Delivering Food and Supplies to a Community Devastated by Fire

Delivering Food and Supplies to a Community Devastated by Fire

Aerial view of Natividad, in the department of Beni, Bolivia.

Aerial view of Natividad, in the department of Beni, Bolivia.

Aerial view of the fire damage.

Aerial view of the fire damage.

Our pilot, Ivo Daniel took these photos of the fire damage and the need in Natividad.
Fire damage in Natividad.

Fire damage in Natividad.

A fire started in one of the houses and burned more than half of the houses in town.
More than half of the homes in Natividad were completely destroyed.

More than half of the homes in Natividad were completely destroyed.

Nine homes completely destroyed.
If the wind had not carried the fire in the direction of the river, all 16 homes in the community would have been destroyed….

Natividad Fire Response

Our pilot made the first of three or four flights last week and delivered 400 kilos of food. Both the leader of the community and the teacher were asked to distribute the food, prioritizing affected families first.
Mano a Mano plane delivering food and supplies to Natividad.

Mano a Mano plane delivering food and supplies to Natividad.

Thanks Casa Estudiantil

A huge thank you to Casa Estudiantil for making funds available to purchase the food.
These are the kinds of projects Mano a Mano are able to do, thanks to the the support of groups like Casa Estudiantil and people like you.
If you’d like to make a donation to support projects and emergency responses like these, you can make a donation online HERE.

El Palmar Road Project Being Dedicated this Week

El Palmar Road Project Being Dedicated this Week

 

 

Ebola Emergency Response Drill in Bolivia

Earlier this month, Mano a Mano’s Navajo airplane participated in an Ebola response practice session, transporting eight simulated Ebola patients from Brazil to Bolivia as part of an emergency response drill.

Ebola Emergency Response Drill

Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez is currently in Bolivia and sent the following note about the drill:

It was pretty interesting. The eight ‘patients’ were having the time of their lives….taking pictures in front, inside, outside of the each of the airplanes…..feeling priviledged to be around airplanes.

Patients loading to arrive on a scheduled flight to a selected part of the airport.  Once our airplane arrived, soldiers taped off the area and fully masked and suited personnel approached the airplane. All suspected travelers were taken to the hospital.

‘Patients’ loading on the plane to arrive on a scheduled flight to a selected part of the airport. Once our airplane arrived, soldiers taped off the area and fully masked and suited personnel approached the airplane. All suspected travelers were taken to the hospital.

Once the airplane (landed) taxied to a designated spot of the old airport terminal, military soldiers encircled and cordoned off the airplane……soon after our captain gave an OK, and the tower allowed four very protected doctors to approach the airplane….four ambulances and more people assisted the patients who reported fever and head aches to be transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment or to be monitored. The scenario was that the patients had arrived from Brazil and had recently been in Africa.

After the event Mano a Mano was thanked and informed that nobody else could have done this, especially on such a short notice. We were invited to go to the terminal to participate in the recognition event after putting away the airplanes. But, I think, we were too late. We think they left before we got there.

Today is World Food Day

What is World Food Day?

October 16th is World Food Day – a day of action against hunger. (CLICK THIS LINK to learn much more about World Food Day.)

2014 World Food Day Theme: Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth

The theme for 2014 is family farming, something that is very important to Mano a Mano with our programs in Bolivia. Today, on World Food Day, we wanted to share a few stories from Bolivian farmers that have benefited from partnering with Mano a Mano.

Our current water reservoir under construction, in Wirkini, Bolivia.

Our current water reservoir under construction, in Wirkini, Bolivia.

Both of these stories were first shared at Mano a Mano’s 2011 Spring Gala, where the goal was to build a agricultural water project for Bolivian farm families in Collpana, Bolivia (which was completed and dedicated in December 2013).

From 2 Bags of Onions to 50

Mano a Mano built 153 water retention ponds in the region of Omereque. Now farmers are producing crops that are doubling to tripling their income.  Mario F., an Omereque farmer, told us that before his land had water, he harvested 2 bags of onions each year.  The first year after the water ponds were completed he harvested 50 bags. 

Completed water pond in Omereque, Bolivia.

Completed water pond in Omereque, Bolivia.

Walking for Ten Hours through the Mountains to Say Thanks

Sandro is a 39-year-old farmer whose entire farm plot is the size of a small city lot. Because Sandro’s land didn’t have access to water, he couldn’t raise any crops so he worked as an indentured servant for another farmer. Sandro called himself a wata runa, a Quechua phrase that means literally a “tied man”. When Mano a Mano started building a pond near Sandro’s land,  Sandro hurried  to till his land and plant his potatoes before the rainy season. In March, just three months after the pond was built, he had harvested his potatoes.

Harvesting potatoes.

Harvesting potatoes.

Then he walked for over ten hours through the Andes mountains to thank Mano a Mano for the gift of water.  He brought big beautiful potatoes as a gift to Mano a Mano.

“I have harvested half of my potatoes,”  he said, “ and already have enough for my family to eat till next year. The rest I will sell. I am no longer a wata runa – a tied man”. 

Sandro.

Sandro.

Hundreds of Stories Like These to ‘Keep Moving Forward’

As our co-founder Joan Velasquez said after sharing these stories: “There are hundreds of stories like those we have shared. Each one touches our hearts and compels us to keep moving forward.” From building large-scale agricultural water reservoirs, to providing training to rural farmers through our Center for Ecological Agriculture, to building and improving roads, Mano a Mano is committed to improving the lives of rural Bolivian farmers; and we need your help – you are the seed that allows Mano a Mano to bring together many different groups and acheive results that none of us could do on our own.

If you are interested in supporting Mano a Mano’s projects that improve lives for Bolivian farmers, please check out our DONATIONS PAGE, or CONTACT US to learn more.

Market day in Omereque for local farmers.

Market day in Omereque for local farmers.

Pena Colorada School Project

Pena Colorada School Project