A Donation of School Supplies Arrived in San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia

A Donation of School Supplies Arrived in San Ignacio de Moxos, Bolivia

The Municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos recently shared this post showing the donation of school supplies from Mano a Mano to communities throughout their Municipality. These school supplies were part of a recent shipment from Minnesota to Bolivia (learn more about our surplus program here).

School supplies arriving in San Ignacio de Moxos, May 2017. Photo Credit: Municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos

School supplies arriving in San Ignacio de Moxos, May 2017. Photo Credit: Municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos

We are happy to work with groups like San Ignacio de Moxos, and see these supplies getting to the people that need them!

Translated Text

Here is their post, translated into English:

A Second Donation from Mano a Mano Arrived at the Municipality of Ignacio

Directly from Cochabamba, another donation has arrived from the organization Mano a Mano.

This humanitarian aid organization had already donated to us a few months ago, providing instruments and medical supplies, along with some office & school supplies, which have already been distributed.

Currently, we received a large amount of school supplies, which are already marked with the name of their final destination, which had been decided by Mano a Mano in order to distribute throughout the large area.

All of these donations have been personally acquired by the Mayor of San Ignacio de Moxos during his visit to Mano a Mano in Cochabamba.

Dr. Ribusa’s good reputation of serious and honest management has made it possible to open doors that provide support to the Municipality of Ignacio.

In the coming days, these school supply donations will be given directly to the representatives of each community named in the donations.

Transparency in Government
Dr. Roberto Tibusa Matareco
Municipal Mayor

A Beautiful Day To Be Working Outside

A Beautiful Day To Be Working Outside

It’s a beautiful day to be working outside!

Mano a Mano volunteers sorted donated supplies outside at the Mano a Mano warehouse this morning, which will be shipped to Bolivia in the next few months.

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Distributing Supplies in Bolivia Last Week

A few times a year, Mano a Mano staff and volunteers in Cochabamba organize large-scale distributions of supplies, where dozens of organizations come to our warehouse on one day to receive supplies (like this one in October 2016).

We are preparing for the next distribution event soon, but we also regularly distribute smaller amounts of supplies on nearly a daily basis. Here are two from last week:

Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez with a donation of supplies for San Ignacio de Moxos.

Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez with a donation of supplies for San Ignacio de Moxos.

Donating school supplies for Quillacollo.

Donating school supplies for Quillacollo.

 Video: Distributing Supplies in San Ignacio de Moxos

The Municipality of San Ignacio de Moxos in the department of Beni, Bolivia made a video showing the donation and reception of medical supplies from Mano a Mano for use in 32 health centers in the area, including Hospital 3 de Noviembre in March:

Volunteer Spotlight: Richard and Susan Eyre

Volunteer Spotlight: Richard and Susan Eyre

By their description, Richard and Susan Eyre are “retirement wannabes,” who haven’t quite gotten there yet. The Woodstock, Illinois couple run a dwarf conifer nursery, Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery, and manage rental property that they own. But Richard’s stint as a 1960s Peace Corps volunteer set the stage for the couple’s involvement with Mano a Mano, as they explain here.

How Did You Get Started Volunteering for Mano a Mano?

Richard: We were at a 40th Bolivian Peace Corps reunion. People were talking about how Joan and Segundo had won the Sargent Shriver award for projects created by returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV). That’s the highest award given to RPCV.

Susan: Joan and Segundo weren’t actually at the reunion, because they were so dedicated to Mano a Mano. We had a friend in Forest Lake, MN, Ron Moore, who was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia. We said, “Check out this Mano a Mano organization.” He called back and said, “Yeah, they’re doing some pretty good things there.” So we came up to Mano a Mano’s 15th anniversary party one October about nine years ago.

We were also active in Heifer International, and we were going down to Bolivia with them in 2010. We told Joan and Segundo that we would like to stop in Cochabamba and see what Mano a Mano was doing. So, we spent a week or ten days there. Segundo and Blanca and Ivo took us around. Of course we were getting more and more dedicated as we looked at the water projects and schools and clinics, and saw the incredible success they had with helping rural Bolivians. We saw what a clinic in the middle of a rural community can do — how the town grows around it. It’s just fantastic.

Richard and Susan in Japo, Bolivia in 2010.

Richard and Susan in Japo, Bolivia in 2010.

What Work Do You Do Now for Mano a Mano?

Richard: We organize these Bolivian fiestas. We buy Bolivian craft items from Mano a Mano. Then we sell them at our fiestas and give Mano a Mano all the money from the sales. We are also starting to sell our possessions. My marble collection and my art pottery collection generated over $13,000 and that was donated to Mano a Mano.

Susan: We also raised money in honor of Richard’s mom for the Margaret Eyre School in Bolivia. It took a few years to do, but we raised enough to get the school completed. Margaret died in January 2016, so I guess her last big fundraiser was her funeral. She went down swinging and earned a lot of money for Mano a Mano and her school. Now we have a school in her honor and that’s great.

Richard: But we don’t really care where the money goes. We don’t care if it’s a school, or a clinic, or anything else. It doesn’t matter to us. We don’t place any restrictions on the money we raise. We’re just fundraising. We’ve named ourselves ambassadors for Mano a Mano. We carry pamphlets and information wherever we go.

Susan: I’ve never seen any organization dream as big, or get the job done as efficiently as Mano a Mano.

The community of Sora Sora celebrating the completion of their school on June 28, 2016.

The community of Sora Sora celebrating the completion of their school on June 28, 2016.

What Do You Get Out of this Work Personally?

Richard: I’m fulfilling a promise from when I was in the Peace Corps. When those Bolivian guys only had two potatoes and they gave me the big one, or when there was only one egg in town and they gave it to me, I said if and when I’m successful I will try to help those people out if I can.

We’re committed to raising as much money as we can to support Mano a Mano. We’re good networkers, and our whole life has been dedicated to this idealistic stuff. So we’re glad and honored to try to help Mano a Mano, and we can’t think of a worthier effort to try to justify our existence.

From left to right: Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez, Mano a Mano Internacional Board Member Maria Blanca Velasquez, Susan Eyre, and Richard Eyre.

From left to right: Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez, Mano a Mano Internacional Board Member Maria Blanca Velasquez, Susan Eyre, and Richard Eyre.

Susan: What I think is great about Mano a Mano is that the Bolivian people volunteer to do a lot of the work on all of these projects. They are stakeholders. It’s wonderful, being part of a group that is helping people help themselves.

Benefit for Bolivia on June 3, 2017

Our next ‘Benefit for Bolivia’ is June 3, 2017 at Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock IL, from 9am-4:30pm.

Click the link for a PDF: Benefit for Bolivia

Susan Eyre with Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez on a trip to Bolivia in November 2012

Susan Eyre with Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez on a trip to Bolivia in November 2012

More Mano a Mano Volunteer Spotlights

Below are a few more interviews with Mano a Mano volunteers that are so crucial to everything that we do. Are you interested in getting involved? Please contact us!

New School Underway in Guitarrani, Bolivia

New School Underway in Guitarrani, Bolivia

A new school project in the community of Guitarrani, Bolivia is about 35% complete!

The project will include 3 classrooms, a teacher housing unit, and bathrooms. The new school will be a much more comfortable learning environment for the students, and a more comfortable working environment for the teachers.

The new school in Guitarrani is underway.

The new school in Guitarrani is underway.

Guitarrani is a community of about 780 people in the municipality of Icla, province of Zudanez, department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia – about a 9-hour drive from the city of Cochabamba.

Why Are These Projects Important?

Access to education in rural Bolivia is a huge challenge; Bolivian adults (25-65) in urban areas have on average 9.98 years of schooling, whereas Bolivian adults in rural areas have on average 4.85 years of schooling, one of the biggest gaps in Latin America. Education can have a big impact; each additional year of schooling can increase income by up to 10%, and a child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past age 5. The first step in improving education for kids in rural areas is to decrease the distance to get to a school, improve school infrastructure & the learning environment, and have motivated teachers that are consistently available.

Pictures from the Construction – April 2017

Working Together to Make These Projects Possible

Every project that Mano a Mano does, including this school in Guitarrani, depends on many people working together (read more about our partnership model here). The Guitarrani School project is a collaboration with:

  • our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia
  • the community of Guitarrani
  • the Alcaldia of Icla
  • funding from donors in the US, with many Rotary Clubs supporting this school project in Guitarrani:
      • Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Fort William)
      • Fort William Satellite Club
      • Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Port Arthur)
      • Lakehead Rotary Club
      • International Falls Rotary Club
      • Duluth Harbortown Rotary Club
      • Cochabamba Concordia Rotary Club

Thanks to everyone that is involved in this project!

Thanks St. Kate’s Volunteers!

Thanks St. Kate’s Volunteers!