Our Current Activities

Mano a Mano is a small organization, both in terms of staff and funding, but we always have a lot going on, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of everything that we’re doing (even for staff!).

Below is brief overview of a few of Mano a Mano’s current and recent projects this month:

Our Current Activities

 

1. 20th Anniversary Celebration April 12 – Get Your Tickets!

On April 12, 2014 we are celebrating 20 years in operation for our US office, and you are invited! Tickets are $50 per person and are available here. We hope you can attend!

2. Food and Farming Trip to Bolivia

This Saturday, 13 travelers from Minnesota will be heading to Bolivia for a Mano a Mano trip that is focused on the topic of Food and Farming. This trip will be an opportunity for travelers to learn about Mano a Mano’s new Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA), as well as about traditional farming of crops such as quinoa. Subsistence farmers from rural and peri-urban areas are learning practices at the CEA that will help conserve water and soil for more productive harvests.

Improving food security and nutrition is a newer program addition over the past few years for Mano a Mano, and is a natural complement to the agricultural water retention projects that we have been constructing since 2005.

Panoramic view of the Demonstration and Training Center (CEA, by its acronym in Spanish) on the outskirts of Cochabamba. The center will provide training to rural Bolivian farmers to maximize use of their water resources and improve agriculture in their communities.

Panoramic view of the Demonstration and Training Center (CEA, by its acronym in Spanish) on the outskirts of Cochabamba. The center will provide training to rural Bolivian farmers to maximize use of their water resources and improve agriculture in their communities.

Safe and happy travels!

3. Mano a Mano Book is Very Close to Being Published

Mano a Mano’s book, Gaining Ground: A Blueprint for Community-Based International Development, is in the final stages of getting published; we hope to have it available for sale at our 20th Anniversary Celebration on April 12 (buy tickets here!). And special thanks to everyone that supported our Indiegogo campaign to cover publishing costs; we couldn’t have done it without you!

The book is being published through Beaver’s Pond Press; we have been very happy working with them and highly recommend them to anyone who is working on publishing a book.

4. 7th International Acute Care Conference April 2-4

These continuing health education conferences are a collaboration between Medical Educators For Latin America (MELA) and our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia; last year’s conference in March had 355 attendees.

Volunteers from Medical Educators For Latin America - MELA with Mano a Mano Bolivia staff, where they completed their 6th International Acute Care Conference in March which provided continuing health education to Bolivian medical professionals from throughout the country. These conferences are a complement to the 10-12 continuing education workshops our staff do for medical staff that work in Mano a Mano clinics throughout the year.

Volunteers from Medical Educators For Latin America – MELA with Mano a Mano Bolivia staff, where they completed their 6th International Acute Care Conference in March 2013.

Conferences are for staff from Mano a Mano’s network of clinics, and are also open to any other Bolivian medical professionals. We are looking forward to another successful conference! You can learn more about our health education programs here.

There are 18 MELA volunteers traveling from Minnesota to participate in the conference. Safe and happy travels!

5. Flood Relief in Beni

If you have visited our blog over the past month, you’ve seen a glimpse into our flood relief efforts in Beni. We have distributed more than 25,000 pounds of food and supplies to isolated rural communities in the past month, and last week we also flew two Mano a Mano Bolivia physicians to a staging area in Beni. From there they will travel by canoe and boat to provide medical care and basic health education for up to two months as flood waters recede. Learn more about our flood relief project here.

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6. New Clinic Projects Under Construction

Our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia is currently working on 2 new clinic projects in Ovejeria Larama and Chaquilla, in addition to preparing for the Acute Care Conference; preparing for other upcoming clinic, school, and infrastructure projects; hosting continuing health education workshops (the first workshop of the year was February 12-14 for nurses, with the second workshop of the year scheduled for March 12-14 for dentists); and many other projects.

Construction workers marking the dimensions of the clinic in Ovejeria Larama in early February.

Construction workers marking the dimensions of the clinic in Ovejeria Larama in early February.

7. Working on El Palmar Road Project

Staff from our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo are back onsite in El Palmar working on our 60-kilometer road project. More than 40 kilometers of the road has been completed; the rest will be finished this year. The road will provide access and communication to 18,180 people who live in the area, allow farmers to take products to outside markets, and create opportunities for families and hope for the children of this whole region.

Travel time from the village of El Palmar to Culpina’s southern border (the road to Tarija and Santa Cruz) will be reduced from 24 hours on horseback to 2 hours by truck. The project location is so isolated that it takes our staff 27 hours to drive from Cochabamba to the site.

Four of our mechanics and operators flying to El Palmar on the Mano a Mano plane.

Four of our mechanics and operators flying to El Palmar on the Mano a Mano plane yesterday. Being able to fly rather than drive is a huge benefit; it saves almost a full day of driving each way, and also allows our staff a little more time to spend with their families. While working on distant rural projects like this one, Mano a Mano staff live onsite and can go weeks or even months away from their families.

8. Working on New Warehouses for our Bolivian Counterparts

On the same site as our demonstration and training center, we are also building offices and warehouses for 3 of our 4 counterpart organizations (Internacional, Nuevo Mundo, and Mano a Mano Bolivia; Apoyo Aereo will continue to be based out of its hangar at the Cochabamba airport). When these projects are complete we will have one central location for all of our organizations in Bolivia. The new warehouses also add needed capacity for our organizations; for example, with our heavy equipment shop it will allow us to host training workshops for our mechanics and operators.

Roof beams being installed for the heavy equipment shop.

Roof beams being installed for the heavy equipment shop.



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