Thank you for being a part of Mano a Mano! Together – “hand in hand” – we can help Bolivian communities in ways that none of us could do on our own.
Like last year, 2021 has been another challenging year, but we are grateful to you for helping Mano a Mano continue to partner with Bolivian communities – on projects they request & ultimately own – to improve their lives.
2021: Year in Review
Together, We Help Hundreds of Thousands of People in Bolivia
- Mano a Mano celebrated the initiation of the “Punata Regional Complex” – 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); a new public school (50% complete); a deep well for potable water (complete); a three-mile road; infrastructure needed for moving our aviation program from the Cochabamba airport; and preparation for a rural Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA).
- Mano a Mano’s network of 176 clinics will have nearly one million patient visits this year. We currently have 4 clinic projects under construction.
- Mano a Mano’s 500+ water reservoirs, water ponds, and wells provide consistent access to water for 65,000+ people in rural Bolivia. We currently have multiple deep water wells underway, and recently completed a water reservoir expansion.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia benefit from Mano a Mano’s health, education, water, road, aviation, food & farming, and medical surplus distribution programs!
What Mano a Mano Does: Create Partnerships
- Collect donated medical supplies and equipment in Minnesota for shipment to Bolivia where they are donated to people & organizations throughout the country. Supplies are also distributed to people in need in the Twin Cities, and to other nonprofits.
- Construct schools & clinics in partnership with local communities.
- Construct water projects (reservoirs, wells, water ponds) in partnership with local communities.
- Construct and improve roads in partnership with local communities.
- Provide flights in cases of emergency, and transport medical professionals for weekend health clinics, primarily in the Bolivian Amazon.
- Provide training & tools for rural Bolivian farmers through our Center for Ecological Agriculture in Cochabamba.
- Provide training, maintenance, & support programs to complement infrastructure projects.
Mano a Mano has completed many new projects in 2021, with many more projects underway and planned for the future across our five counterpart organizations. The hundreds of projects we have built over the past 27+ years continue to operate as intended, providing access to quality services – water, food, health care, transportation, education – that are basic human rights for rural Bolivian communities. But none of this is easy. Some of these projects are years in the making; our staff traveled to one community to meet with leaders dozens of times, before we ever reached the point of signing a partnership agreement and raising enough funds for the project (and raising funds – which kickstarts every Mano a Mano project – is a never-ending process).
Our projects are spread throughout Bolivia, so our staff regularly drives 8+ hours each way to visit sites, and with larger projects they may stay on site for weeks at a time. Our heavy equipment and vehicles break down regularly due to heavy use in difficult conditions. As one recent example, to replace 2 tires on our front end loader ($2,500 apiece!), they are so big they wouldn’t fit on our plane, so instead of a 30-minute flight it was a 25-hour trip by truck one way – from the worksite to one of the few cities in Bolivia that carries these supplies. (And they often don’t have the required items at all in Bolivia, which is why many items for repair & maintenance of our heavy equipment and aviation program are bought and shipped from the US.) Shipping costs have increased dramatically over the past 12-18 months; one container would cost ~$2,500 to purchase up until 2020; they are now ~$6,300 (+150%!), with shipping & Bolivian Customs costs having similar increases. We have still shipped 7 containers this year.
Of course, COVID has been the biggest added challenge. We have not traveled to Bolivia or hosted any events in nearly 2 years, and we have had to cut back on our volunteers in the office, who we depend on to collect and organize medical supplies to ship to Bolivia. Restrictions, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders have been regular occurrences in Bolivia, and have delayed and limited many of our projects and programs.
But thanks to you and many others, we are still able to get things done. Mano a Mano consists of only a couple of paid staff in the US, and we depend on you – our volunteers and donors – to be able to partner with Bolivian communities. We are extremely grateful for your support!
– Nate Knatterud-Hubinger, Executive Director, [email protected]