Recently, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club welcomed the club’s two Rotary Youth Exchange Students, Bo young-An from South Korea and Mario Jankov from Croatia, who each gave a short presentation about themselves. Mario explained that Croatia, a country of some 5 million people that was once part of Yugoslavia, joined the European Union this past July. The country is comprised of three regions: Slavonja, which is the breadbasket of the country; Lika and Gorski Kotar, an area of high mountains; and Istra and Dalmacija, running the length of Croatia’s coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Mario said that although the Croatian War of 1991 to 1995 devastated much of the country, it has quickly rebuilt and now attracts tourists who flock to the country’s ski slopes, beaches and its 23 designated or pending UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Bo told the club about her family – her father is a minister, her mother is a housewife and her older sister is a student. She went on to talk about South Korea, a country of some 15 million people. She said the national flower is the Rose of Sharon and explained that the Korean language has a 40-letter alphabet. The country’s traditional clothing includes the hanbok, jeogori, chima and paji. She shared with the club some of the customs of South Korea’s most important holiday – New Year’s – with its focus on honoring the memory of family ancestors. She closed by saying many large corporations familiar to Americans, such as Hyundai and Samsung, are South Korean as is the martial art of taekwondo.


The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club is sponsoring both students as they attend school during the coming year. Mario attends West Nassau High School in Callahan while Bo is a student at Fernandina Beach High School. To learn more about the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club and its Youth Exchange Program,