Rotary Club learns more about organization supporting Bolivians

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Rotary Club of Tryon had the privilege of hosting Dr. John Baumrucker at a meeting in November.

Baumrucker is a member of the Rotary Club of Highlands-Mountaintop in North Carolina and the founder and driving force behind the Highland Bolivia Mission. His presentation about the work of the mission shows how Dr. Baumrucker lives the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self,” club officials said.

The Highlands Bolivian Mission has assisted the poor in Bolivia for 21 years. The mission’s first goal was to provide the general hospital with modern medical equipment to help treat the medical needs of the citizens of the area.

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The mission’s second goal was focused on improved housing for the community in and around the city of Montero. Substandard housing is a health concern in the area, and the mission has built 14 homes in the last few years.

While working on these goals, the mission noticed another problem. Young abandoned boys were roaming the streets, trying to earn a few Bolivianos helping people park their cars and doing other tasks. Abandoned girls went to orphanages, but the boys were left to fend for themselves.

There are now 23 children in a foster home built and maintained by the mission.

The mission’s most recent project has been to provide wheelchairs to people in need around the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The mission has worked with partner organizations to deliver over 1,000 wheelchairs to the area.

“Nothing is more fulfilling than to be there when the wheelchairs are delivered,” Baumrucker said.

Each wheelchair costs less than $100 and can make an unbelievable difference in the life of the recipient, club officials said.

Those interested in learning more about the mission and its projects can contact Dr. Baumrucker at 828-200-0902 or

– Submitted article