 southern Alberta Rotary Club members started their journey towards Mazatlan, Mexico, to deliver a fleet of donated emergency vehicles.

The Los Amigos Project coordinators Doug Thornton and Henry VanHeirden said this had been a long time coming, with the project being delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re pretty happy and relieved that we can finally take off and go,” said Thornton.

Read more: 4 men, 3 ambulances, 1 mission: Canadian volunteers to deliver medical aid to Ukraine

This year, Rotary Clubs from Lethbridge Sunrise, Brooks, Pincher Creek, Cardston, Olds, Calgary, Fish Creek, and Whitecourt donated seven vehicles, including two fire trucks, two ambulances, two school buses, and a Handibus.

“We’re pretty proud of this project,” said Thornton.

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So far, the clubs have donated 53 retired emergency vehicles to in-need communities in Mexico.

“With the seven units we’re taking down this time, that brings us to a grand total of 60 units,” he said, adding that the group is now on its seven-day journey to their destination.

Read more: Ukrainian-Canadians eager to volunteer on medical front lines amid Russian invasion

The Los Amigos Project was born in 2011 after a few Rotarians were vacationing in Mexico and realized the need for emergency vehicles and supplies.

It all began with a donation of three retired school buses from the City of Lethbridge, where members made their first trek down south in the vehicles which were packed with medical equipment. Since then, they have returned nine times.

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