Our New Plane Has Arrived in Bolivia

Our New Plane Has Arrived in Bolivia

This morning, Mano a Mano’s new plane landed in Cobija, Bolivia (the immigration port) after a few days in Brazil. We are hoping for the plane to arrive in Cochabamba later this morning. Mano a Mano’s pilots picked up the plane from Minnesota over a month ago to take it to Florida for some maintenance work and training. Then they began the trip from Florida to Bolivia last week, and have now arrived in Bolivia.

You can check their flight history on FlightAware here (FlightAware doesn’t track small aircraft flights in South America, so those flights aren’t listed).

Mano a Mano's new addition to our aviation program, at Fleming Field in South St. Paul, Minnesota, preparing for a test flight on July 13, 2018.

Mano a Mano’s new addition to our aviation program, at Fleming Field in South St. Paul, Minnesota, preparing for a test flight on July 13, 2018.

Mano a Mano’s New Plane – First Flight

On July 13, 2018, Mano a Mano staff, board members, and supporters went to Fleming Field in South St. Paul, Minnesota for the first flight in our new plane.

Special thanks to Mano a Mano Volunteer Tom Merritt for making this video! 

How this New Plane Helps

The note below is from our aviation program, describing how this new plane helps:

[Getting this new plane] is an important day for us. A day when we see and test fly a Cessna Caravan which will give Mano a Mano the additional capacity that is needed to transport the sick and the injured. Now we can easily fit a gurney with a patient and a doctor or nurse or an EMT who can help care for the patient. Even a family member can come along in this airplane.

This airplane will carry three times the capacity of our smaller Cessna, fly faster, longer, operate as reliably as an airliner and not cost much more to operate than our Navajo. A wonderful addition. We are excited and grateful to our staff, our donors and friends who made this dream become a reality for so many of us here and in Bolivia.

People in isolated regions of Bolivia will say “we are people with few resources, when we are injured or sick, we just wait for the ultimate….unless, out of the blue Mano a Mano comes to fly us to seek health care in the cities.”

Thanks to your gift, we will!

Goals of the Mano a Mano Aviation Program

The Mano a Mano – Apoyo Aereo (Air Support) aviation program makes it possible for Mano a Mano to partner with and provide urgently needed services to isolated rural communities whose distance from the city would otherwise prohibit their inclusion in Mano a Mano’s projects.

Emergency FLight_San Lorenzo_5_2012

Mano a Mano uses aviation for four purposes:

  1. To safely transport Mano a Mano staff and volunteers to remote communities in order to: determine whether a community’s request to partner with Mano a Mano will be accepted; meet with community leaders and local government officials to develop partnership agreements and project plans; select building sites; supervise construction; deliver medical supplies; provide health care, health education and supervision;
  2. To airlift critically ill and injured patients to city hospitals for emergency care;
  3. To make flight hours available to other non-profit organizations whose missions are consistent with that of Mano a Mano;
  4. To generate revenue by making flight hours available at a commercial rate to businesses and the general public.

Video – Overview of Mano a Mano’s Aviation Program in Bolivia

Thank You Samsung and St. Kate’s Volunteers – October 2018

Thank You Samsung and St. Kate’s Volunteers – October 2018

Thank you to the volunteers from St. Kate’s PA (Thursday) and Samsung (Friday) that volunteered with Mano a Mano sorting donated medical supplies last week!

Samsung volunteers sorting donated medical supplies at Mano a Mano, October 12, 2018

Samsung volunteers sorting donated medical supplies at Mano a Mano, October 12, 2018

All of the supplies they helped sort will be shipped to Bolivia and distributed to people & organizations in need throughout Bolivia. In 2017 Mano a Mano distributed 205,675 pounds of supplies.

This video below is from a distribution of supplies in late September 2018:

Thank You Metro State Social Work Interns and Our Regular Volunteers

We are grateful to the groups that came on Thursday and Friday, and we are always grateful to our regular volunteers. Every Wednesday, our regular group comes to the warehouse to pick up donated orthopedic supplies and medical equipment from Goodwill, which is just down the street from Mano a Mano.

This fall, Mano a Mano is also a placement site for fieldwork for Social Work students from Metro State. This is our second year of being a placement site, and Metro State students put in 20+ hours a week at Mano a Mano during the semester (they were a huge help at our 2018 Festival in September).

HERO also made the drive from Fargo to St. Paul last week to exchange donated medical supplies with Mano a Mano:

Thank You Volunteers!

We only have 2 full-time staff in the US, and we depend on volunteers to do our work. Thanks to everyone that helped out over the past week!

Buy a Handmade Kayak, Support Mano a Mano

Buy a Handmade Kayak, Support Mano a Mano

Tony Kayak_2018

Buy a beautiful kayak, support Mano a Mano: Anthony Schmitz of Frogtown Kayak made this kayak that is available for $900. From Craigslist:

“Light, lively skin-on-frame kayak. Slightly over 14 feet, under 35 pounds. Wonderful for a quiet lake, but also capable of multi-day trips in Voyageurs, BWCA. Cedar gunwales and stringers, white oak ribs, nylon fabric covered with two-part urethane. A very sweet boat. The sale price will go in its entirety to Mano a Mano, a St. Paul/Bolivia based organization that recycles US medical equipment to Bolivian hospitals and clinics, and also funds a wide variety of development work in Bolivia. (http://manoamano.org/) A portion of the sales price may be tax deductible.”

Check out the Craigslist posting here.

Distributing Donated Medical Supplies to Hospital Eduardo Eguia

Distributing Donated Medical Supplies to Hospital Eduardo Eguia

On Friday, September 21st, Mano a Mano distributed donated medical supplies in a large-scale distribution event to people & organizations in need at our warehouse in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This was one of the many distributions that day, to the Hospital Eduardo Eguia in Tupiza, Potosi (a 13-hour drive to get to Cochabamba):

“Thank you for giving us the possibility to give and receive, we would pray to you to continue with this good work giving support for the population to work in better conditions and to solve the problems of the people. Our problems are related to patients in critical condition, since we still have to continue referring patients with many problems, patients with serious conditions that have to be sent to receive third level health care.”

Travel to Bolivia with Mano a Mano: March 9-18, 2019

Travel to Bolivia with Mano a Mano: March 9-18, 2019

Mano a Mano invites you to join us on a nine-day trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Through this unique travel experience you will meet high Andean subsistence farm families and become immersed in their daily lives. You will learn how Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture integrates its health, water, and food production programs to create more sustainable rural communities.

The deadline for securing a spot on this trip is January 15, 2019.

Get the Trip Information Packet to Learn More

Click the link below for a PDF with 7 pages of detailed information about the March 2019 trip:

Mano a Mano Trip to Bolivia – March 2019 Trip Packet

Questions? Contact Us

The trip packet above covers most aspects of the trip, but if you are interested and have any questions, or would like more information about anything, please contact Carmen (email: carmen@manoamano.org or phone: 651-457-3141).

What is the Purpose of this Trip?

A trip to Bolivia with Mano a Mano can be a life-changing event. On this trip, we will learn first-hand about how Bolivians grow the food they eat and sell. We will meet subsistence farmers who manage to survive in their high mountain communities with meager material resources and witness their determination to remain on their land and improve life for their children.

In late September 2018, 8 community residents worked on building the walls for the community greenhouses being built with Mano a Mano; they are starting to take shape! Mano a Mano has been working on completing these large community greenhouses in Sacabamba, Bolivia over the past few months. Each community greenhouse is the equivalent of 7-8 normal greenhouses. This project is a collaboration between Mano a Mano, the municipal government of Sacabamba, the local community, and volunteers from Oxford Development Abroad.

In late September 2018, 8 community residents worked on building the walls for the community greenhouses being built with Mano a Mano; they are starting to take shape! Mano a Mano has been working on completing these large community greenhouses in Sacabamba, Bolivia over the past few months. Each community greenhouse is the equivalent of 7-8 normal greenhouses. This project is a collaboration between Mano a Mano, the municipal government of Sacabamba, the local community, and volunteers from Oxford Development Abroad.

We will talk with farmers and market vendors, as well as with agronomists, global development activists and other professionals. For travelers concerned about global food and water scarcity and equitable distribution of resources, the trip will provide an up-close view of how Mano a Mano teaches farming practices that protect the fragile natural environment and improve health.

We also want travelers to see how Mano a Mano distributes the nearly 200,000 pounds of medical and school supplies that Minnesota volunteers collect, sort, pack and ship to our Bolivian sister organizations each year.

What Travelers from Previous Trips Have to Say

  • “It was such a good education on how to do development work. Segundo is the best guide in the world. His ability to convey the history and culture in a manner that was relevant and understandable for our group was totally amazing.” – Debbie Hadas
  • “The trip met every expectation I had and much more.” – Dave Smith

Pictures from Mano a Mano’s March 2018 Trip to Bolivia

Peg Thomas traveled to Bolivia with Mano a Mano as part of our March 2018 trip.

Video Tour: Center for Ecological Agriculture