2020 has been hard. We are grateful to our staff and volunteers; our supporters; and the communities and municipal governments that we partner with. Working together, and despite the many challenges, we continue to create partnerships that improve health and increase economic well-being for Bolivian communities in need.

As 2020 comes to a close, we want to highlight some of our favorite videos we have shared this year. (Here are our favorite videos from 2019.)

Check out more of our videos on our Youtube page here, or at any of the social media links at the top of our website.

2020 in Photos

On The Wing Documentary: Pilot of Hope

A documentary made about Mano a Mano’s aviation program in Bolivia and our pilot Ivo Daniel Martinez is now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video and Vimeo On Demand. For Amazon Prime Video: log on to your Amazon Prime Video account (you must have a Prime subscription to watch); search for “On the Wing”; go to Season 2, Episode 1 – “Pilot of Hope.” If you do not have an Amazon Prime account, you can rent ($1) or buy ($2) the episode on Vimeo On Demand (search “On The Wing” – the Mano a Mano episode is #7: Bolivia – The pilot of hope).

Flying Medical Supplies to Support Beni COVID Efforts

Mano a Mano has been distributing medical supplies and equipment throughout Bolivia on a near-daily basis all year. As one example, 15,432 pounds (7,000 kg) in total were flown to the deparment of Beni from Cochabamba between May 25 and June 8. 75% of these supplies were donations from Mano a Mano from our normal shipments of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia. More than 6,000 N95 and surgical masks and 26,000 pairs of surgical and exam gloves were distributed, in addition to hospital clothing and materials, mobility equipment (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers), and boxes of general medical supplies (needles and syringes, wound care supplies, oxygen tubing and equipment).

Current Experiments at the CEA: Hydroponic Lettuce, Fodder, & Livestock

With limited ability to have in-person visitors this year, Mano a Mano staff at our Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA) in Cochabamba have been experimenting with new demonstration projects. Their goal: to grow more food, in less space and at lower cost, using technology and materials that can be made available to remote rural communities. The CEA has built four on-site greenhouses to have enough space to raise hydroponic lettuce year-round (featured in this video). We continue to experiment with fodder, comparing fodder produced from corn, wheat, barley, and oats to determine how well each will produce through this method in contrast to planting in soil. Our agronomist is also comparing the growth of animals based on which crop they are fed; the average litter of guinea pigs has doubled since they have been fed fodder in contrast to soil-grown alfalfa.

Water Flowing at New Well in Tajamar, Bolivia

Water is flowing at our newly-drilled water well in Tajamar, Bolivia! More than 400 families (about 2,400 people) will benefit. With the well drilled and water flowing, we next installed a pump to extract the water. The well is 200 feet deep and is currently providing 5/6 liters of water per second.

Dedicating a New Clinic Expansion in Sumala, Bolivia

Mano a Mano recently completed an expansion of a health clinic in Sumala, as well as new schools in Litoral and Qhapajtala. The Sumala clinic expansion increases local capacity to provide health care to the 800 residents of the community. Sumala is in the municipality of Icla, department of Chuquisaca. The project was dedicated on November 17th, 2020. Construction was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but are now complete, and will improve access to health and education for their communities. Every project is a partnership: thank you to our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, the local communities and municipal governments that participate throughout the process, and the funders that provide the seed money that kickstarts every project!

Minnesota and Bolivia Working Together

Mano a Mano’s mission is to create partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities that improve health and increase economic well-being; everything we do is based on partnerships – on many people working together. This video was made in collaboration with TPT in 2019.