Six high school students from Gig Harbor traveled to Guatemala on a program led by Gig Harbor North Rotary and supported by the two other Gig Harbor Rotary clubs.


 In April, 2019, the students and their three Rotary chaperones visited Opal House near lake Atitlan in Guatemala. 

Opal House was created by Dr. Will Boegel and his wife Diane as a non-profit nearly twelve years ago. Dr. Will, an orthopedic surgeon from the Seattle area, focuses his time on Opal House as well as providing free medical care at a nearby hospital. Diane‚Äôs emphasis has been on creating a Montessori School that is free for local children. 

Dr. Boegel helped form a local Rotary Club and has served as its President. His initiatives have led to a number of International Rotary Grants that have assisted both health care and education in the highlands area that is one of poorest regions of Guatemala.

The students were able to see some of Dr. Boegel's medical work, and they were actively involved in building an adobe refuge house, putting together trampolines for the kids, planting gardens, and helping with elementary school students. 

They learned more about the culture and beauty of the region by visiting the volcano areas surrounding Lake Atitlan and exploring the nearby city of Antigua. 

Students from Henderson Bay High School included Ashley Phillips, Piper Maertins, Jaiden Baxter, and Emilio Anguarano. Noah Flick and Owen Bush participated from Gig Harbor High School. Rotarians accompanying the group were Paul Miller, Donna Eggen and Bob Anderson.

The trip was funded by all three Rotary clubs in Gig Harbor, family donations, as well as a fundraiser by the students.