Work on the Road to San Lorenzo

Work on the Road to San Lorenzo

The 100 year flooding of 2014 in the tropical area of Beni devastated the minimal road and bridge infrastructure the communities of San Lorenzo and surrounding areas depended on. Even prior to this flooding, the community of San Lorenzo had been requesting assistance from Mano a Mano to build bridges and improve the road infrastructure the community of San Lorenzo relied on to access outside services.

San Lorenzo is a Focal Point of our Aviation Program

The community of San Lorenzo has also requested assistance in improving and extending the airplane runway strip. 60% of the flights Mano a Mano makes are into this area of San Lorenzo.

Fixing the Damaged Roadbed

Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment is in the area and responding to fix the damaged roadbed. The floods also washed away various bridges. Instead of building bridges, Mano a Mano personnel are installing cement rings (which were essentially donated from another project) as outlets for the water to escape under the roadbed.
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Starting with the Most Critical Repairs

Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo (Mano a Mano’s counterpart organization that concentrates on economic development projects) is currently just doing the most critical repairs so that trucks can use the road. At some point, the  roadbed itself will have to be raised throughout its 30-kilometer length.  Also, more rings would have to be located and transported to the region to protect the roadbed from future erosion.

Improving Access to the Outside Word for 1,000 Families

About 1,000 families live in San Lorenzo. They currently have access to the outside world only by air or by water when rains diminish and water transport is safer. The road will make it possible for farmers to get their produce out of the area and to access health care. Having a reliable road would decrease the need and demand for our aviation support.
Mano a Mano will look for funding to be able to respond more fully to this request. The current work is only improving conditions so trucks can travel safely during the dry season.

San Lorenzo Road Project – Pictures

Mano a Mano Road Projects

Every project that we do is based on our partnership model, which starts with requests from communities. Building or improving roads is one of our major project areas; to date we have built or improved 870 miles of road in rural Bolivia. The size and scope of road projects varies from large projects like a 56-kilometer road in El Palmar (check out the video below), to smaller improvement projects like this current project in San Lorenzo.

Leap Into St. Paul Hamline Volunteers

Leap Into St. Paul Hamline Volunteers

Thanks to Professor Kate Bjork and Hamline University students for volunteering with us on Tuesday! The medical supplies they organized and packed will be included in our next shipment to Bolivia, where they are distributed to people & organizations in need throughout the country (here is more information about Mano a Mano’s surplus program).

Loading 5 Containers with Supplies for Bolivia – August 2017

Loading 5 Containers with Supplies for Bolivia – August 2017

Five containers at the Mano a Mano warehouse - August 2017

Five containers at the Mano a Mano warehouse – August 2017

Over the past few days, Mano a Mano volunteers loaded 5 40-ft. containers with donated medical and school supplies at our St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse. This week, these supplies will start their journey to Bolivia, where they will be distributed to people and organizations in need throughout the country.

Volunteers working on loading 2 of the 5 containers at Mano a Mano - August 2017.

Volunteers working on loading 2 of the 5 containers at Mano a Mano – August 2017.

Check out footage and interviews in the video below from a recent large-scale distribution of supplies in October 2016 at the Mano a Mano warehouse in Cochabamba, Bolivia, when more than 90,000 pounds of supplies were given away. The supplies en route this week will be distributed in a similar manner.

1 of the 4 wheelchairs donated on a recent Saturday at Mano a Mano in Bolivia - one of the many ways supplies sent from Minnesota are distributed in Bolivia.

1 of the 4 wheelchairs donated on Saturday in June at Mano a Mano in Bolivia – one of the many ways supplies sent from Minnesota are distributed in Bolivia.

Containers on Their Way

Last of 5 containers leaving Mano a Mano, August 2017.

Last of 5 containers leaving Mano a Mano, August 2017.

From Minnesota to Bolivia: Distributing Donated Medical Supplies

Pictures from Container Loading – August 2017

This Shipment Made Possible by Support from Festival Bolivia in July

These supplies make a big difference for thousands of people in Bolivia who don’t have the resources or access. But it takes money to get these needed supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia; this shipment was made possible by the tremendous support we received at our Annual Fundraising Festival on July 23rd, 2017.

Thank You!

The surplus program was the program that started Mano a Mano more than 20 years ago, and it continues to be an integral part of our work. We started as an all-volunteer organization, and although we have grown, we depend on hundreds and hundreds of people to make these shipments happen.

Whether you help sort or pick up donated medical supplies at the St. Paul office, help organize supplies for distribution in Bolivia, or make a donation – we couldn’t do this without you!

Maldonado Water Project – Early August 2017 Update

Maldonado Water Project – Early August 2017 Update

From our staff at our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo:

All work in the nucleus of the levee has been completed.  All compacting in the area where top soil was removed has also been completed.  We are pleased that the levee has reached a half-meter high throughout the length of the levee, and it will continue to grow. Progress will be faster as we grow higher.

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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.

Mano a Mano Receives 4th Consecutive 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

Mano a Mano Receives 4th Consecutive 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

We are happy to report that Mano a Mano received a 4-Star (out of 4 stars) Rating from Charity Navigator for the 4th consecutive year! Only 12% of charities reviewed have received at least 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

You can learn more on Mano a Mano’s page on Charity Navigator.

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Charity Navigator Letter to Mano a Mano – August 1, 2017

From Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator (you can read the full letter from Charity Navigator to Mano a Mano here):

Based on the most recent information available, we have issued a new rating for your organization. We are proud to announce Mano a Mano International has earned our fourth consecutive 4-star rating. This is our highest possible rating and indicates that your organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Mano a Mano International exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work. Only 12% of the charities we evaluate have received at least 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Mano a Mano International outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets Mano a Mano International apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.

About Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501 (c) (3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers. Charity Navigator, can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 101, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.