We are keeping busy at Mano a Mano! Here are a few updates from our projects in Bolivia & Minnesota over the past month:

Farmers Travel to Visit Water Reservoirs in Other Communities

Leaders from Laguna Sulti traveled with Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo to three destinations in early September: Wirkini, Ucuchi, and Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture in El Abra, Cochabamba. Every Mano a Mano project is a partnership; this includes many meetings with the community, municipal leaders, and others involved with the project – before, during, and after any specific project. We currently have multiple projects in the area of Laguna Sulti, and these recent site visits with their leaders to other Mano a Mano projects are important to show the impact of our projects, and the hard work of the communities, years down the road.

50 Over 50 Celebration Event on Tuesday, October 25 From 4-6pm

Congratulations to Joan and Segundo Velasquez for being on the 2022 50 Over 50 list! Check out the full 50 Over 50 list on Pollen Midwest here. “The 2022 50 Over 50 list celebrates and recognizes Minnesotans over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in their communities.” There is a 50 Over 50 celebration event on Tuesday, October 25 from 4-6 p.m. at Quincy Hall in Northeast Minneapolis.

You can register for the October 25th event – up through October 11th – here ($10).

Starting Construction on a New Health Clinic in Ayoma

Ayoma is in the municipality of Cliza, department of Cochabamba.

Our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia is starting work on a new health clinic in Ayoma! Mano a Mano’s network of 178 clinic projects in Bolivia had 559,439 patient visits in the first half of 2022. There are additional clinic and school projects that will be underway in the coming months.

Layettes Sent With Love to Moms in Bolivia

Martha, her husband, their six-year-old daughter Carlita, and their newborn – Rosalie – live in a one-room adobe house in Vinto, about ten miles from Cochabamba. Every morning, Carlita’s parents pick up the small mattress from the floor where she sleeps and move it outdoors, so the family has space to eat together. Most families in their neighborhood live in similar circumstances. Martha’s situation, however, is more complicated than most. Due to a rare disease, both of her feet have been amputated. Mano a Mano was able to arrange for her to receive prostheses and a wheelchair, which she uses to accompany her daughter on her 8-block walk to school every day. Martha devotes many hours weekly to improving the lives of other families in her community: she registers those in deepest need for a program which provides them with dried meats and other nutritious food; she helps sort medical supplies; and she has identified new moms who will receive layettes for their newborns. Through this video message of thanks, made shortly before she delivered, Martha tells us that she couldn’t afford to have an ultrasound and doesn’t know if her baby will be a boy or girl. Martha expresses deep gratitude on behalf of her family and the others who will receive the layettes she is holding. She thanks the volunteers who have done everything possible to help her and her baby, even though they don’t know her or the other mothers.

Recent Mano a Mano Flights

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. In many of these remote communities, it may be a 10 or 20-hour trip to the nearest available health care; by plane it is a round trip of a couple of hours – which can be the difference between life and death.

Here are 3 flights in recent weeks:

  1. Providing a Weekend Health Clinic in Nuevos Horizontes on September 10th-11th
  2. Transporting Cargo By Plane to Oromomo – September 3rd, 2022
  3. Providing a Weekend Health Clinic in San Borja on August 27-28

5-Day Agriculture Workshop for Universidad “Siglo XX” Students

Siglo “XX” students at Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture.

In mid-August, 13 students and 3 teachers from Universidad “Siglo XX” traveled from Caripuyo, Potosí to Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture (a 5.5 hour drive) for a 5-day workshop on organic agriculture.

Completing a Road From Toco to Chirusi

Trucks haul dirt to road and runway surfaces, as other machines spread and compact it.

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, and celebrated on June 11, 2022); a new public school (complete, and dedicated on March 25, 2022); a deep well for potable water (complete, and dedicated in March 2022); a three-mile road (this road from Toco to Chirusi, due to be complete at the end of September); infrastructure needed for moving our aviation program from the Cochabamba airport (underway); and preparation for a rural Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA).

Welcome to our Fall Students from Metro State and St. Kate’s!

We are grateful to the Social Work students from Metro State and Community Leaders students from St. Kate’s that are part of our St. Paul office during the Fall 2022 semester!

New 6-Story Elevated Water Tank Project in Chirusi

Mano a Mano has completed a 6-story water tower and storage tank in Chirusi, Bolivia. The tank will distribute well water to each of the 212 households in the community. The well was completed by Mano a Mano in March 2022, in partnership with the community, Rotary Club of Duluth Harbortown, and many partnering rotary clubs from Rotary District 5580.

Thanks City of Minnetonka: Special Community Drop-Off Day on September 10th

Thanks to the City of Minnetonka for hosting their Special Community Drop-off Day on Saturday, September 10th! We were grateful to be the recipients of mobility equipment donated at the event, and collected 64 pieces of mobility equipment and 198 pounds of miscellaneous medical supplies (688 total pounds of donated items). The mobility equipment included 5 wheelchairs, 20 pairs of crutches, 16 walkers, 2 knee walkers, 10 pieces of bed and bath aids, and 11 canes. (Mobility equipment is in high demand and short supply for us – here is a list of items we are looking for.)

Mano a Mano volunteers loaded 3 containers with 68,797 pounds of supplies at our St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse in late July that are currently on their way to Bolivia. We have sent 6 containers with 148,495 pounds of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia in 2022. Supplies donated in Minnetonka this month will be included in a shipment in the coming months.