In partnership with communities, through the first half of 2022 Mano a Mano has built new clinics and schools; built deep water wells and water reservoir expansions; provided emergency flights and weekend health clinics; distributed medical supplies and equipment throughout the country; and provided training through a variety of programs, among other projects. These new projects join the hundreds of community projects built over the past 2+ decades that all improve health and increase well-being for thousands of Bolivians.

Mano a Mano Results Since 1994

  • Shipped over 4 million pounds of medical, school, and construction supplies to Bolivia that would have ended up in Minnesota landfills. We shipped 180,180 pounds from Minnesota to Bolivia in 2021.
  • Built 178 clinics that had 1,107,024 patient visits in 2021. Our clinic program’s approach is that health outcomes can be dramatically improved with simple yet effective interventions, beginning with the basic ability to consistently access quality services in their own communities.
  • Constructed or improved 1,200 miles of roads helping isolated communities connect to larger markets. Travel time can be reduced from days to a few hours.
  • Constructed 9 water reservoirs, plus 458 farm ponds, 42 surface wells, and 14 deep wells. Access to water improves crop yields and quality for Bolivian farmers, which improves nutrition and can double or triple a family’s income.
  • Built 67 schools, along with teacher housing and community bathrooms, that provide access to quality education to rural children.
  • Provided emergency air rescue to more than 4,449 patients for life-saving medical treatment.

Thank You!

Thank you to the many people that work together – mano a mano, hand in hand – to improve the health and well-being of Bolivian communities!

Learn more about each of our program areas and what we have done so far this year:

Distributing Medical Supplies in Bolivia & the Twin Cities

Mano a Mano’s recovered resources program collects donated medical supplies, mobility equipment, and other items in Minnesota for shipment to Bolivia, where they are distributed to people and organizations in need throughout the country. In March of 2022, we shipped 3 containers with 79,698 pounds of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia. We have another shipment planned for June 2022. Mano a Mano also regularly provides mobility equipment and other items to people and organizations in the Twin Cities, working around the world.

Building New Clinics to Provide Access to Health Care

Our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia partners with Bolivian communities to provide access to healthcare and education through the construction of clinics and schools. In the first half of 2022, we completed 2 new clinics and a new school – all during the last week of March 2022 – with other projects underway. These 2 new clinics join Mano a Mano’s network of 176 other clinic projects in Bolivia which had 1,107,024 patient visits in 2021.

Providing Emergency Flights & Weekend Health Clinics, and Transporting Cargo

Mano a Mano’s aviation program has 2 primary programs working with Bolivian communities that have minimal access to health care: emergency rescue of ill and injured individuals, transporting them to urban hospitals for life-saving treatment; and weekend clinics for which we transport volunteer health care professionals into remote areas to provide primary medical & dental care. On average, Mano a Mano Aviation provides emergency transport for 20-30 people; transports 20,000 pounds of cargo; and transports volunteer medical professionals to provide 1-2 weekend health clinics every month.

An emergency flight to El Alto in 2022.

Building Deep Water Wells & Providing Access to Water

Since 2005, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo has constructed 9 reservoirs, plus 458 farm ponds, 42 surface wells, and 14 deep wells. Each project gives farmers access to water for household use, domestic animals, and crop/garden irrigation. In late 2021, Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo completed its expansion of our water reservoir in Laguna Sulti; in 2022 we have focused mostly on building deep water wells in multiple communities, with many more planned for the second half of the year.

Center for Ecological Agriculture

Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA), managed by our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Internacional, provides training & tools for rural Bolivian farmers to improve food security & nutrition in their communities.

In May 2022, lead CEA agronomist, Juan Carlos Cardenas, traveled to four of the Bolivian high Andes communities that are located in the municipality of Arampampa to provide onsite workshops. Farmers from this area had visited the CEA in February, reviewed its demonstrations of various recommended farming practices, and asked for follow-up training in their own communities. They asked specifically for help in improving their soil without the use of chemical fertilizers, and with protecting their crops without use of pesticides. Juan Carlos provided the requested training last week. Because the farmers would not yet have a supply of mature compost, he carried about 18 pounds with him. Once at each site, he taught farmers to create natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We have provided onsite training to more than 600 farmers in 2022.

Punata Regional Complex

Mano a Mano started the “Punata Regional Complex” in 2021– a comprehensive project in the Cochabamba Valley’s Punata region over the next three years that includes a 3rd expansion of the Laguna Sulti agricultural water reservoir (complete); a new public school (complete); a deep well for potable water (complete); a three-mile road; infrastructure needed for moving our aviation program from the Cochabamba airport; and preparation for a rural Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA).

Improving the Sustainability of Mano a Mano as an Organization

Mano a Mano is made up of 5 counterpart organizations focusing in different areas of community development – health, education, economic development, food security and nutrition, and more – with the same mission of “Partnering together – Hand in Hand – to transform the health and well-being of Bolivian communities in need.” Much of this work is made possible by having the capacity needed as an organization to be able to adequately partner with and provide support to Bolivian communities. This means having professional staff, heavy equipment and machinery, and sites and warehouses. With these components available, communities and their municipal governments can partner with Mano a Mano on community projects with realistic and achievable budgets, which is further leveraged with funds raised in the US that kickstart every project.

In order for Mano a Mano to work with Bolivian communities on the projects they request, we need to have the capacity to do so. Everything we do to improve the sustainability of Mano a Mano as an organization makes it possible to do more with the Bolivian communities that we partner with. We have come a long ways as an organization since 1994, and we look forward to the future!

Training and Education to Complement Mano a Mano’s Infrastructure Projects

Continuing education and training are important components for every Mano a Mano counterpart organization and their areas of focus – for our own staff and interns, as well as others. In addition to Mano a Mano Bolivia’s continuing health education and Dream Fund programs, Mano a Mano International Partners hosts interns from local universities and is a social work field placement site for Metro State University; Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo provides training for heavy equipment operators; Mano a Mano Aviation provides training and internships for aviation students (pilots and mechanics); and Mano a Mano Internacional provides internships for agronomy students and provides training programs for public school teachersphysical therapists, and rural Bolivian farmers.

Pictures from the First Half of 2022

Reports on Each Major Mano a Mano Program in 2021

Every Mano a Mano project is a partnership. (You can buy Mano a Mano’s book “Gaining Ground” here.)

Hard Work in Challenging Conditions

Mano a Mano focuses on partnering with people in isolated, rural Bolivian communities. This focus often means challenging working conditions: our staff will regularly spend months onsite working on infrastructure projects. Many projects are 10,000-15,000 feet above sea level. When equipment breaks (which it inevitably will), that means a multi-day delay in getting replacement parts. On well-drilling projects, the earth is hard and rocky enough that each drill bit Mano a Mano buys has to be replaced one or more times for every well project we drill. Shipping costs, along with many other costs for items like diesel and replacement parts, have increased by 150% since the start of the COVID pandemic. Traveling to sites for meetings or inspections can be a 10-20+ hour drive each way on challenging roads. The list goes on. We are extremely grateful to our staff and the hard work they put into every project!

We Need Your Help

Every Mano a Mano project is a partnership: Bolivian communities approach Mano a Mano requesting projects that they identify as their need in their own community; their Municipal governments provide support in addition to the communities themselves; Mano a Mano provides oversight, skilled labor, and the infrastructure needed to execute the project; and funders provide the seed money that kickstarts this entire process. We have a significant waiting list for communities wanting to partner with Mano a Mano on a project; we need your financial support to make these projects possible.

You can make a donation here.