Check out what we have been doing together over the past month or so across our 5 counterpart organizations in Minnesota and Bolivia:

Dedicating a Water Distribution System in Chirusi Rosario, Bolivia

Residents of Chirusi Rosario, Bolivia gathered last week on February 16th, 2024 to give thanks and to dance in celebration as they dedicated the final phase of their deep well project in partnership with Mano a Mano. This was a 4-phase project (water well, water tower, water piping distribution network, piping water to households) over the past 4 years, one which makes clean water available throughout this community of about 1,300 people. “Having water piped to our homes is a miracle. We didn’t know anyone who has such a luxury,” they told us. “A few years ago we were buying water from a truck because we didn’t have a well. Now we have water every day, just like the city.”

New Clinic in Catariri, Bolivia is 70% Complete

Mano a Mano’s new health clinic in Catariri is now more than 70% complete! Our counterpart Mano a Mano Bolivia began construction on October 13th and it is progressing well, with an expected completion date of March/April 2024. When complete, this clinic will join Mano a Mano’s network of 183 clinics in Bolivia that had 605,760 patient visits in the first half of 2023.

School Supplies Destined for Districts in Bolivia’s Tropical Communities

Earlier this month, Mano a Mano achieved an important milestone. In the presence of David Quiroga, Presidente de la coordinadora de pueblos indígenas del trópico de cochabamba (President of the Coordinated Indigenous Communities of the Cochabamba tropics), and Damaris Orihuela, Asambleísta de pueblos indígenas Yuracarés (Assembly member of Indigenous Yuracarés Villages), our Recovered Resources program reached 10 school districts located in the most isolated tropical areas of this large region.

Laguna Sulti, Bolivia Water Reservoir is at 60%+ Capacity

Mano a Mano’s water reservoir in Laguna Sulti, Bolivia is at 60% capacity after receiving water from rainfalls in December 2023 and January 2024. We completed our fourth expansion of this project in 2022 (we completed the initial water reservoir in 2008), in time for the 2022-2023 rainy season, but unfortunately there was close to zero rain. We are happy to see water, and are hopeful to add even more this month as the rainy season nears its end (more rain fell over the past week, and the reservoir is now close to full!).

Mano a Mano Earns 2024 Platinum Seal of Transparency

We recently earned a Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2024!

Weekend Health Clinic in San Pablo de Moxos – February 9th, 2024

On February 9th, 2024 Mano a Mano provided a weekend health clinic (jornada) in San Pablo de Moxos, a small community of around 30 people in the department of Beni in the Bolivian Amazon. Our Mano a Mano Aviation program has 3 primary programs working with Bolivian communities that have minimal access to health care and basic services: emergency rescue of ill and injured individuals, transporting them to urban hospitals for life-saving treatment; weekend clinics for which we transport volunteer health care professionals into remote areas to provide primary medical & dental care; and transporting medical supplies, mobility equipment, food, supplies, and other needed items to/from isolated communities.

Collecting Dental Hygiene Kits in Minnesota for Bolivia

Thank you to Michelle who recruited friends through her church to provide dental hygiene kits for children during Mano a Mano weekend clinics in the tropics of Bolivia. Thinking that they would at least be able to provide a couple hundred of them, the project was so well-received that it turned into 800 bags of hygiene kits!!! Michelle and Chris delivered these wonderful gifts this week to our St. Paul warehouse, and they will be added to our next shipment to Bolivia. Michelle and her team are eager to continue their support and expand to other donation drives.

Jhostin – One Physical Therapy Program Beneficiary

When Jhostin’s parents brought him to Mano a Mano’s physical therapy program eight months ago, he had the psychomotor development of a 2-month-old. He was unable to lift his head, sit, extend his legs, or feed himself. His parents had sought treatment for him but couldn’t afford private therapy, and no public program was available. Then they heard about Mano a Mano. Without fail, they bring Jhostin to our physical therapy program three times weekly, using whatever transportation they can find. The physical therapy staff and volunteers draw from a variety of specialized equipment, shipped to them from our St. Paul warehouse, to help Jhostin reach a higher level of development and gradually become more independent.

HERO Fargo – Partnering with Mano a Mano for Over a Decade

We were happy to see the recent post from HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization) highlighting our partnership over the past decade+! “This is what partnership looks like. Mano a Mano International has been partnering with HERO for nearly 13 years, helping individuals near and far. Mano brings items to HERO and HERO send items back to Mano they may need! The work they do does not go unnoticed or unappreciated, they are amazing, and we are blessed to be able to work with them.”

Thank You For a Busy and Successful 2023!

In 1994, Mano a Mano Co-Founders Segundo & Joan Velasquez came together with friends & family to address 2 problems: in Minnesota, hundreds of thousands of pounds of usable medical supplies and equipment are thrown away each year; in Bolivia, basic supplies were desperately needed and we knew we could put these supplies to good use. At the time, Bolivia had one of the highest rural poverty rates in the world, and despite making progress, it continues to be the poorest country in South America. Over the years, we have grown into 5 counterpart organizations that have kept the same “mano a mano – hand in hand” approach – connecting resources in the US & Bolivia with strong community-based partnerships – to construct hundreds of sustainable community projects throughout Bolivia. We ensure that each project is well-equipped and maintained, and that training and education programs are also provided.

You’re Invited: Mano a Mano Lunch & Learn February 28, 2024 (In-Person)

Mano a Mano is hosting a Lunch & Learn at our St. Paul office/warehouse next Wednesday, February 28th. You are welcome to stop by for a light lunch and presentation with discussion about our recent and upcoming work. Please RSVP with Carmen ([email protected]) if you are attending, so we can plan accordingly for food. (Please email Nate ([email protected]) if you can’t attend but would like a copy of the presentation.) This is a low-key gathering for Mano a Mano volunteers and supporters to learn more about our work; you are welcome to come for any time that works.

  • WHAT: Mano a Mano Lunch & Learn
  • WHEN: February 28, 2024
    • 10am-12pm: open volunteering in the warehouse, as we do every week – help prepare donated medical supplies and mobility equipment for our next shipment to Bolivia!
    • 12pm-12:30pm: light lunch provided by Mano a Mano
    • 12:30pm-1:30pm: presentation with discussion about Mano a Mano’s recent work in 2023 and upcoming projects in 2024
  • WHERE: Mano a Mano office/warehouse, 925 Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul, MN 55104