Check out what we have been doing together over the past month:
Dedicating the Mamanaca Water Well on March 14th, 2023
The indigenous farming community of Mamanaca lies in the fertile Cochabamba Valley, about 12 miles from the city. After Mamanaca’s decades-old, manually-dug well collapsed several years ago, its 100+ families have lacked access to water for drinking and household use, for their few domestic animals, and family gardens. In 2020 they asked Mano a Mano to drill a “professionally engineered” well in partnership with them. Mamanaca came to the top of our waiting list this winter. The well was completed in late February.
8 Years as Executive Director, 17+ Years with Mano a Mano
“March 2023 marks 2 milestones for me: I have now been Executive Director of Mano a Mano for 8 years, and I am turning 40! Very rarely do I post about myself, which is by design: I would much rather highlight the great work our staff and volunteers and communities that we partner with are doing every day in Minnesota and Bolivia. But I wanted to look back a bit and share some of my story over 17+ years with Mano a Mano.” – from Executive Director Nate Knatterud-Hubinger.
Installing the Roof at the Mano a Mano Office Building in Cochabamba, Bolivia
The last piece left for Mano a Mano’s 5-story office building – adding the roof for the open meeting space on the top floor – is now complete! Each of Mano a Mano’s five counterpart organizations started as a pilot project, “living” in the home of that organization’s founders until it was firmly established. With this office building on the outskirts of Cochabamba, each organization will have accomplished a major milestone: each has its own permanent space. The top floor will be used for meetings, gatherings for visitors, training courses, and workshops. Having permanent office space for the Mano a Mano organizations in Bolivia moves us another step forward in the long-term sustainability of the organization as a whole. 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!
Videos of Recently Completed Mano a Mano Clinics
In 2022, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia completed new schools and clinics in the following communities throughout Bolivia: Chirusi Rosario school (our 67th school project), Guadalupe clinic, Estaño Colorado clinic, Villa Nueva clinic, San Rafael clinic, Ayoma clinic, Paccha clinic, and the Pekajsi clinic. Check out videos of the process of building and dedicating the clinic projects in Ayoma, Paccha, and Pekajsi from start to finish.
Thank You to Our Local Partners in Minnesota!
Everything Mano a Mano does is a partnership; thank you to our local partners in and around Minnesota! Here are just a few examples from the past week with HERO Fargo, Society of St. Vincent De Paul Twin Cities, and Unity Unitarian Church.
Making Progress on New School in Kaspi Cancha, Bolivia
The new school consists of 4 classrooms, and will provide a more comfortable environment for local students to learn and for teachers to teach. The Mano a Mano school is replacing the old adobe classrooms where the 93 students and 4 teachers in the community were based previously. Construction began on November 21st, 2022 and is 85% complete.
Distributing Supplies for 84 Organizations Throughout Bolivia
On Saturday, March 11th, Mano a Mano hosted an event to distribute school supplies, medical supplies, and mobility equipment to 84 organizations throughout Bolivia. Mano a Mano shipped 9 containers with 220,704 pounds of medical supplies and equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia, where they are given to people in need throughout the country. We are currently preparing for our first shipment of supplies from Minnesota in mid-April.
Mano a Mano Flight for Jhonatan Acosta – March 8th, 2023
Mano a Mano provided a flight on March 8th to transport Jhonatan Acosta to Cochabamba to continue his recovery after surviving 31 days in the Bolivian jungle.
Daily Work Continues on the Mano a Mano Airport
The daily work continues on the Mano a Mano runway to which the Mano a Mano aviation program will be relocated in 2024. The base foundation of the 1,500-meter runway was finished during 2022; work continues on the base layer of crushed rock. When the base is complete, Mano a Mano will lay asphalt on a 1,100-foot-long portion of this runway over the course of 2023. Here are a few construction photos from February/March 2023:
Mano a Mano 2022 Annual Report
Hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia benefit from Mano a Mano’s health, education, water, road, aviation, food & farming, and medical surplus distribution programs! Below is a summary of our work in 2022:
- Shipped 9 containers with 220,704 pounds of medical supplies and equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia, where they are given to people in need throughout the country. We also regularly distribute to other nonprofits and individuals in the Twin Cities.
- Completed 7 new clinics and a new school. Mano a Mano’s network of 182 clinic projects in Bolivia had 1,129,712 patient visits in 2022.
- Provided emergency transport for 155 people (4,543 emergency flights since our aviation program began); provided transport for volunteer medical professionals for 33 weekend health clinics (482 weekend health clinics since our aviation program began); and transported 487,530 pounds of cargo, mostly medical supplies and equipment, throughout Bolivia.
- Completed 6 deep water wells providing access to potable water, along with progressing on Mano a Mano’s large Punata Regional Complex that includes a reservoir, road, 6-story water tower, airport, school, and other projects over the next few years.
- Provided guided tours to 1,194 visitors (mostly students) and implemented 100 workshops for 2,076 participants, 569 of whom were farmers (the others include professionals, students, teachers, and volunteers). Most of these workshops happen onsite at our CEA in Cochabamba, but we also travel to provide workshops in rural communities or at agronomy institutes in rural areas. We have also provided training and education for many other professions (health, physical therapy, mechanics, etc.).