With our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, Mano a Mano has now completed 142 health clinics throughout Bolivia.
You can see where these clinics are located on our Project Map (from the picklist, select “health” to see clinic projects), but we also want to give a better idea of where these clinics are, and especially how long they take to get to for our staff in Cochabamba.
The vast majority of our clinic projects are located in the Altiplano – in small rural communities 7,000-14,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains.
Mano a Mano Clinics and Travel Times
The Typical Mano a Mano Clinic
The typical Mano a Mano clinic, on average, is 307.5 kilometers from Cochabamba and a 6.4 hour drive one-way.
- Average Distance: 307.5 kilometers, Average Drive Time: 6.4 hours
- Median Distance: 180 kilometers, Median Drive Time: 4 hours
Clinics Close to Cochabamba
44% of Mano a Mano clinics (60 clinics) are 3 hours or less from Cochabamba; 12% of those clinics (16 clinics) are less than an hour away.
Clinics 3-10 Hours Away
30% of clinics (42 clinics) are between 3 hours and 10 hours away.
Mano a Mano’s 100th clinic project – a maternal/infant hospital in Mizque – is a 4-hour drive from Cochabamba.
Clinics 10+ Hours Away
26% of clinics (36 clinics) are 10 or more hours away from Cochabamba. The furthest, our Cristo Rey Riberalta clinic, is 1,500 kilometers from Cochabamba and a 4-hour plane ride to get there. It would take 30-40 hours to drive one-way! Incidentally, the Cristo Rey Riberalta clinic was completed exactly 10 years ago (December 5, 2003), and like all of our clinic projects is still in operation, with no direct ongoing funding.
These distant projects demonstrate the challenges we face to work in rural Bolivia. The isolated locations are one reason why these infrastructure projects are so desperately needed and requested by the communities, but there aren’t many organizations that can commit to completing these projects as the long travel times and distance put a heavy strain on staff and resources. This is one of many reasons why our aviation program is so important; it allows Mano a Mano to reach distant communities much more efficiently, especially in emergencies.
The chart below shows the percentage of Mano a Mano clinics that are a given distance from Cochabamba (with 138 clinics reporting).
Special thanks to Mano a Mano intern Emily Rojer for putting this information together!
In January, Mano a Mano packed and shipped one 40-ft container (our first container from our new office/warehouse location!) with almost 20,000 pounds of custom-made wheelchairs from Hope Haven International, an Iowa-based nonprofit whose mission is “to assist persons with disabilities to reach their potential.”
Note From Mano a Mano’s Executive Director
Our Executive Director, Dan Narr, is currently in Bolivia taking part in the distribution of these wheelchairs at the Mano a Mano Aviation hangar, and he sent the note below to our board members and staff about his experience this week:
I am in Bolivia this week taking part in the collaborative partnership with Hope Haven. Just as a reminder, we shipped about 200 wheelchairs built for more severely handicapped individuals in January. Since then, a team of professional volunteer doctors and orthopedic therapists (18 people) traveled to custom fit these chairs for 200 people. I have attached a picture that demonstrates the dramatic difference a chair can make for a child.
I don’t think there are words that could possibly share the depth of joy these families have for this amazing gift. As the mothers watch, they sob knowing how wonderful this gift is and knowing their child has a chair that’s functional. There have been a number of severely handicapped children who have never had a chair. When they enter they are laid down on a mat until they are called by a team who works to make each chair perfect. I will have a large collection of pictures and video when I return and will share more in the coming days, weeks.
I have seen amazing stories of everyday heroes from the campo in Bolivia who do amazing things to give their children what they can during my tenure at Mano a Mano. This is another one of those amazing stories that will rip your heart out of your chest, and every tear I shed this week is a tear of joy and I am so thankful to everyone in the US and Bolivia that have made this project possible. I have already received my holiday gift this year. I need nothing more.
- Dan Narr, Mano a Mano International Partners Executive Director
Let’s get together to volunteer, share a holiday snack, and browse Bolivian crafts!
All Mano a Mano Volunteers are invited to volunteer at the Mano a Mano office/warehouse sorting and packing medical supplies and organizing the warehouse. This is the first time we have been able to celebrate the Holiday season in our new office/warehouse space we moved into in January.
We will have our holiday crafts out, as well, if you’d like to stop by and purchase presents for the holiday season!
- WHEN: Saturday, December 14th, 2pm to 5pm
- WHERE: Mano a Mano Office – 925 Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul MN 55104 (click here for a map)
- WHO’S INVITED: Anyone is welcome!
If you are planning on coming, PLEASE RSVP to our Office Manger Dana (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 651-457-3141.
Hope to see you there!
This event, along with any other upcoming Mano a Mano activities, are listed on our Events Calendar.
Thank you to the St. Kate’s Medical Interest Group and the Mano a Mano Volunteer Team for braving the snowy weather to come out and work in the warehouse last night. Together we made several pallets of packed medical supplies boxes ready for shipment, cleaned up the warehouse, organized space, and sorted and packed medical supplies.
Thank you to everyone who could make it!
Interested in Volunteering?
Last week, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia dedicated 2 new clinic projects:
San Jacinto Clinic Expansion
With these 2 clinics, Mano a Mano has now built 141 clinics – which have had more than 5 million patient visits since 1999 when the program began. Our health program has been able to have a huge impact in rural Bolivia with a very limited budget, which we are only able to do by using a partnership model that allows us to stretch our resources as far as possible:
- Our staff at Mano a Mano Bolivia manage the project from start to finish on the ground in Bolivia, and provide continuing health education to the medical staff and training for volunteer health promoters in each community.
- Mano a Mano International Partners in the US helps to raise funding that serves as the seed money for the project and ships donated medical supplies and equipment that help ensure quality care and keeps cost down by not having to buy all of the equipment.
- The community provides unskilled volunteer labor, a plot of land for the clinic, and some funding.
- The local municipality provides a significant portion of funding (in most clinic projects about 20-35% of the total project costs are paid for by the local community and municipal government).
- The Bolivian Health Ministry provides a permanent line item in their budget to pay for the doctor, nurse, and/or dentist salary – 82% of the 450+ medical staff salaries in Mano a Mano clinics are paid for by the Health Ministry. Patient visits by expecting mothers and children up to 5, along with vaccinations and some medications, are funded by the Health Ministry.
These projects would simply not be possible without the support of all of these different groups, coming together to improve health for an entire community in Bolivia.
And each clinic is truly sustainable – once a project is complete, all ongoing funding comes from Bolivian sources. Mano a Mano does not have ongoing costs for any clinic project, which allows Mano a Mano to focus on trying to reduce our backlog of 148 active community requests for a clinic in their community. (We do continue to provide medical supplies and equipment, as well as continuing education, volunteer health promoter training, and regular radio contact with our Cochabamba office.)
Thanks to everyone that helps make these projects possible!