The Medical Surplus Program is What Started Mano a Mano 20+ Years Ago

Mano a Mano was started more than 20 years ago with the simple goal of saving surplus medical supplies from Minnesota landfills and sending them to Bolivia, where we knew that they were needed and could be put to good use. This program continues to be extremely important to support Mano a Mano’s projects, and to help people & organizations throughout Bolivia. We collect and ship more than 100,000 pounds of supplies from Minnesota to Bolivia each year:

Putting Mano a Mano Supplies to Use in Bolivia: Rodrigo’s Broken Arm

Recently, Dr. Lorenzo Parada shared the story of Rodrigo Suarez Nogales at his Inmaculada Concepcion Health Center in Baures (in the video above, Dr. Parada is interviewed beginning at the 1:37 mark). Baures is located in the Itenez de Beni province, department of Beni, about 200 kilometers from Trinidad – 10 hours by road or 1 hour by plane.

Rodrigo is 7 years old, and had suffered broken bones in his forearm when he was leaving a dance. Dr. Parada treated the fracture at his office with a splint, bandaged it, and put his arm in a sling. Rodrigo and his mom returned home, relieved. She was happy, despite the fracture, because in this difficult time there were proper supplies available.

Without the supplies from Mano a Mano, more than likely they would have put a board or a stick on Rodrigo’s arm, wrapped it with a rag, and sent him home. In locations like Baures, an X-Ray isn’t even dreamed about.

Rodrigo after receiving care for his broken arm.

Rodrigo after receiving care for his broken arm.


Getting these supplies from the donor in the United States to the people that need them in Bolivia, like Rodrigo, is a long process. We are grateful to everyone that makes this process work: from the volunteers in Minnesota that sort & pack supplies, to the donors that help pay for the shipments, to the Mano a Mano staff & volunteers, to the doctors like Dr. Parada that put these supplies to use.

Thank you!