A Look Back At What We Did Together in 2019 – Mano a Mano 2019 Annual Report

Mano a Mano’s biggest strength is our community-based partnership model – bringing many people together to accomplish things that none of us could do on our own. Every activity, every project new or old, every event, depends on the dedication & effort of many people. As we look back at what we were able to do in 2019, we want to thank you:

  • the communities & municipal governments in Bolivia;
  • the people, schools, churches, community organizations, and foundations in the US;
  • the people from many other countries that support Mano a Mano;
  • the core Mano a Mano staff & volunteers at all 5 of our counterpart organizations in Bolivia and the US.

Without you – every person working together and doing their part – none of this would be possible. Thank you!

Annual Reports from Previous Years: 2016-2018

Check out our previous Annual Reports from the past 3 years (all financial statements, 990s, and previous year’s annual reports are available HERE):

2019 in Pictures

Check out pictures of just a few of Mano a Mano’s projects from 2019 on Facebook and as a photo slideshow below:

88 Photos on Facebook (Click Here for Album)

2019 Photos Slideshow


Celebrating 25 Years in Operation in 2019

2019 was a milestone year for Mano a Mano as we celebrated our 25th anniversary in operation! We started in 1994 with the simple goal of saving usable medical supplies from the landfill in Minnesota. We never thought that we would grow into a community development organization with 5 counterpart organizations, 50 staff, and more than 1,000 community development projects throughout Bolivia.

Snapshot: What We Have Done Together since 1994

In our 25 years, Mano a Mano has:

None of our work would be possible without the support of many dedicated supporters in the US, Bolivia, and elsewhere; we thank you for helping us get here!

Shipped 203,747 Pounds of Recovered Resources from Minnesota to Bolivia

In 2019, Mano a Mano shipped 9 40-foot containers filled with 203,747 pounds of donated supplies and equipment from St. Paul to Cochabamba. These supplies are distributed to people & organizations in need throughout Bolivia; below are links to a few distributions over the past year:

Distributing supplies to dozens of organizations at Mano a Mano’s warehouse in Cochabamba – September 2019

Made Videos Highlighting Our Minnesota Volunteers in Partnership with TPT

Mano a Mano has partnered with TPT to make a number of videos highlighting our volunteers in the Twin Cities that make our work possible. Check out 5 Mano a Mano videos on the TPT website here.

Mano a Mano’s New Plane Purchased in 2018 is Now Flying in Bolivia Since March

In 2018, Mano a Mano purchased a new plane to expand the capacity of our aviation program. After purchasing the new plane in Minnesota last summer and months of training and prep, it was flown from Fleming Field in the Twin Cities to Cochabamba, Bolivia in October 2018. Over the next 5 months, we obtained registration and certification, customs payment, and the approval to purchase jet fuel for the airplane. All was completed and the airplane started flying in March 2019 (5 months is actually an extremely fast turnaround).

At the Mano a Mano hangar in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Our pilots say that the airplane has surpassed any and all expectations they had. The Caravan is performing beautifully in Bolivia. It lands and takes off in a third of the length of runway in comparison to a Cessna 206. The airplane climbs like a dream, especially in the early, cool hours of the morning. If the weather is rough at 13,500 feet, the pilots and aircraft easily can choose to climb to 15,500 ft – a difficult task with the 206.

With the new plane we can transport more and heavier cargo, like this repaired part for heavy equipment in September.

The Caravan is able to carry a monstrous amount of cargo (in comparison to the Cessna 206). On a recent flight, we were carrying around 2,500 lbs of cargo, as opposed to 770 lbs with the Cessna 206. And we are reaching our destination faster and sooner. With the Caravan we do not have to circle to gain altitude. By the time we reach the high pass, the airplane has gained the altitude necessary. Most importantly, we do not have to go around mountains: the airplane has the power to gain altitude and fly over safely. In this scenario, the Caravan reaches destination in 37 minutes as opposed to 60 minutes with the Cessna 206.

Providing an emergency flight with the new Mano a Mano plane in 2019.

The new plane greatly increases the capacity of our aviation program to provide emergency flights and weekend health clinics, as well as transport staff and cargo safely throughout Bolivia.

Dedicated a New Water Reservoir in Maldonado, Bolivia

Mano a Mano staff and Maldonado community residents take a boat out on the Maldonado water reservoir during its dedication in March 2019.

On March 13, 2019 Mano a Mano dedicated a water reservoir project in the community of Maldonado, Bolivia. Mano a Mano staff started work on this water project in February 2017. This project makes 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.

Constructed Water Wells in Chinyata and Laguna Carmen

In addition to building large-scale water reservoirs like Maldonado and Laguna Sulti (where an expansion is currently underway), our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo partners with communities to complete deep and surface wells that provide access to potable water. To date, we have completed 52 surface wells and 5 deep wells. Two of those deep wells were completed this year in the communities of Chinyata and Laguna Carmen.

Chinyata Well

Laguna Carmen Well

There are 100 communities currently on our waiting list for a water well (one well would serve 5-10 communities each).

Completed Community Greenhouses in Sacabamba, Bolivia

In March, Mano a Mano dedicated these 3 large community greenhouses in Sacabamba, Bolivia. Each community greenhouse is the equivalent of 7-8 normal greenhouses. These greenhouses are a first for Mano a Mano in that they are very large and are meant, in this case, to be associated with schools. They will help to augment school diets and also offer hands-on education for the kids who will do the gardening.

Dedicating community greenhouses in Sacabamba, Bolivia in March.

This project was a collaboration between Mano a Mano, the municipal government of Sacabamba, the local community, and volunteers from Oxford Development Abroad.

6 Clinics Built (170 Total)

In 2019, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia completed 6 clinic projects, with another 2 under construction. These new clinics provide 10,555 people with access to health care.

Learn more about a few of these new clinic projects:

As Mano a Mano clinics, they will have Volunteer Health Promoter Training and Continuing Health Education workshops provided through our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia; they will also receive equipment and supplies to ensure that it is fully-furnished, and are connected with Mano a Mano Bolivia medical staff via radio for help with any difficult cases or issues.

In 2019, Mano a Mano Bolivia provided 11 health education workshops for Mano a Mano clinic staff; 2 international acute care conferences in collaboration with Medical Educators for Latin America; and 26 workshops with other organizations in Bolivia. In total, 1,825 people attended these workshops with a total of 154 topics covered.

These photos are from our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia’s 148th Health Education Workshop in July 2019 for nurses.

2 New Schools Built (64 Total)

In 2019, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia completed 2 new school projects in Rayo Pampa and Michkha Mayu (with 2 more schools currently under construction). The new schools provides much more comfortable learning environments for the students, and more comfortable working environments for the teachers; 270 students and 20 teachers benefit from these new schools.

Michkha Mayu was dedicated on July 30, 2019 and is Mano a Mano’s 64th school project.

5,359 People Visited the Center for Ecological Agriculture in 2019

In 2019, Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA) provided guided tours to 3,220 people and training & education to 2,139 Bolivian farmers. The CEA is a fully functional farm, and serves as a demonstration center for rural Bolivian farmers and urban students showing how different methods and tools can be used to maximize resources and improve food security & nutrition while respecting the environment.

Volunteers Contributed 19,092 Hours in the United States

We depend on volunteers in every aspect of our work. In the US, volunteers help sort & pack supplies for shipment to Bolivia; help with administrative tasks in the office; work on research projects; serve on the Mano a Mano Board and on volunteer committees; sell Bolivian crafts; maintain our garden; take lots of pictures; and basically just make things go! Thank you to everyone that helps out in some way.

How You Can Help

Everything we do depends on many people working together. There are many ways you can help:

  • Make a Donation. Your support makes it possible to partner with communities on projects they ask for.
  • Volunteer. Contact us to learn more.
  • Share the Mano a Mano Story. Send this link to friends and colleagues. Buy the Mano a Mano books. Contact us about opportunities to speak or present at your church, Rotary club, or any other event.
  • Travel to Bolivia. Our next trip is in March 2020, and we usually travel to Bolivia with groups in March, June, and September.

Thank you!