Sundram said other groups across the country have launched separate Rotary clubs based on ethnicity, including a Latino club in Coronado — the first Rotary club in the county geared for Latinos.
A group of North County residents has founded a Rotary club that will have primarily Latino members and draw people from every community along the state Route 78 corridor.
North County has never before had a Rotary club based on ethnicity or that included members from such a large geographic area.
Critics say membership based on ethnicity could be divisive, but organizers of the new club say it will boost Latino participation in Rotary and its wide range of charitable activities.
“Over 30 percent of San Diego County’s population is Latino, but less than 2 percent of our region’s Rotary members are Latino,” said Larry Sundram, a Bonsall resident and a member of the new club. “Latinos care as much about their communities as Anglos, and they need a chance to show it.”
Sundram, who is part of the leadership team for the county’s Rotary district, said members of the new club would strive to avoid isolating themselves from other Rotary clubs.
“There’s some concern about creating a separate organization for Latinos,” he said. “But we can still partner with other clubs.”