20th Anniversary Celebration Results

Last Saturday, April 12, Mano a Mano celebrated 20 years in operation at the DS Event Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. More than 320 Mano a Mano supporters attended, along with 5 staff from our counterpart organizations in Bolivia.

Staff from Mano a Mano's counterpart organization in Bolivia traveled to Minnesota for the celebration.

Staff from Mano a Mano’s counterpart organizations in Bolivia traveled to Minnesota for the celebration.

20th Anniversary Celebration Results

As part of the celebration, our goal was to raise enough funding to build a school in Bolivia. And, thanks to everyone that attended, we exceeded our goal!

Mano a Mano's 20th Anniversary Celebration on April 12, 2014.

Mano a Mano’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on April 12, 2014.

This was Mano a Mano’s 5th consecutive year of holding a celebration/gala in April, and each year we have been successful in raising enough money to build a much-needed project in Bolivia.

 Event Photos

Below is a slideshow of photos from the event (thanks to Mano a Mano volunteer Charles Skrief for taking the pictures!).

You can also check out these event photos, with descriptions, on Facebook and Google+.

Making a Difference in Rural Bolivia

As part of the event, we also showed a video highlighting Bolivians from rural areas talking about the impact that Mano a Mano projects have had for them and their communities (special thanks to William Wroblewski for making the video).

20th Anniversary Celebration Video

On Saturday night, Mano a Mano celebrated our 20th year in operation with food, Bolivian-inspired music from Leo and Kathy Lara, and the release of Gaining Ground, Mano a Mano’s new book!

As part of the event, we also showed a video highlighting Bolivians from rural areas talking about the impact that Mano a Mano projects have had for them and their communities (special thanks to William Wroblewski for making the video).

Making a Difference in Rural Bolivia

Thanks!

We were happy to have 320+ Mano a Mano supporters and 5 of our staff members from Bolivia in attendance; thanks to everyone that made the event a fun and successful night! We’ll be sharing more details about the event in the coming days and weeks.

Thanks Medtronic Talent Acquisition Department Volunteers!

Thanks Medtronic Talent Acquisition Department Volunteers!

What an awesome day we had at Mano a Mano yesterday! We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Medtronic Talent Acquisition Department for a great day sorting and packing medical supplies. We got so much work done!

Medtronic Talent Acquisition Department Volunteers

Medtronic Talent Acquisition Department Volunteers

Pizza from Sunrise Flour Mill

Another enormous thank you to Darrold & Marty Glanville from the Sunrise Flour Mill for coming out with their portable wood burning oven and making delicious organic pizzas for lunch after we spent several hours in the warehouse working up an appetite.

Volunteers taking a pizza break.

Volunteers taking a pizza break.

Staff from Bolivia in Minnesota

We were very privileged today to have three of our Bolivian staff (Blanca Velasquez, Camila Garcia, and Boris Rodriguez), who are in town for our 20th Anniversary Celebration, to share the day with us!

Mano a Mano staff members Camila (agronomist with Mano a Mano Internacional) and Boris (engineer with Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo) are in Minnesota for the next 2 weeks!

Mano a Mano staff members Camila (agronomist with Mano a Mano Internacional) and Boris (engineer with Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo) are in Minnesota for the next 2 weeks!

Thanks Mano a Mano Volunteers!

And another big thank you to our A-team volunteers, Bob Lundgren, Ray Wiedmeyer, Mark Petzoldt, and Tracy Gittins for coming out to help facilitate the event!

What a fun day to share with you all! Thank you!

More Pictures Below


Talking with Jovita, Mano a Mano Nurse

Looking Back on our First 20 Years

As Mano a Mano celebrates 20 years in operation in 2014, we will be looking back on our first 20 years, highlighting some of the stories, projects, pictures, and people that have been part of Mano a Mano. On social media, we will be using the hashtag #manoamano20years, and if you’d like to share your own pictures or stories we would love to highlight them! Just contact us.

Interviewing Beneficiaries of Mano a Mano Projects

In 2012 two Mano a Mano volunteers from Minnesota traveled to Bolivia for an interview project. Their primary goal was to interview beneficiaries of Mano a Mano projects, which included clinic staff, who were in Cochabamba for Continuing Health Education Workshops and agreed to talk about what it is like to work in a Mano a Mano clinic (watch a video interview with Mano a Mano clinic staff here).

The following is an interview with Jovita Orellana Harrara, the nurse working and living in the Mano a Mano clinic in Kayarani.

Jovita with her 6 month-old son.

Jovita with her 6-month-old son.

Talking with Jovita, Mano a Mano Nurse

A few things that stood out after talking with Jovita:

  • Three days each week Jovita leaves the clinic at 6 or 6:30 a.m. to visit a community according to a monthly schedule. The farthest community is not accessible by road. It is a 4-hour walk, carrying vaccines, medical supplies and her baby, wrapped close to her body in a colorful aguayo (shawl).
  • She vaccinates children, provides education in health, nutrition, the importance of boiling water for drinking, and family planning. Many families have 8 to 10 children; younger families are choosing to have fewer children.
  • She encourages families to eat the nutritious quinoa they raise; most prefer to sell the valuable cash crop.
  • Like other Mano a Mano clinic staff, she works hard and loves her work. She has 5 free days per month and cannot take them consecutively, except to attend the Mano a Mano continuing education courses in Cochabamba. It is a term of the contract between the community and Mano a Mano that the staff attend continuing education workshops (read more about our partnership model here).
  • Jovita’s 5-year-old nephew lives with her in the clinic. His parents, like many rural Bolivians, have gone to Argentina to find work.
  • Jovita is 23 years old. She speaks Quechua and Spanish.
  • Since 2009, she has worked at the Centro de Salud Kayarani, the 22nd Mano a Mano clinic built in 2002. Before the Kayarani clinic, Jovita worked in a hospital elsewhere in Bolivia.
Kayarani Clinic

Kayarani Clinic

Advantages to Working in a Mano a Mano Clinic

Jovita says there are many advantages to working at the Mano a Mano clinic compared to the hospital. The clinic receives much more support. It has better equipment. It has living quarters for the staff as well as an inpatient room for new mothers and their babies. It is much more comfortable and welcoming for patients. Perhaps most importantly for the people the clinic serves, Jovita sees patients in their homes; the hospital provides treatment only to those who can travel to the hospital.

7 Communities Served by the Clinic

The 7 communities served by the clinic are agricultural. They grow a variety of crops—greens (verdura), corn, and quinoa, but suffer from a lack of water. Many families are poor, with 8 to 10 children. The community farthest from the clinic does not have electricity. The typical house has a dirt floor, a roof of straw, and no bathroom. Most families have two one-room structures, one room for sleeping and cooking and a separate room for food.

Seeing Patients in their Homes

During her community visits, Jovita sees patients in their homes, vaccinates children, provides education in health and nutrition and family planning, and works with the community promotor de salud (health promoter) who is the “first responder” in case of emergencies. Diarrhea and resfrios (colds) are the most common problems. Sometimes there are problems with domestic violence when the men have been drinking chicha. Since the recent adoption of a law protecting the rights of women, the dirigente (local leader) of the community has the responsibility to deal with problems of domestic violence and she refers such cases to him.

The clinic closes at 8 or 9 at night, but the knocks on the door continue for emergencies. Because she does not have transportation she does not leave the clinic at night; patients must be brought to the clinic. She encourages the women to give birth in the clinic, not at home, and most do.

After 3 years, Jovita knows everyone in the communities and they know her. She has friends among the other young mothers. She visits them, and they visit her in the clinic. She likes her work and the people in the communities she serves.

Interview Details

  • Name: JOVITA ORELLANA HARRARA, interviewed while holding her 6 month old son, Jose Miguel
  • Location: Mano a Mano Bolivia office in Cochabamba, during a Curso para Enfermeros (Continuing Education Course for Nurses)
  • Relationship to Mano a Mano: Enfermera (licensed practical nurse) at Kayarani Clinic
  • Date Interviewed: Friday, April 20, 2012
  • Interviewers: Andrea Bond and Charles Skrief

20th Anniversary Celebration is a Week Away

Time is running out to buy tickets for our 20th Anniversary Celebration, which is barely a week away on April 12th! We need to give the final number of attendees to the event center on Monday (April 7th), so if you plan on coming please buy your tickets as soon as possible.

Mano a Mano Aviation pilot Ivo Daniel Martinez Velasquez - here delivering supplies to Oromomo earlier this year - will be in Minnesota for our 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Mano a Mano Aviation pilot Ivo Daniel Martinez Velasquez – here delivering supplies in the Beni department earlier this year – will be one of our staffmembers from Bolivia traveling to Minnesota for our 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Buy Tickets Here

Tickets are $50 per person, and you can purchase tickets online here (instructions are at the above link, if you’d prefer to purchase tickets by check). Tables with 8 tickets are available at a discount (12.5% off), and sponsorship opportunities are available as well (special thanks to Medtronic, Inc., Prepare/Enrich, and Anchor Bank for being Sponsors of the celebration!).

20th Anniversary Celebration Details

WHERE: DS Event Center, 415 Pascal St. N, St. Paul, MN 55104 (click here for a map)

WHEN: Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 6p-9p

WHAT: Join more than 300 Mano a Mano volunteers and supporters in our celebration of 20 years in operation, including:

Click here to purchase tickets for the event. We hope to see you there, and thanks to everyone that has already purchased tickets!