Posted by Richard Tamkin
The Los Amigos project consists of two very separate but complimentary parts. Rotarians in Southern Alberta gather together the vehicles and equipment to be donated and then deliver everything to Mazatlan, Mexico. Rotarians in Mazatlan are responsible for deciding which towns the vehicles and equipment will be donated to. These Mazatlan Rotarians are also responsible for ensuring that the donated items continue to be properly and continuously used.
 Albertan Rotarians very deliberately stay away from the donation decisions since they do not speak the Spanish language nor do we know the local customs or conditions.
After the October 4th departure breakfast the 6 vehicle convoy drove out of Lethbridge on Highway 4 to Coutts and Sweetgrass. This time the US border formalities were easily dealt with and the convoy rolled over the three Montana passes into Idaho without any problems. Overnighted in Idaho Falls and next day drove on through the scramble of Salt Lake City to Fillmore in Utah. There the regular evening meeting of the drivers was held in the open air which attracted other curious travellers who seemed impressed by Rotary’s efforts. Next day the convoy drove through Las Vegas, used the new by-pass that leads straight onto the big bridge over the Colorado Canyon and into Kingman, AZ. They were guests of Kingman’s Route 66 Rotary Club at their big Oktoberfest fund raiser. The drivers donated $150 to the Oktoberfest fund. After the regular morning vehicle checks the convoy headed on south through Phoenix and Tucson to Nogales, AZ, where they met up with Pepesán (the lead Mexican Rotarian) and Omar (a Mazatlan Rotarian). These two vital Mexican Rotarians traveled from Mazatlan just to ensure the convoy cleared the Mexican border checks and formalities with the minimum of trouble. Their magic touch clearly worked since the convoy was cleared in 3 hours, which is a record.
Overnighting in Nogales, Mexico gave time for the drivers to relax in a comfortable hotel just outside of the border control area.
The following day it was a short drive to the visa station at Km 21 were it took the drivers the usual one hour to obtain tourist visas. Then it was roll on south along fast Mexican toll road Route 15D to Navojoa and an overnight stay in a comfortable hotel with a warm pool!  Great relaxation. Next day in the late afternoon the convoy drove into Mazatlan where the vehicles were parked.
That completed the first week and the obligations of the Albertan part of the Los Amigos project which is very international as you can tell.ce our winter.