Mano a Mano Speaker Series: May 14, 2019

Mano a Mano Speaker Series: May 14, 2019

Join us at Mano a Mano on Tuesday, May 14 for our monthly Speaker Series event. May’s speaker is Siddharth Bharath, a PhD student in Ecology at the University of Minnesota. His talk will be on “Indigenous Peoples in India: A Brief History and Ongoing Struggles for Forest Rights and Conservation.”

Speaker Bio

Siddharth Bharath is a PhD student in Ecology at the University of Minnesota, and has been actively exploring the role of storytelling and different ways of knowing in building social consciousness among scientists. He will share some of his experiences and partial understandings of indigenous peoples in India, along with some details of ongoing struggles for land rights in relation to biological conservation.

Event Details

The event is free and takes places at Mano a Mano (925 Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul, MN 55104) from 6:30pm-7:45pm.

Please RSVP with Carmen if you plan on attending – We hope to see you there!

Speakers are Scheduled for June & July

Our speakers are set for the next 3 months; mark your calendars (we’ll share more information as we get closer to those dates):

  • May 14 – Siddharth Bharath
  • June 11 – Agleska Cohen-Rencountre
  • July 9 – Segundo Velasquez

Mano a Mano Speaker Series

Mano a Mano started our Speaker Series as a way to engage with researchers and practitioners working with indigenous peoples on development and environmental issues. Our goal is to share and learn from each other and to support the indigenous peoples that we serve.

68 Photos from March 2019 Trip to Bolivia

68 Photos from March 2019 Trip to Bolivia

Check out a few pictures from Mano a Mano’s recent trip to Bolivia in March. Co-Founder Segundo Velasquez and a group of travelers from Minnesota went to meet high Andean subsistence farm families, become immersed in their daily lives, and learn how Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture integrates its health, water, and food production programs to create more sustainable rural communities.

Bolivian countryside outside of Cochabamba

Cutting the ribbon on new community greenhouses in Sacabamba

Photo Album on Facebook (Click Here)

Trip Highlights

Carnival in Cochabamba

To highlight just a few of their activities during the 9-day trip, the group:

Special thanks to Paul Rogne for these great photos!

Mano a Mano & Community Leaders speaking at the dedication of the Laguna Carmen well.

Dedicating a Water Reservoir in Maldonado, Bolivia

Dedicating a Water Reservoir in Maldonado, Bolivia

On March 13, 2019 Mano a Mano dedicated a water reservoir project in the community of Maldonado, Bolivia.

Brochure for the Dedication of the Maldonado Reservoir

Mano a Mano staff started work on this water project in February 2017. As with many of our projects, the working conditions have been difficult: it is about 14,000 feet above sea level, and it is cold, wet, and windy.

This project makes it possible for 96 subsistence farm families (about 600 people) to irrigate 250 acres of cropland and to water their livestock, as well as having water for household use.

Pictures from the Dedication – March 2019

Mano a Mano staff, community members, and government officials dedicate the Maldonado Water Reservoir.

Taking a tour of the new reservoir by boat.

Maldonado Water Reservoir

More Pictures on Facebook

Working Together

Like every Mano a Mano project, this water reservoir was a collaboration among many people working together:

  • Mano a Mano International
  • Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo
  • Lored Foundation
  • Richard and Megan Condon
  • Gobierno Autonomo Municipal de Sacaba
  • Mano a Mano staff & volunteers

Mano a Mano beginning work on the reservoir in February 2017.

Water Projects are a Priority

With the recent drought conditions in Bolivia, with effects felt for many years, water projects like this one are especially important to help rural communities manage their resources throughout the year.

Because of the need, water projects are a high priority for Mano a Mano and the communities that we partner with. In addition to building large-scale water reservoirs, we also build wells and small water ponds in communities where the smaller projects are a better fit.

The Center for Ecological Agriculture Has Grown

The Center for Ecological Agriculture Has Grown

Mano a Mano started building our Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA) on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2012. The goal of the CEA was to demonstrate good agricultural practices in action for rural Bolivian communities, and the site has been growing over the past 6 years to include many more tools & techniques.

Also, 3 out of 4 Mano a Mano’s counterpart organizations are now on the same site as the CEA, which helps with integrating some of our projects, such as the sorting and distribution of donated supplies shipped from Minnesota.

Initially, the land where the CEA was built was nothing special, but with the hard work of Mano a Mano staff and volunteers it has continued to grow. Check out the photos below to see how much it has changed:


Working on clearing the site for the Center for Ecological Agriculture – 2012

Most of the site is cleared of brush and ready for construction – November 2012


Plants are starting to grow, and many of the buildings (livestock pen, sample greenhouse, biodigestor, dry bathroom) along the back wall have been built – December 2013

View from the back buildings – December 2013


View of the CEA today – March 2019

Dedicating a New Health Clinic in Chaqui Mayu, Bolivia

Dedicating a New Health Clinic in Chaqui Mayu, Bolivia

On March 16, 2019, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia dedicated a new health clinic in Chaqui Mayu, Bolivia. This is Mano a Mano’s 167th clinic project in Bolivia.

Mano a Mano Bolivia staff working on the construction of the Chaqui Mayu Clinic.

Chaqui Mayu Clinic

Chaqui Mayu is a rural community in the Campero province, department of Cochabamba – about a 4-hour drive southeast of the city of Cochabamba (30% of Mano a Mano’s clinics are between a 3 and 10-hour drive away from Cochabamba). The Chaqui Mayu clinic joins Mano a Mano’s network of 167 clinics throughout Bolivia. Mano a Mano’s network of clinics average nearly 1 million patient visits each year.

Providing Access to Health Care for 943 People

Before the construction of this clinic there was no health care infrastructure in Chaqui Mayu; staff from the nearby town of Aiquile at the Hospital Municipal Carmen Lopez del Municipio de Aiquile would organize mobile visits to Chaqui Mayu, which made it more of a challenge for residents to have consistent access to health care.

Our clinic program’s approach is that health outcomes can be dramatically improved with simple yet effective interventions, beginning with the basic ability to consistently access quality services in their own communities.

As a Mano a Mano clinic, it will have Volunteer Health Promoter Training and Continuing Health Education workshops provided through our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia; it will also receive equipment and supplies to ensure that it is fully-furnished, and is connected with Mano a Mano Bolivia medical staff via radio for help with any difficult cases or issues.

Staff from the Gastroenterology Hospital of Cochabamba attend a continuing health education workshop with Mano a Mano Bolivia on December 9-10, 2017.

Working Together to Make These Projects Possible

Every project that Mano a Mano does, including this clinic in Chaqui Mayu, depends on many people working together (read more about our partnership model here). We are very grateful to everyone that has been involved in this project in some way!

The Chaqui Mayu clinic project was a collaboration with:

  • our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia (who oversees and manages the project from inception to completion)
  • Gobierno Autonomo Municipal de Aiquile
  • Medical Educators for Latin America – CDA, Idaho
  • community of Chaqui Mayu