22 years after a 3-year exchange in our town, Carlos joined us at our 3:00 pm Zoom meeting to present and reconnect with the Rotary Club of Whistler. Some of the members from those days gone by now belong to the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium. They added much to our Carlos greetings and welcoming.
  
 
 
We asked Carlos at the outset how the situation was in Mexico during this pandemic we are globally experiencing.
Carlos replied that Mexico is a country in development. There are areas in all cities and communities that experience very low income. People have to work no matter what the circumstances. The President of Mexico is not too helpful with the risks involved during the COVID19 crisis. Thus, working people experience many close-quarters living and working situations where no protocol for prevention of the spread of the virus is practiced: home, work, and markets where food is purchased. 
Carlos' father and grandfather are Rotarians and greatly influenced his life, in addition to the 3 years he spent in Whistler. The elder Mr. Garza wanted Carlos to spend time in other countries and experience different cultures to open his mind and expose him to other ways of thinking. Whistler definitely had a lasting imprint on Carlos after being exposed to Canadian ways, especially our Rotary community and the large consumption of vegetables. He had a Dual Mountain Ski Pass, experienced heli-skiing as a gift, stayed with great families, and ate Canadian style meaning vegetables at dinner time. There were no maids as he was accustomed to but he lived very well, and became accustomed to a totally different mindset other than what he was used to. He assumed a responsible and more aware attitude bringing forward a new Carlos. The good family values he came with served him well, however, as he told us he was not interested in booze or Marihuana. He did manage to get involved in lots of pranks and impish behavior which are happily recalled.
With these new wings, Carlos went on to explore more international school and travel, developing purpose and appreciation that he, to this day, attributes to his early Rotary life in Whistler. 
 
Since 1994 Carlos gained a Masters in engineering, electronics and communication, a Masters in business administration, organization and development. At present Carlos is a Human Resources Consultant for a large Company. After living abroad, starting a family, and establishing himself in the business world, Carlos felt bereft of purpose. The need to give back preoccupied his thinking and he rejoined Rotary in 2015. He is a member of many Boards of Directors, most particularly his local hospital Board and a Non Profit involving equal pay for men and women in his country. Carlos felt his club was not enthusiastic enough for the areas of his interest, thus, he engaged new members in his club and experienced a lot of club success. He learned how to conduct great leadership speeches, formed a 200 member club for members 40 years old and under. This resulted in past Rotary International Club President Barry Rasin having him speak to a group of over 600 at the Rotary International Convention in Monterey. What a thrill and leadership kudos.
 
His club very successfully focuses on education, health, scholarships for nurses, diabetes prevention, graffiti clean up, an ambulance for his city's hospital, 240 laptops for local school needs, sonar by sound heat, and movement for detecting earthquakes that are frequent in his area. This saved 30 lives recently. Amazing service above self!
 
Carlos has a lovely wife and two children, ages 7 and 9, that he involves even at their early by attending and helping with Rotary events, similar to what his father and grandfather did for him. His aim is to pass on how to help his community. He concluded his presentation by stating that before his exchange experience he was not aware, self-interested and indifferent to many important areas of life. The huge impact of his stay in Whistler 22 years ago remains with him and has affected him for life.
 
Well done Carlos! We hope that someday we might share a project that is beneficial to all. 
 
 
 
 
 
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