Why You Should Attend Festival Bolivia 2015 Next Saturday

April 29th is the deadline to RSVP;  if you plan on attending please respond ASAP! (We will accept RSVPs later than that if needed, but the sooner you can respond the better.)


Join us for Mano a Mano’s 6th annual event on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota! This year’s event will be highlighting our new Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA), a project that supports rural Bolivian farmers with training and low-cost tools to improve food security & nutrition in their communities using an ecologically sound approach. The event will include a cocktail reception, wine pull, silent auction (with some great items!), Mano a Mano staff from Bolivia traveling to Minnesota to attend, interactive displays featuring Mano a Mano’s projects, a 3-course meal, and a program showcasing the impact the CEA is having in rural Bolivia.

Silent Auction Items

There are some great items available this year! Here’s what is up for auction on Saturday, May 9th:

Handmade Kayak

At 17 feet long and 20 inches wide, this beautifully crafted kayak is a replica of a boat collected in 1834 at Avagait, Greenland, now residing in the Danish National Museum.

The kayak can be custom fitted to match the winning bidder’s leg length and knee height. The kayak will weigh just under 35 pounds, making it a sensible choice for wanting to easily transport it to the water’s edge. Images can be found here.

Bolivian Dinner with Mano a Mano Co-Founders Joan and Segundo Velasquez

Joan and Segundo Velasquez are an integral part of Mano a Mano. They shaped Mano a Mano’s past and continue to work toward Mano a Mano’s future in the most inspiring ways.  Enjoy a Bolivian dinner for four guests with Joan and Segundo.  Hear their stories first hand and get to know our two newest board members Anneli Borst and Dennis Anderson.

To honor Joan and Segundo’s hard work, Anneli and Dennis will be hosting the meal at Anneli’s Minnetonka home.  The menu will include Aji de Pollo with rice. Dates are flexible.

Classical Piano Performance by Joseph Caswell

Joseph Caswell, age 11, will appear at your private party, corporate event, or fundraiser and play a 30-minute program of classical piano masterworks by some of the greatest composers of all time, such as Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, and Liszt. (Joseph will also be performing at the event on Saturday, May 9th.)

Joseph Caswell

Joseph Caswell

The program can be slightly longer or shorter to meet your needs. A grand piano is preferred, but not required, for ideal sound. Please book at least sixty days in advance.  Must be used within one year.

Joseph’s Bio:

At the young age of 11, Joseph Caswell has already been a featured performer at corporate and fund-raising events, including: Park Dental, JDRF, U of MN Diabetes Research, Minnesota Music Teacher’s Forum, and the Minnesota Boychoir.  Joseph has performed in the Young Artist World Piano Festival (YAWPF) Junior Honors Recitals and St Cloud State University Convocations starting at the age of 6.  Joseph has appeared in demonstration lectures with Dr. Paul Wirth and Tom Rosenberg, and played with multiple chamber groups in the Salon se Leve concert series.  He was awarded 2nd place and Honorable Mention in recent years in the Mozart Concerto Competition sponsored by the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum, competing with students up to 18 years old.  This past summer, he won the YAWPF 12-and-under concerto competition and played a Mozart Concerto with the YAWPF Festival Orchestra, conducted by Marlene Pauley (conductor of the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra).  In the fall, he was awarded Honorable Mention in the MTNA Junior Piano Performance Competition for the state of Minnesota.  Joseph is in 5th grade at The Lighthouse School in Spring Lake Park.  In addition to piano he enjoys algebra, reading, attending theater productions, and singing in the Minnesota Boychoir with his 3 older brothers.  He is a chamber music student of Tom Rosenberg, a composition student of Sarah Miller, and a piano student of Dr. Paul Wirth.

Flight in a Cessna 185

Take a step up from everyday life and view your world from a new perspective, the air!   The Minneapolis and St. Paul skylines from the ground are nice, but seeing them from the air is breathtaking!    Enjoy a one-hour flight for three passengers around the Twin Cities in a Cessna 185.  Don’t forget to look for your home from the air!

The flight will depart from Flemming Field, 1725 Henry Ave, South St Paul, MN 55075.

Dinner & Wine Package

Wine and dine with this fabulous combination of delicious cuisine and libations. Indulge at two of Minneapolis’ iconic restaurants: Barbette and Red Stag Supper Club, with a $40 gift card for each venue, and enjoy two bottles of wine from Surdyks Wine and Cheese Shop to top off the experience.

Assortment of Hair Product and Fashion Tote

Enjoy an assortment of hair and beauty products from top brands, including RedKen, Matrix and Kenra. Give your hair a special treat with this superb collection, and travel in style with this silky fashion tote.

“City Lights” Painting

Admire the beauty that Minneapolis has to offer with this limited edition preproduction of the Lou Roman watercolor. The painting comes with the frame and a certificate of authenticity, and measures 28” x 38.” Offset lithograph, number 461 of 908. Image can be found here.

6 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

This air compressor is a perfect addition to any tool arsenal. Its six gallon tank and 150 psi output makes it ideal for projects around the home or on the job site.

Wine Pull and Gaining Ground For Sale

Wine Pull

Purchase a cork for $20, and take home a mystery bottle of wine! Everyone Wins!

Donors: Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop and Team Liquor, Wine & Spirits

Gaining Ground Book Signing

Gaining Ground: A Blueprint for Community-Based International Development

Authored by our very own Joan Velásquez, Gaining Ground is the inspiring case study of how this volunteer-based, grassroots organization is making history in Bolivia. It also offers an autobiographical look at the “how to” and “lessons learned” of our international development work. The book, published in 2014, is currently a finalist for the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) 25th Annual Midwest Book Awards (in the “Inspiration/Gift Books” category)! Joan will be available to sign your book as well.

Staff from Bolivia Traveling to Minnesota to Attend Festival Bolivia 2015

We will have 3 of our staff from Bolivia in Minnesota to attend Festival Bolivia 2015:

  • Ben Martinez, staff member of Mano a Mano Internacional and heavily involved in daily operations at the Center for Ecological Agriculture – the featured project for Festival Bolivia 2015
  • Dr. Victor Hugo Ortuno, MD, Board Member of Mano a Mano Aviation
  • Ivo Velasquez, Project Director of Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo
Victor Hugo (with the mic) at a distribution ceremony at the Mano a Mano hangar to distribute donated supplies in 2013.

Victor Hugo (with the mic) at a distribution ceremony at the Mano a Mano hangar to distribute donated supplies in 2013.

Photo Booth, Mother’s Day Cards Available

We will also have a photo booth at the event, and you can purchase Mother’s Day cards with beautiful Bolivian photos for the next day.

Enjoy a Fun Night and Make a Difference in Bolivia

This is Mano a Mano’s 6th annual event.  By attending these events, through the first 5 years together we have been able to support the following projects:

By attending our event on May 9th, you can help make a difference for more people in Bolivia, and have a good time in the process!

One of the greenhouses (yellow-topped building) built through the CEA program.

One of the greenhouses (yellow-topped building) built through the CEA program in Jironkota, Bolivia.



If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation, you can DONATE HERE.