Mano a Mano just sent out a newsletter about our activities over the past month (you can sign up here). Click each headline to go to the full post:

Flying in Bolivia in the Time of COVID-19

Every year Mano a Mano’s aviation program airlifts 300-400 seriously ill or injured individuals from remote locations in Bolivia to urban hospitals. But when the pandemic reached Bolivia in March, all flights were grounded, both within and out of the country. After ten weeks of quarantine, we received permission to fly for COVID-related purposes in May. Even in the best of times, Bolivia’s Amazon Basin departments of Beni and Pando face the challenges of minimal, often impassable roads and few health services. The full-force entrance of COVID into these departments magnified those challenges. Each flight into this region returns with its own story, occasionally one of heartbreak but, most often, one of joy and deep gratitude.

Virtual Event on August 26th: Mano a Mano Responds to COVID in Bolivia and the Twin Cities

Nate Knatterud Hubinger, Mano a Mano’s Executive Director, will lead an online discussion about the challenges presented by lack of basic medical supplies during the Covid–19 pandemic, in Bolivia and in our local community, and how Mano a Mano has responded. We will learn about day-to-day life in communities that are surviving the pandemic with minimal material resources and revisit our understanding of cross-national, cross-cultural relationships during this shared global experience. Sponsored by the Unity Unitarian Church Mano a Mano Community Outreach Ministry Team.

Omereque Water Ponds (Atajados) – 10 Years Later

In 2010, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo constructed 153 farm ponds on the mountainsides of Omereque, one of the Cochabamba Valley’s largest municipalities. These ponds, designed to retain water from seasonal rains for use during the increasingly arid dry season, made it possible for families to double or triple crop production and keep their livestock alive. We are back in the area working on a 220-kilometer road improvement project, and one farmer made sure to visit with our staff to show his fields and crops.

Medical Supply Donations in Cochabamba and Mano a Mano Updates This Week

Mano a Mano has been making distributions of medical supplies for COVID-19 support on a near-daily basis. Scroll to the bottom of the above link to see a list of the 20+ posts we’ve shared on donating medical supplies since March. Four containers with 45+ tons of supplies are currently en route from Minnesota to Bolivia.

Current Experiments at the Center for Ecological Agriculture

Because Bolivia’s social distancing regulations have prohibited in-person classes, Mano a Mano staff at our Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA) in Cochabamba have decided to use these months of down time to experiment with new demonstration projects. Their goal: to grow more food, in less space and at lower cost, using technology and materials that can be made available to remote rural communities.

Passing of Dr. Hugo Castrillo Mhur

We were so sorry to hear the news of Dr. Hugo Castrillo’s passing last week. He was a founding member of our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, and has been an integral part of Mano a Mano ever since. Our condolences and best wishes to his family and friends in these difficult times.

Mano a Mano Mid-Year Review: First Half of 2020

Learn more about what Mano a Mano has been doing over the first half of 2020 as an organization. Despite the many challenges this year has brought, we continue to work to improve lives in many ways through our offices and people in Minnesota and Bolivia. Thank you to everyone that is involved with Mano a Mano in some way. We couldn’t do this without you!

Mano a Mano staff hosted a distribution event at our Cochabamba warehouse to distribute medical supplies and mobility equipment to 21 health care organizations from the departments of Potosi and Cochabamba in mid-July. We have been distributing supplies for COVID-19 support on a near-daily basis since March, and we have 4 containers with more than 90,000 pounds of supplies and equipment currently en route to Bolivia from our Minnesota warehouse.