7 Events, 7 Successful Projects

7 Events, 7 Successful Projects

Mano a Mano has hosted 7 annual celebration events, with our 8th event on Sunday, July 23 at Mano a Mano’s office/warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This is the first time we are hosting our event at our own space in St. Paul!

This is the first time we are hosting our event at our own space in St. Paul!

Each year we have a selected project to support with proceeds from the event, and each year we have met our goal to be able to implement a successful project. This year we are supporting the program that started Mano a Mano more than 20 years ago: collecting surplus supplies in Minnesota destined for the landfill and send them to Bolivia where they can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

Mano a Mano’s 8th Annual Event – July 23rd, 2017

You are invited for our 8th annual event, held for the first time at Mano a Mano’s office/warehouse, this upcoming Sunday. There will be beer and wine, pizza, a food truck, live music, silent auction, and tours & displays. We will have a big top tent with plenty of space, rain or shine.

Invite

There are still a few days left to buy tickets if you want to attend. We hope to see you there!

Tickets are $35 each and are available here.

 

 

31 Pictures from Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2017

31 Pictures from Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2017

In June 2017, Minnesota teachers traveled to Bolivia to visit rural Bolivian schools and view teaching methods, develop curriculum with their teachers, learn how they keep parents involved, and have an opportunity to interact with them in informal as well as classroom settings. We approach these trips with a deep appreciation for the dedication of teachers in both countries, for the similarities and differences in our life experiences, and for the gifts that teachers from each country can bring to the other.
Mano a Mano Teacher Trip, June 2017

Mano a Mano Teacher Trip, June 2017

This was Mano a Mano’s 5th year of hosting these teacher trips, with more than 40 Minnesota travelers taking part.
Thanks to everyone in both countries that are involved in this project!

2017 Trip Information Packet

Click below for a trip information packet (more information about previous trips is also below):

Mano a Mano Teacher Trip Informational Packet_2017

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2016

Below are a few pictures from our teacher trip to Bolivia in June 2016. This was Mano a Mano’s 4th year of hosting teacher trips to Bolivia. Minnesota teachers travel to Bolivia with Mano a Mano to participate in workshops with Bolivian teachers.

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia - June 2016

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2016

Daniel has a way with the kids. They love doing cat's cradle with him! From the Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia - June 2016

Daniel has a way with the kids. They love doing cat’s cradle with him! From the Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2016

This year focused on a week-long teacher training project in Santivanez, a new community for this project. Our Minnesota teachers presented workshops for 80 Bolivian teachers in a community that has 15 schools. They had opportunities to observe and participate in classroom teaching and then teach workshops on language arts, math, and communication among parents, teachers, and students. Minnesota teachers spend months preparing the workshop lessons and pay all of their own expenses.

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia - June 2016

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2016

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia - June 2016

Minnesota Teacher Trip to Bolivia – June 2016

Thanks to everyone that participated in this project!

17 More Pictures from the Teacher Trip on Facebook

Interview with Mano a Mano Co-Founder Joan Velasquez

Mano a Mano co-founder Joan Velasquez was interviewed by the Minnesota chapter of The American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese (MN-AATSP) for their May 2016 Noticiero newsletter. The interview focused on Mano a Mano’s June 2016 teacher trip to Bolivia.

Arani, Bolivia - community where Mano a Mano's teacher trips have been based.

Arani, Bolivia – community where Mano a Mano’s teacher trips have been based in previous years.

From the MN-AATSP website:

“The American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese (AATSP) is a national professional organization for educators which promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and their corresponding Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian, and other related literatures and cultures at all levels of education.

AATSP-MN is a state chapter whose mission is promoting the Spanish & Portuguese languages and cultures, supporting educators, and recognizing student excellence through various events in the state of Minnesota.”

Read the Full MN-AATSP Interview with Joan Here

The PDF version of the interview is available here:

MN-AATSP Interview with Joan Velasquez

Page 1 of Joan's interview with AATSP. Read the full interview at the link above.

Page 1 of Joan’s interview with AATSP. Read the full interview at the link above.

Previous Teacher Trips

Check out more information about the first 3 trips below (each headline is clickable).

2013 Teacher Trip – 9 Travelers

Minnesota and Bolivia teachers during a workshop, 2013.

Minnesota and Bolivia teachers during a workshop, 2013.

2014 Teacher Trip – 7 Travelers

2015 Teacher Trip – 11 Travelers

Thanks DeLaSalle Volunteers!

Thanks DeLaSalle Volunteers!

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Thanks to the students from DeLaSalle High School that volunteered at Mano a Mano this morning! And thanks to St. Kate’s Community Work & Learning for making the connection.

Everything they sorted will be included in our next shipment to Bolivia, where they will be distributed to people & organizations in need throughout the country.

From Minnesota to Bolivia: Distributing Donated Medical Supplies

Watch a video of one of our most recent shipments of donated medical supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia here:

Shipping Supplies is the Program that Started Mano a Mano in 1994

We started in 1994 with the goal of saving surplus medical supplies from the landfill in Minnesota and shipping them to Bolivia, where we knew these supplies were desperately needed and could be used immediately.

Mano a Mano’s co-founder, Segundo Velasquez, was born in Bolivia and grew up there before moving to Minnesota as an adult. His brother Jose, a pediatrician working in Bolivia, would ask Segundo to bring medical supplies back home whenever he traveled back to visit family. Over the years the amounts grew from a few items in a suitcase to 32 boxes!

Mano a Mano Co-Founder Segundo Velasquez, on the first successful shipment of supplies:

We had packed over 2,000 pounds of supplies in boxes throughout the year. I planned to travel to Bolivia with them as soon as my vacation time arrived. I packed thirty-two boxes into the cheap little trailer that Joan and I had bought for donation pickups and strapped them down with bungee cords. 

Moving these boxes in Miami was another story. I realized that the cargo was delivered to the air cargo terminal at the other end of the airport. I had to figure out a way to transport thirty-two boxes from one terminal to the other. A taxi would not do, not even a rental van would hold the thirty-two boxes. I took a taxi to air cargo knowing that something would come up. No problem. But when I got there, I saw only loading docks and 40-foot truck trailers.

I knew that none of these professional, semi-trailer drivers would be willing to haul my boxes for just a few miles. While standing there searching for a solution, a paisano (a countryman) appeared before me, driving a battered cattle truck. I knew he would help if asked, and he did.

Together we loaded the boxes and hurried to the passenger terminal. We had to unload on the outer median that divides several lanes from the airport itself. One by one, I moved boxes across two lanes of traffic to the terminal building and the Lloyd Aereo Boliviano counter. All of the boxes arrived with me at the intended destination, our first successful shipment to Bolivia completed!

In 1994 Segundo and his wife and Mano a Mano co-founder Joan Velasquez (a former Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia) came together with friends and family to collect enough surplus medical supplies and equipment to equip the hospital in Bolivia that Jose managed.

That was the start of Mano a Mano.

Dedicated volunteers in the US sorted supplies in the basement of the Velasquez’ home and stored finished boxes under tents in the backyard, and a similarly dedicated group of volunteers received supplies in Bolivia and ensured they were distributed to their intended destination.

 

5 New Pictures From the Maldonado Water Project

Ivo Velasquez from our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo recently sent 5 new pictures from the Maldonado water reservoir. One third of the levee foundation, or “keyway” channel,  has been filled, and is ready to build the levee wall on top of it. The two other portions are coming along; soon the whole levee will begin to take shape.

Click here for more pictures and information from the Maldonado water project.

5 New Pictures From the Maldonado Water Project

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Maldonado Water Project Description

Mano a Mano staff started work on the new water project in Maldonado, Bolivia in February 2017. As with many of our projects, the working conditions are difficult: it is about 14,000 feet above sea level, and it is cold, wet, and windy.

When completed, this project will make it possible for 96 subsistence farm families (about 600 people) to irrigate 250 acres of cropland and to water their livestock, as well as having water for household use. With the severe drought currently affecting Bolivia, water projects like this one are especially important to help rural communities manage their resources.

Because of the need, water projects are a high priority for Mano a Mano and the communities that we partner with. In addition to building large-scale water reservoirs, we also build surface wells and small water ponds in communities where the smaller projects are a better fit.

Mano a Mano's first water reservoir project, built more than a decade ago in Ucuchi, Bolivia.

Mano a Mano’s first water reservoir project, built more than a decade ago in Ucuchi, Bolivia.

Through eight major water projects, 20+ wells, and 275 water ponds, more than 50,000 people have consistent, reliable access to water.

Livestream – Distributing 90,000 Pounds of Medical Supplies Today

Livestream – Distributing 90,000 Pounds of Medical Supplies Today

Mano a Mano is livestreaming the distribution of donated medical supplies today in Cochabamba, Bolivia. More than 60 organizations, including public hospitals are coming to pick up medical supplies and equipment today.

We expect that about 90,000 pounds will be distributed today.

Check out the livestream on YouTube (the program is scheduled for 9a-2p EST today, Saturday July 1, 2017):