Despite some shipping costs increasing by 150% and other new shipping challenges due to COVID, Mano a Mano shipped 7 containers with 180,180 pounds of medical supplies and equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia in 2021. (We averaged 187,951 pounds shipped over the previous 4 years.) 276 organizations in Bolivia received supplies and equipment from Mano a Mano last year.

In addition, we also distributed tens of thousands of pounds of supplies to other nonprofits and to people in need locally in the Twin Cities. All of these supplies would have ended up in local landfills; instead they are helping people in Bolivia, Minnesota, and other countries.

276 Organizations in Bolivia Received Supplies and Equipment

In Minnesota, Mano a Mano collects donated medical supplies and equipment for shipment to Bolivia, where we distribute them to people and organizations in need throughout the country.

  • 215 organizations received medical supplies and equipment (which includes mobility supplies and equipment)
  • 34 organizations received mobility supplies and equipment specifically
  • 12 organizations received physical therapy items specifically (PT items were also included in many of the medical supplies distributions for health organizations)
  • 15 schools and organizations received school supplies (with a total school population of 550)
  • 421 individuals received medical supplies and mobility equipment

Distributed 10,361 Mobility Aids

Mano a Mano Internacional distributed 10,361 mobility aids to organizations (including our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia) and individuals throughout Bolivia, which includes the following items:

  • 574 wheelchairs
  • 2,211 walkers
  • 3,268 pairs of crutches
  • 3,501 canes
  • Other items including specialty wheelchairs, walkers with seats and wheels, etc.

Walkers, canes, and wheelchairs at our warehouse in Cochabamba, getting prepared for a shipment to Oruro in June 2021.

This is one wheelchair given to Gustavo in Trinidad in May 2021:

Volunteers in Bolivia Contributed 8,912 Hours

Mano a Mano depends on volunteers to complete our work. While this work is challenging enough in normal circumstances, 2021 was not normal; we are very grateful to the dedication and commitment of volunteers and staff that had to navigate a global pandemic for the second consecutive year. The number of hours in 2021 for this distribution program was nearly double the hours volunteered in 2020 (4,981 hours volunteered in 2020). Thank you to the medical, dental, and other healthcare professionals; university students; nursing students; volunteers from abroad; volunteer groups from civic and governmental organizations in Bolivia; Mano a Mano staff that contributed extra time; and everyone that gives their time to make these distributions possible! These volunteer hours only include time spent with our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Internacional and do not include the thousands of hours of volunteer time contributed with our 4 other counterpart organizations (3 in Cochabamba and 1 in St. Paul, Minnesota).

Volunteers from Bolivian organizations like GEOS contribute many hours to help sort medical supplies at our Cochabamba warehouse. This was taken in March 2021 and was preparing a distribution for health centers in Baures, in the department of Beni.

More Information About Medical Distributions Made in Bolivia in 2021:


Pictures of Distributions in Bolivia in 2021