The Cotagaita Road project is 86.9 kilometers, and goes from 8,500 feet above sea level to 16,500 feet above sea level.
Travel time was drastically reduced with the introduction of the new road. Prior to the completion of the Cayti-to-Sagrario connecting road, farmers traveled 200 kilometers on a circuitous road through the mountains to reach the miner’s market, a grueling 15-hour drive by truck; many farmers walked across the mountains with their donkeys for three days to complete this journey. Now this important market lies within 15-25 kilometers of Cotagaita-area farmers, reducing their travel time to an hour.
The municipality had tried to complete this project for 12 years, with no success. At the dedication of the road, Ing. Waldo Martinez Pereira, Mayor of Cotagaita, said: “We had spent a fortune before Mano a Mano had arrived to be able to construct this stretch of road, without success. And when I say a fortune, I mean millions of Bolivianos (1 million Bolivianos is about $145,000), which means that we were unable to meet other pressing needs such as drinking water, basic sanitation, and health care. I think that with this road we will be much better positioned to meet the needs of the local communities.”
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