In 2020, Mano a Mano shipped 7 containers with 175,777 pounds – 87+ tons! – of medical supplies, mobility equipment, and other items to Bolivia for distribution to people and organizations in need throughout the country. We also helped provide supplies locally in the Twin Cities and to organizations working in other countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Cameroon. Thanks to the many people in Minnesota and Bolivia that work so hard to make these shipments possible!
Distributing Supplies for Bolivia
We started in 1994 with the goal of saving surplus medical supplies from the landfill in Minnesota and shipping them to Bolivia, where we knew these supplies were desperately needed and could be used immediately. Over the past 26 years, we have distributed more than 4 million pounds of supplies throughout Bolivia, and that has continued to this day. 2020 has been our most challenging year, as we and the rest of the world have struggled with a pandemic, but the challenges of this year have also made our work more in-demand than ever. We have done our best to respond to the need.
Distributing Supplies for Bolivia – Photos
Below is more information about some of our distributions made throughout 2020:
- Medical Supplies Arriving in Bolivia, Loading Another Container in Minnesota, and Distributing Supplies Throughout Bolivia
- Thank You to Mano a Mano From the Comite Cívico of Moxos, Trinidad
- Donating Medical Supplies and Equipment to 17 Healthcare Organizations in La Paz, Bolivia
- 4 Containers with 91,556 Pounds of Medical Supplies Arrived in Cochabamba Today
- Donating Medical Supplies and Equipment to the Centro Zoonosis San Simón in Cochabamba
- Shipping 50,000+ Pounds of Supplies For Bolivia
- Donating Medical Supplies to Colquiri, Bolivia Hospital
- Donating Medical Supplies to Instituto Gastroenterólogico Boliviano Japonés de Cochabamba
- Donating Supplies in Cochabamba for COVID-19 Support
- Medical Supply Donations in Cochabamba and Mano a Mano Updates This Week (August 6, 2020)
- Donating Medical Supplies in Puerto Quijarro, Bolivia
- Donating Medical Supplies and Mobility Equipment to 21 Organizations from Potosi and Cochabamba
- Donating Medical Supplies and PPE to Hospital in Comarapa, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
- Donating Medical Supplies and Equipment to Hospital Eduardo Eguia in Tupiza, Bolivia
- 4 Containers with 45+ Tons of Medical Supplies En Route to Bolivia
- More Than 15,000 Pounds of Supplies Flown to Beni in Late May/Early June
- Minnesota National Guard Loads Supplies For Honduras
- Flying Medical Supplies & Equipment to Beni for COVID-19 Support
- Donating PPE & Medical Supplies to Hospital German Busch and Hospital Centinela in Beni
- Donating PPE and Medical Supplies to 33 Organizations Responding to COVID-19 in Bolivia
- Distributing PPE & Medical Supplies to 70 Organizations in Bolivia
- Donating Supplies to Southside Harm Reduction Services in Minneapolis
- Donating PPE and Medical Supplies to Hospital Gineco-Obstetrico in Sucre, Chuquisaca, Bolivia
- Distributing Supplies, Equipment, and Food in Bolivia
- Mano a Mano Will Be Closed Until May 4th
- Mano a Mano, Our Medical Supply Program, and COVID-19 Updates
- Distributing Donated Medical Supplies in Cochabamba
- Donating Supplies to Hospital Cochabamba
- Donating Supplies to Red Cross Potosi
- Distributing Supplies in Bolivia – March 2020
- Sorting Supplies from Minnesota for Distribution in Bolivia
Distributing Supplies for Other Organizations
The vast majority of the donated supplies and equipment we receive is shipped to Bolivia; we shipped 203,747 pounds of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia in 2019, and another 175,777 pounds in 2020. But we are happy to partner with other organizations when we have excess supplies, items that we cannot send to Bolivia, or items that are not the highest priority for our own programs. Ultimately, we want to keep these supplies out of the landfill in Minnesota, and get them to people in need.
On Saturday, February 1, 2020 Mano a Mano donated 162 pieces of mobility equipment and medical supplies to people in need in the Twin Cities. The items ranged from glucometers and blood pressure cuffs to canes, shower chairs, and commodes. The estimated total value of these supplies is $16,000. This project was a collaboration with Twin Cities-area physical therapists to help distribute mobility equipment to some of their clients that have difficulty acquiring needed items. We hosted a similar second distribution day at our St. Paul warehouse on October 24th.
Mano a Mano rents some of our warehouse space to David O’Brien and Interfaith Service in Latin America (ISLA). ISLA’s mission is to “help improve the quality of life for the communities in which we serve.” Mano a Mano has helped provide supplies for 2 different shipments this year. In January 2020, Mano a Mano loaded 30 gaylords of mobility equipment at our St. Paul warehouse to take to MSP airport, where they began their journey to Honduras. In June, the Minnesota National Guard loaded medical supplies & equipment destined for Honduras at the MSP airport. These supplies started at Mano a Mano’s warehouse in St. Paul in May.
Last week (December 18th, 2020), Mano a Mano helped provide supplies for the Celeste Association for Destitute Children and Adults (CENADECA) in Cameroon. This included: 18 Wheelchairs, 70 Walkers w/out Seats, 24 Walkers w/ Seats, 100 Pairs of Crutches, 40 Canes, 14 Bath/Shower Chairs, 4 Commodes, 1 Baby Scale, 1 Child/Adult Scale, 1 Box Hospital Linens, 2 Large Boxes (gaylords) of Orthopedic/Rehab Supplies, and a large Blue Barrel Containing Medical Supplies.
From our Volunteer Warehouse Manager Ray on last week’s donation:
“One last unplanned shipment….
Last Spring as I was selling some sit/stand work desks at Mano a Mano, we had a local woman originally from Cameroon come in to purchase one. Because she was curious about what Mano a Mano was about, I gave her a tour of the warehouse. She was quite amazed that such a place existed that collected unused medical supplies and equipment. It seemed she had been looking for quite some time for such a place, and a way to help back in Cameroon. We were an answer to a prayer in her words…Well, one thing led to another and within a few weeks I was helping to fill a 55 gallon blue plastic drum with medical supplies. I had gotten a wish list from a small medical clinic in Cameroon that Brunhilda wanted to help. Well, that blue barrel was filled, picked up by Brunhilda, and then it waited to be shipped. Things sometimes have their own time to happen, unlike my need often to see things happen quickly.
About a week ago I got a call from Brunhilda’s partner Kilian that he had ordered a 40-ft container to ship some things to Cameroon, including the blue barrel. He reminded me that I had shared the possibility that Mano a Mano might be able offer more if he and Brunhilda had a way to ship it. Last Friday we were able to share 10 additional pallets of mobility equipment, orthopedic equipment, bath aids, and a couple other things that wouldn’t ever fit in a blue 55 gallon barrel. Thanks to the faith of one caring woman – wanting to give back – the CENATDECA organization in Cameroon will receive over 3,500 pounds of excess medical supplies and equipment in the coming months.
It is good to know in this holiday season that sometimes we can be the answer to a prayer…”
On November 5th, Mano a Mano volunteers loaded one 40-foot container with thousands of pounds of mobility equipment, orthopedic supplies, and other items. These supplies will be shipped to El Salvador and distributed by Comité Salvadoreño El Piche to people in need.
Picking up supplies in the Twin Cities, Fargo, Wisconsin, and beyond; sorting and organizing supplies at our St. Paul warehouse; loading 40-ft containers with over 20,000 pounds of supplies in each one, and making sure to fill in every available inch of space; managing the paperwork to make sure supplies arrive smoothly to our Cochabamba warehouse; unloading containers and reorganizing them in preparation for distribution; hosting people & organizations at the Mano a Mano warehouse in Cochabamba, and traveling by car and by air throughout Bolivia to donate supplies; and ensuring that we have the funds to pay for this entire process: this program is only possible thanks to the efforts of many, many people.
Not to mention the additional challenges of 2020: quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and having to limit the number of volunteers, among many others.
We are extremely grateful for everyone that is involved!