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!

Putting Mano a Mano Supplies to Use in Bolivia: Rodrigo’s Broken Arm

The Medical Surplus Program is What Started Mano a Mano 20+ Years Ago

Mano a Mano was started more than 20 years ago with the simple goal of saving surplus medical supplies from Minnesota landfills and sending them to Bolivia, where we knew that they were needed and could be put to good use. This program continues to be extremely important to support Mano a Mano’s projects, and to help people & organizations throughout Bolivia. We collect and ship more than 100,000 pounds of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia each year:

Putting Mano a Mano Supplies to Use in Bolivia: Rodrigo’s Broken Arm

Recently, Dr. Lorenzo Parada shared the story of Rodrigo Suarez Nogales at his Inmaculada Concepcion Health Center in Baures (in the video above, Dr. Parada is interviewed beginning at the 1:37 mark). Baures is located in the Itenez de Beni province, department of Beni, about 200 kilometers from Trinidad – 10 hours by road or 1 hour by plane.

Rodrigo is 7 years old, and had suffered broken bones in his forearm when he was leaving a dance. Dr. Parada treated the fracture at his office with a splint, bandaged it, and put his arm in a sling. Rodrigo and his mom returned home, relieved. She was happy, despite the fracture, because in this difficult time there were proper supplies available.

Without the supplies from Mano a Mano, more than likely they would have put a board or a stick on Rodrigo’s arm, wrapped it with a rag, and sent him home. In locations like Baures, an X-Ray isn’t even dreamed about.

Rodrigo after receiving care for his broken arm.

Rodrigo after receiving care for his broken arm.

Thanks

Getting these supplies from the donor in the United States to the people that need them in Bolivia, like Rodrigo, is a long process. We are grateful to everyone that makes this process work: from the volunteers in Minnesota that sort & pack supplies, to the donors that help pay for the shipments, to the Mano a Mano staff & volunteers, to the doctors like Dr. Parada that put these supplies to use.

Thank you!

Thanks Mano a Mano Volunteers – April 2017

Thanks Mano a Mano Volunteers – April 2017

Minnesota travelers and Mano a Mano staff visit Omereque, Bolivia during the Beyond Sustainability Trip in March 2017.

Minnesota travelers and Mano a Mano staff visit Omereque, Bolivia during the Beyond Sustainability Trip in March 2017.

With a small staff, Mano a Mano depends on volunteers in everything that we do. Just over the past week, here are a few of the groups that have helped out:

These are just a few of the groups that have volunteered this week; there have been dozens of people that have also supported Mano a Mano with their time and skill as well. From Ray and Karen keeping the office and warehouse running smoothly, to Larry seeking out cheap laptops for Mano a Mano staff and volunteers, we are extremely grateful for everyone that keeps Mano a Mano going.

Thanks!

Pictures From the Minnesota Office This Week – April 2017

 

 

 

 

MELA and Mano a Mano Bolivia Conclude 10th International Course on Acute Care

MELA and Mano a Mano Bolivia Conclude 10th International Course on Acute Care

Medical Educators for Latin America (MELA) and our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia just wrapped up their 10th international course on acute care for medical professionals in Bolivia in March.

From MELA’s Newsletter:

“A MELA team of 20 volunteers made the trip to Cochabamba for the tenth course on acute care given with our co-sponsor, Mano a Mano Bolivia, March 28-30. There were approximately 300 Bolivian doctors, nurses, and dentists attending the course. For me, it was a fantastic experience! In addition, some of our team were able to join a Jornada de Salud (Mobile Clinic) in the community of Tables Monte and see patients in rural Bolivia.  Other team members were able to visit a clinic constructed with MELA support, and and learn about the challenges of providing care in a resource poor country.

Dan Texidor, PA-C, teaching The Use of Ultrasound in Acute Care.

Dan Texidor, PA-C, teaching The Use of Ultrasound in Acute Care. MELA has more pictures from this year’s conference here.

It was not all work. There was still time for many of our team members to visit some of the landmarks and interesting sights of Bolivia, like the Salar (salt flats), Toro Toro, Tarija – the wine country, and other spots with historical and cultural interests.

Many thanks to this awesome group and Mano a Mano Bolivia for their participation and hard work to make this another successful trip!

We are all looking forward to the next course in 2018!”

MELA volunteers, Mano a Mano Bolivia staff, and Acute Care attendees at the 10th Course on March 28-30, 2017 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

MELA volunteers, Mano a Mano Bolivia staff, and Acute Care attendees at the 10th Course on March 28-30, 2017 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Learn More About MELA

Learn more about MELA on their website here.

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 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 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.

Also, here are a few links to previous courses and MELA programs with Mano a Mano in Bolivia: