Flying Medical Supplies to Cotagaita, Bolivia

This week, Mano a Mano transported medical & orthopedic supplies from our warehouse in Cochabamba to Cotagaita, a community in the department of Potosi. The supplies were distributed to 3 health centers in the area.

The donation included wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, wound care and basic care supplies, and other miscellaneous medical supplies.

Distributing Donated Supplies to People & Organizations in Need

These items all start as donations at our warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota and make the journey to our warehouse in Cochabamba, Bolivia where they are distributed throughout the country.

Supplies are donated in different ways: some are distributed to individuals that come to Mano a Mano to request an item like a wheelchair or walker; some are transported to communities, like this recent distribution in Cotagaita; and many are donated in larger distribution events where dozens of organizations travel to our warehouse to receive thousands of pounds of supplies.

Mano a Mano staff & volunteers preparing supplies for a distribution event on December 17, 2018 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Taking Advantage of Mano a Mano’s Larger Plane

This distribution of supplies was made much easier with Mano a Mano’s larger plane that is a recent addition to our aviation program. This plane can carry 3 times the amount of cargo, allowing us to transport a much larger amount of supplies for distribution; our staff also used this trip as an opportunity to visit a few communities in the area to look at potential projects in the future.

The plane can transport much more cargo than our previous plane.

This trip from Cochabamba to Cotagaita would take about 12 hours each way by car – with the plane it’s only about an hour.

Mano a Mano Uses Aviation for 4 Purposes:

The Mano a Mano – Apoyo Aereo (Air Support) aviation program makes it possible for Mano a Mano to partner with and provide urgently needed services to isolated rural communities whose distance from the city would otherwise prohibit their inclusion in Mano a Mano’s projects.

There are 4 main priorities of our aviation program:

  1. To safely transport Mano a Mano staff and volunteers to remote communities in order to: determine whether a community’s request to partner with Mano a Mano will be accepted; meet with community leaders and local government officials to develop partnership agreements and project plans; select building sites; supervise construction; deliver medical supplies; provide health care, health education and supervision;
  2. To airlift critically ill and injured patients to city hospitals for emergency care;
  3. To make flight hours available to other non-profit organizations whose missions are consistent with that of Mano a Mano;
  4. To generate revenue by making flight hours available at a commercial rate to businesses and the general public.

Video – Overview of Mano a Mano’s Aviation Program in Bolivia