The daily work continues on the Mano a Mano runway to which the Mano a Mano aviation program will be relocated in 2024. The base foundation of the 1,500-meter runway was finished during 2022; work continues on the base layer of crushed rock. When the base is complete, Mano a Mano will lay asphalt on a 1,100-foot-long portion of this runway over the course of 2023.

Construction Photos – February/March 2023

Landing on the Runway with the Mano a Mano Plane (March 2023)

In early March, Mano a Mano’s Cessna Caravan landed on a usable portion of the under-construction runway, and Mano a Mano staff had lunch with some of the local Municipal leaders.

Mano a Mano’s Cessna Caravan landing on the Mano a Mano runway under construction, March 2023.
Having lunch with local leaders after landing on the Mano a Mano runway, March 2023.

Crushing Rock for the Runway

Why Are We Building an Airport?

Mano a Mano’s aviation program has 3 primary programs working with Bolivian communities that have minimal access to health care and basic services:

  1. emergency rescue of ill and injured individuals, transporting them to urban hospitals for life-saving treatment;
  2. weekend clinics for which we transport volunteer health care professionals into remote areas to provide primary medical & dental care; and
  3. transporting medical supplies, mobility equipment, food, supplies, and other needed items to/from isolated communities.
Providing a flight for Jhonatan Acosta in February 2023, in front of the current Mano a Mano hangar at the Cochabamba airport.

We currently have a hangar at the main airport in Cochabamba. Several years ago, we were informed that only commercial airlines would be able to use the Cochabamba International Airport at some point in the future. This decision is consistent with airport operations in most countries, which consider it unsafe to serve aircraft that fly at vastly different speeds. It asked that Mano a Mano’s aviation program, flight school operators, and other owners of private aircraft begin to search for alternative options. Unfortunately, there were no regional airports that could serve our purposes in the entire country of Bolivia. To ensure the survival of our aviation program, Mano a Mano began a two-year long, intensive search for land on which to build a small regional airport within easy driving distance of the city of Cochabamba. We had the good fortune of finding an ideal location within 30 miles of the city in the municipality of Punata. Because Mano a Mano has demonstrated capacity to construct infrastructure projects that support community-identified needs, we offered to exchange the building of community-requested projects for land in the local community (these projects include a new school, new water well and water tower, and road, among others; most of these community projects were completed in 2022). We have named the entire comprehensive project the Punata Regional Complex.

Learn More

Banner of Mano a Mano’s Punata Regional Complex, including a regional airport.