One of Mano a Mano’s current projects is a 56-kilometer (35 miles) road connecting the communities of El Palmar and Canon Verde in the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. This project began last year, and we are now working on the 31st kilometer. Here Mano a Mano’s Caterpillar heavy equipment is working on expanding the road earlier this month:
After this step is complete we will install drainage pipes, lay gravel, and do the final grading. Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo Project Director Ivo Velasquez said that the most difficult portion of this project is complete; we started in the most difficult terrain furthest away from the community and are building towards El Palmar, making this first stage very challenging. The project site terrain is very isolated and remote; just to get to the construction site from Cochabamba takes 2 days – 14 hours to Tarija and then another day by horseback – and most of the road being built began by cutting through mountain rock and trees:
When the road is complete it will connect these isolated communities to the larger markets in Tarija and Santa Cruz, cutting down drastically on travel time and increasing access to markets to sell their products.