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

Unitel TV Segment: Cochabambinos de Oro – Voluntarios de Mano a Mano

We were happy to have Mano a Mano staff and volunteers featured on an October Unitel TV Telepaís Central Cochabamba segment as “cochabambinos de oro!”

155,040 Pounds of Supplies and Equipment Sent from Minnesota to Bolivia So Far in 2023

Mano a Mano has sent 6 containers with 155,040 pounds of medical supplies, mobility equipment, and other in-demand items from Minnesota to Bolivia so far in 2023! We are now getting ready for our 3rd and final shipment of the year in the coming weeks. (In 2022, we sent 9 containers with 220,704 pounds; we also distributed 25,910 pounds to other organizations with programs in the US and around the world.)

Starting Construction on a New Health Clinic in Catariri, Bolivia

Our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia is starting work on a new health clinic in Catariri, Bolivia. 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.

Starting work on a new health clinic in Catariri, Bolivia

Weekend Health Clinic (jornada) in San Pablo, Bolivia

Check out a recent Mano a Mano Aviation weekend health clinic (jornada) in San Pablo, Bolivia:

Special thanks to Chloée, a volunteer from France that is spending a few months with our counterpart organization Mano a Mano – CEA in Cochabamba, for making this video!

Students from Macalester College Volunteer at Mano a Mano

Thank you Arjun Guneratne, Professor of Anthropology and Chair from Macalester College, and students from this semester’s Anthropology of Development course for coming over to Mano a Mano in October! (Also in the picture is Elisebeth, one of our Social Work Field Placement interns from Metro State University this Fall.)

The work of Mano a Mano has been discussed in their class as a model of grass-roots development, and yesterday’s visit to Mano a Mano was to provide some practical experience of what our foundational volunteerism is like. We were grateful for the lunch prepared by Arjun & family, being able to chat with the students over lunch (they asked a lot of questions!), and also get some volunteer time as we prepare for our next container shipment of donated medical supplies and mobility equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia in a few weeks.

Every day is busy at the Mano a Mano office/warehouse in St. Paul; thank you to our staff, volunteers, interns, in-kind donors, and many others that spend so much time and energy making everything go!

20 de Septiembre Clinic Plaque

Thanks to our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia for the nice recognition plaque highlighting our recent Mano a Mano clinic that was dedicated in the community of 20 de septiembre in July!

Minnesota Educator Article – “Minnesota teachers bring training to rural Bolivia” (Originally from 2017) – and Teacher Training Updates from 2023

Minnesota Educator – “A publication for the members of Education Minnesota” wrote an article in their October 2017 edition about Jackie Smith and Debbie Hadas; Jackie and Debbie have been a huge part of Mano a Mano’s teacher training trips to Bolivia over the past decade. (We are sharing this today because Facebook Memories reminded us about this article from 6 years ago, and the link in the original post going to Education Minnesota is broken.) This post was an update on Mano a Mano Teacher Training projects over the past few years.

Here are just a few of Mano a Mano’s activities related to Teacher Training in recent months:

  1. August 2023: Training 30 primary school teachers in the Sacabamba school district. These teachers will integrate the conceptual map pedagogy into their daily classroom teaching of 400+ students. In October, our staff and Sacabamba teachers will conduct a full evaluation of the process and the usefulness of the content taught. The purpose of the evaluation: determine whether any changes or updated examples would improve teacher’s ability to construct lesson plans.
  2. August 2023: Expand the training of Normal students who are enrolled in the Escuela de
    Maestros Manuel Ascensio Villarroel de Paracaya (the post-secondary Teacher Training School). Mano a Mano staff are currently preparing materials for this expanded training. We will know by November how many teachers from this Normal will be included. Staff have ordered new books and classroom wall banners for an estimated 50 students. We’re very excited about this opportunity to integrate the training on conceptual maps into another teacher training program, thus further supporting the sustainability of this project.
  3. Currently and through the fall months: Continue to train the teachers-to-be at the Simon Rodriguez Teacher Training School in Sacaba. 50 future teachers will be trained during the next two months.

In addition to building community-based infrastructure projects (clinics, schools, water projects, greenhouses, roads, airstrips, among others), Mano a Mano strives to provide training programs that complement those projects and further our mission in a comprehensive manner. Learn more about our overall programs across our 5 counterpart organizations in our 2022 Annual Report, and below are links about a few of our training programs:

Traveling to Peru For Well-Drilling Parts – to Be Able to Complete Water Projects in Bolivia

To partner with communities on infrastructure projects, we depend on our skilled staff and heavy equipment as one part of what Mano a Mano brings to the table. This means repairs, which sometimes means a 4-day roundtrip to Peru to get parts that are not readily available in Bolivia.

Transporting Teachers To Their Schools in the Bolivian Tropics

Residents of Asunta met the aircraft to greet the teachers when they arrived.

Public school teachers Elvis Alanoca, Basilio Mendoza, Elizabeth Cusi, and Grecia Rodríguez hitched a ride on the Mano a Mano aircraft in early September, avoiding what would otherwise have been a 6-7 day trip to arrive in the tropical communities in which they teach. Each of them is the only teacher in the multi-grade schools in these remote regions of Bolivia’s Beni department.

Cultivating Green Awareness: Ecological Adventures in Oruro

Staff and volunteers from Mano a Mano Internacional in Cochabamba, Bolivia traveled to Belén de Andamarca, in the department of Oruro last month (September 2023) to work with students at the local Simón Bolivar School and provide an ecological soil management workshop.

Health Education Workshop in Bolivia in November is Full!

We are happy to see that the upcoming health education workshop managed by our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia is full!

Mano a Mano Emergency Flight from Chuquisaca to Cochabamba in Bolivia

Our Mission

Mano a Mano’s mission is: “Partnering together – Hand in Hand – to transform the health and well-being of Bolivian communities in need.” We respond to needs identified by rural Bolivian communities; we do not make decisions and develop plans in the United States for implementation in Bolivia. Instead, we begin by listening to community residents as they approach us with identified needs, and to our Bolivian counterparts as we consider together how to best respond to these needs.