Rodger Harrison has that look about him: you can see it in his eyes when he talks about his organization, founded 14 years ago in the historic village of Copán Ruinas, Honduras. Paramedics For Children (PFC) includes a medical clinic, ambulance services, and mountain village school supply programs. When asked why he started PFC, Mr. Harrison replies, “That has always been a very hard question to answer. I have found it a lot easier for me to explain to people what I do, rather then try to explain why I do what I do.” So the question remains, what motivates a person to do a 180 degree turn in their life and travel to a strange country to start an international children’s charity?
Again I asked, and Mr. Harrison responded, “To me, it was a calling of the heart. I can only say that working with PFC brings me great happiness and a purpose to my life. My business career started in the commercial real estate business, and a medical recruiting company. Life was good to me, and I made a lot of money, but something was missing. When I retired in 1990, I realized that it was time to give back a little for all I have gotten out of life, so I went back to college and got a paramedic license. Then followed six of the most incredible years of my life working in a job that I loved and enjoyed, until I was involved in a work-related injury and found myself sitting on the sidelines again wondering what I could do to re-acquire the excitement of running on an ambulance with all the adventure that goes with it.”
He added, “Fighting boredom, and not wanting to get back into the corporate rat race, I took a vacation to Honduras. I liked the country, so in 1997 I decided to spend a month or two in Copán Ruinas, to study Spanish. I met a lot of great people there who taught me some of the many customs and introduced me to the indigenous Chortí Maya who live and work in the Copán Valley. Soon, I found myself taking school supplies to children in the mountain villages. Before I knew it, I was hooked.”