Rotary GSE team visits Demopolis

Published 1:32 pm Friday, April 20, 2012

Five women from Portugal spent just over two days in Marengo County last weekend as part of Rotary International’s Group Study Exchange program.

Each year a team of young professionals from south Alabama, which comprises District 6880, visits a Rotary district in another country, and a team from that district visits here.

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The five visitors arrived Friday morning, April 13, and left Sunday morning. While here they toured the Marengo County Courthouse and the Moundville Archeological Park, ate at Ezell’s and the Pie Lab, were entertained at a reception at the Foscue House, and even did a little shopping.

Hosts during their stay were Woody and Joy Collins and Bill and Catherine Meador.

During their four-week stay the women will get a whirlwind tour of all parts of south Alabama. This weekend they are attending the District Conference in Orange Beach and getting a break from their hectic schedule.

They leave for home on May 5, the same date that the team from the Alabama district leaves for District 1960 in Portugal.

Paula Cortes Tavares, a cork farmer, was the team leader from Portugal and one of the charter members of her Rotary club. Members of her team are Raquel Henriques, an archeologist; Ana Gomez, sales manager; Sofia Martins, who works as an immigrant support coordinator, and Maria Rodrigues, a vocational trainer.

In past years Marengo County has played host to GSE teams from India, Brazil, Peru, France and Sweden, among others.

Rotary International, the oldest and largest service organization, has more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs located in more than 200 countries.