Learn more about Mano a Mano – why we started, our programs, why we work in rural Bolivia, how we work (very important for us) – and learn how you can be a part and make a difference.
We handed this presentation out to all attendees of our 20th Anniversary Celebration in April; here it is in digital form.
Overview of Mano a Mano Programs
66 Emergency Air Rescues in July
Mano a Mano’s aviation program transported 66 Bolivians to emergency care in the month of July.
Emergency Flight to Oromomo for a Premature Birth
One of the 66 people flown to emergency care last month was an 18-year-old woman with a premature baby.
Because we have the Navajo airplane we could respond quickly to an emergency of a premature birth in the tropical community of Oromomo.
A call came in late in the afternoon, 3:30 pm (too late to fly out and return before dusk with the Cessna 206). Because we have the Navajo, the pilots were in the air at 4:10 pm. Half an hour later they were picking up an 18-year-old woman with a premature baby. The pilots returned to Cochabamba minutes before dusk with a crying baby and a new mom, relieved that they were heading to a city hospital. Both mom and baby are doing well and getting stronger in the hospital.
We are so happy that a fast airplane was available. We were told that the baby would have never made it if we had to wait through the night for the flight.
Mano a Mano Aviation Program
Since the aviation program began in 2005, Mano a Mano has provided 2,412 emergency flights – 246 so far in 2014.
Here are just a few of our emergency flights in recent years:
- First Flights of 2014
- Airlifting a motorcyclist in Tupiza with a shattered knee
- Emergency Air Rescue for Injured Dakar Rally Racer
- Emergency Flight for Two Children in San Lorenzo
- Airlifting a newborn child in Oruro with a heart problem
In June 2014, seven teachers from Minnesota traveled to Bolivia as part of a teacher training & education project in Arani, Bolivia. This was the second year of this trip; in June 2013 nine teachers from Minnesota participated in the pilot project.
Presentation from June Teacher Training Trip to Bolivia
Debbie, one of the teachers that participated in the trip, made this quick powerpoint showing some pictures and highlighting some activities during her time in Bolivia.
A huge thanks to the community of Arani, Mano a Mano staff and volunteers, and the Minnesota teachers that worked very hard to make this training & education trip possible! We are looking forward to continuing with this project in the years to come!
Mano a Mano has been working on a large road project in El Palmar, Bolivia for years, which is now operational (we are still working on a few small elements, but the road is basically complete). Every project is a huge collaborative effort; read more about our partnership model here.
In the past month there have been two great examples of what the road can do for these communities.
This road has been one of the most challenging projects we have ever done, and it’s very exciting to see good things happening!
Teacher Conference in El Palmar
A few weeks ago (the end of June), seven buses with more than 300 teachers traveled to the town of El Palmar to take part in a congreso/conference of teachers from the municipality. It’s incredible that they chose to have a teacher conference in a secluded, isolated place like El Palmar; it was only possible because of the new road Mano a Mano built.
Prior to completion of this road, it would have taken many of the teachers 2.5 days on horseback, just to get close.
Our project manager Ivo Velasquez in Cochabamba, Bolivia heard about this during a conversation with an El Palmar community leader; he was hoping to travel to El Palmar to be present for the event but was unable to due to poor weather. The heavy rain and poor visibility meant that he could not fly there on the Mano a Mano plane, and to drive to the site from Cochabamba would have meant at least a 3-day round trip – some of the challenges of working in rural Bolivia.
Agriculture Fair in El Palmar
Ivo sent us the following note about his trip to El Palmar over the weekend:
I wanted to let you know about our trip to El Palmar last weekend. On Saturday, August 9th, after a lot of analysis and evaluation of the poor weather conditions in Bolivia and El Palmar, we [our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo] decided to take a quick trip to El Palmar on the Mano a Mano plane with pilot Ivo Jr.
We left at 10a, and on the way from Cochabamba we picked up the governor of the department of Chuquisaca in Sucre; his plane would not have been able to land on the runway in El Palmar so he asked for our help. We arrived in El Palmar at 12.30p for an important meeting that was taking place in the main plaza.
As always there were a lot of people and many friends. A number of authorities were present for the event as well, including the Vice Minister of Agriculture, the Director of Road Services for the department of Chuquisaca, and many road engineers. The former mayor of Culpina, with whom we worked on the first road project we did there, left the stage during his speech to come over and greet us; he’s now a national authority for rural communities.
During the event, both the mayor of Culpina and the Governor of Chuquisaca recognized and thanked Mano a Mano for our work and support on the road project.
By 3p we were already on our way back to Cochabamba; we dropped the Governor off in Sucre, and returned with no problems.
One of our mechanics stayed in El Palmar to make some minor repairs on some of the Mano a Mano heavy equipment still working in the area, and to check the brakes on our pickup.
This was a good trip.
After hearing about our projects, the Governor is interested in collaborating with Mano a Mano on other projects, especially agricultural water projects.
Alongside the new road they are starting to install electrical lines, something that would not be possible without the road. Authorities from Tarija arrived for the event in El Palmar in only 4 hours; that same trip before the road would have taken many times that.
El Palmar Agriculture Fair Photos