We Have Solar Power!

We Have Solar Power!

We are excited to have our solar panels now live at our St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse.

Our primary program in Minnesota – and the program that started Mano a Mano more than 20 years ago – is recovering resources that would be thrown away and sending them to Bolivia, where we know they can be put to good use. The impact in Bolivia is based on improving health.

Helping Our Local Environment

Here in Minnesota, the impact is based on improving the environment. We are saving tens of thousands of pounds of usable supplies from Minnesota landfills, and producing solar power fits well with our environmental focus.

The solar power that has been generated at Mano a Mano, November 2018.

The solar power that has been generated at Mano a Mano, November 2018.

All Energy Solar Press Release

Check out the full press release about Mano a Mano’s solar panels from All Energy Solar on their website.

Improving Atajados (Water Ponds) in Pojo, Bolivia

Improving Atajados (Water Ponds) in Pojo, Bolivia

Mano a Mano's heavy equipment starting the trip from Cochabamba to Pojo to dredge water ponds, late October 2018.

Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment starting the trip from Cochabamba to Pojo to dredge water ponds, late October 2018.

We are currently dredging 83 water ponds built by others, which have since filled with silt. Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment left Cochabamba for Pojo a few weeks ago, and Ivo Velasquez from our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo sent us an update on the work:

“Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment started work in Pojo on October 25th. It was not easy getting the equipment to the atajados, and they are spread out throughout the area; getting from one atajado to the next takes 1-3 hours.

Through early November, we have been working in the community of Charcas and have dredged 5 atajados, which has totaled 40 hours of machine time to excavate the silt. We then went to the community of Thago and have worked on 7 atajados, totaling 50 hours of machine time with the bulldozer.

These cleanup projects are not easy. With the first rains coming, communities have been able to use these atajados to collect water, and they appreciate the work.”

Mano a Mano Water Projects

Mano a Mano seeks the most feasible means for accessing water when communities ask us to partner with them. We have constructed or improved 320 farm ponds in areas where tillable land plots are not side by side; 47 surface wells in communities that lie near banks of large rivers; and 9 large water reservoirs.

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018. This was Mano a Mano's first reservoir, built in 2006, and continues to provide consistent access to water for families in the community.

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018. This was Mano a Mano’s first reservoir, built in 2006, and continues to provide consistent access to water for families in the community.

Drilling a Pilot Deep Water Well in Laguna Carmen, Bolivia

Drilling a Pilot Deep Water Well in Laguna Carmen, Bolivia

After searching for two years, Mano a Mano located and purchased equipment that can successfully drill for water through hard rock to a depth of 340 meters. Working through the challenges of removing this machinery from the mine where it had been used in the Bolivian Andes and then encountering repeated road blockades during protests, we arrived in Cochabamba, drill in tow. We made needed repairs and then took advantage of a generous, unanticipated offer. An engineer who had worked with this drill volunteered to provide specialized training for our engineer and mechanics.

Mano a Mano's deep well drilling equipment.

Mano a Mano’s deep well drilling equipment.

Moving this deep well drilling equipment is a long and challenging process.

Moving this deep well drilling equipment is a long and challenging process.

The Laguna Carmen Deep Well

Taking advantage of this offer, we decided to pilot test the well drilling machine by drilling a well in the community of Laguna Carmen, which is nearby Cochabamba.

Mano a Mano staff working on the well in Laguna Carmen.

Mano a Mano staff working on the well in Laguna Carmen.

They have reached the 60 meter depth.  Our engineer estimates that there is 24 meters depth of water in the well Once the geology of the soul strategy around the well is documented, piping will be installed and soon after that, we will pump water.

In this picture, the drill has reached a depth of 60 meters in Laguna Carmen. Our engineer estimates that there is 24 meters depth of water in the well. Once the geology of the well is documented, piping will be installed and soon after that, we will pump water.

The pilot well now yields clean drinking water for about 1,800 people whose well was collapsing. They are elated, commenting that the water is “sweet and crystal clear”. We will be sending water samples from this well to the University of San Simon in Cochabamba to test for bacteria.

This pilot well project has further developed Mano a Mano’s capacity to respond to water scarcity and the resulting lack of sufficient food in this region. Soon we will proceed to the next community that we have partnered with, to drill the deep well for which we have received funding. We expect the next well to be completed in the coming months. Once completed, the new well will be tested by the same laboratory at the University of San Simon.

Mano a Mano Water Projects

This deep well is an exciting addition to Mano a Mano’s water projects. Mano a Mano seeks the most feasible means for accessing water when communities ask us to partner with them. We have constructed or improved 320 farm ponds in areas where tillable land plots are not side by side; 47 surface wells in communities that lie near banks of large rivers; and 9 large water reservoirs. We are currently dredging 83 ponds built by others, which have since filled with silt.

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018. This was Mano a Mano's first reservoir, built in 2006, and continues to provide consistent access to water for families in the community.

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018. This was Mano a Mano’s first reservoir, built in 2006, and continues to provide consistent access to water for families in the community.

Mano a Mano Speaker Series: Professor Carol Klee on November 13th at 6:30pm

Mano a Mano Speaker Series: Professor Carol Klee on November 13th at 6:30pm

Join us at Mano a Mano on Tuesday, November 13th for Carol Klee’s talk on “Languages in Bolivia: Quechua Language Maintenance, Structure & Use.” Carol Klee is a professor of Spanish linguistics at the University of Minnesota, where she has taught since 1985 and has served in various administrative roles, including department chair and assistant vice president for international scholarship. Her research has focused primarily on how the Spanish of the Andean region of Peru has changed due to contact with Quechua, and how the Spanish of Lima is changing as a result of migration from the Quechua-speaking provinces of Peru.

Professor Carol Klee

Professor Carol Klee

Speaker Series Details

  • WHAT: Mano a Mano Speaker Series with Professor Carol Klee: “Languages in Bolivia: Quechua Language Maintenance, Structure & Use”
  • WHERE: Mano a Mano, 925 Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul, MN 55104
  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 13th, 6:30-7:45pm

Please RSVP

If you plan on attending, please RSVP with Carmen (carmen@manoamano.org or 651-457-3141).

We hope to see you there!

Visiting the Ucuchi Water Reservoir with Rotary – September 2018

Visiting the Ucuchi Water Reservoir with Rotary – September 2018

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018

Ucuchi Water Reservoir, September 2018

This is Mano a Mano’s water reservoir in Ucuchi, Bolivia during a site visit with Rotary International members from St. Paul, Duluth, and Fargo a few weeks ago in September 2018.

The reservoir was Mano a Mano’s first reservoir we built, more than a decade ago in 2005. It provides year-round access to water for local farmers (as you can see, the reservoir is full, and the rainy season doesn’t begin for months), but it has also become the anchor of the San Isidro Ecotourism Park which has sprung up around it. The park includes fishing, camping, boating (check out the swan boats in the picture!), and rappelling, and is “the second most-visited tourist attraction in the municipality of Sacaba,” with 14,000 visitors each year.

The Cochabamba newspaper Los Tiempos wrote an article about the park last year (full link to the article, translated into English, on the Mano a Mano website) and we are happy to see the impact that this project continues to have.