Many think of aviation as a luxury. But for rural communities in Bolivia, small aircraft often provide their only access to health care, literally the difference between life and death. Mano a Mano provides transport for people in need of emergency care; medical professionals to provide healthcare in rural communities during weekend health clinics; Mano a Mano staff, volunteers, and equipment as we partner with Bolivian communities on development projects; and the distribution of medical supplies and equipment. In spite of the unprecedented challenges of 2020 (all flights were grounded for multiple months, and our weekend health clinic program was halted for 8 months due to COVID-19 restrictions), our aviation program made 452 flights and transported about 95,000 pounds of medical supplies and equipment in 2020.

During most years, the aviation program airlifts about 260 patients from remote Bolivian communities to care in urban hospitals. But 2020 was not an ordinary year. Given months-long restrictions to fly for COVID purposes only, we airlifted 131 patients, most with COVID, often having to scour the country for a hospital that would accept them. Later in the year, we were permitted to respond to other patients with other life-threatening emergencies.

Mano a Mano Projects in 2020: Working Around the Pandemic

2020 was a very difficult year, but despite the challenges Mano a Mano continued with our mission of creating partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities to improve health and increase economic well-being. Learn more about each of our major programs and its work last year at the links below: