To be able to partner with Bolivian communities on projects that they request from Mano a Mano and ultimately own themselves, Mano a Mano depends on our skilled staff and machinery (in addition to funding!) as our contraparte alongside the community, so that we can complete projects like deep water wells, among others.

In 2017, Nuevo Mundo drilled its first deep well, one that reached a depth of 150 feet. Two years later, we purchased a much larger rig which has drilled to a depth of 350 feet. The drill has quite a track record: completing 24 deep well projects that provide water to 33,380 people.

Drilling through hard rock has taken a toll on this machine; repairing it has presented unusual
challenges. Once hauled to our repair shop, the mechanics could see that an entire overhaul would be needed.

Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo’s warehouse and machine shop in Cochabamba.

But the overhaul repair kit is not available for purchase in Bolivia. To get the kit ASAP, Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo mechanics Daniel and Jorge searched for a supplier near the Bolivian border and located one in the Puno, Peru area, near the high-altitude Lake Titicaca which Peru and Bolivia share. A purchase in Puno would require a 4-day round trip with the Nuevo Mundo pickup, one they felt was worth the time and effort.

After some additional and unfortunate challenges on their trip through El Alto, Daniel and Jorge drove on to the shore of Lake Titicaca, crossed the lake in a canoe, then rented a bicitaxi (a bicycle taxi) to take them to the supplier’s office.

They purchased the kit they had ordered, returned to the Lake Titicaca shore, and repeated the journey. Having reached their pickup safely, they returned to Cochabamba with no problems, new kit in hand. Daniel and Jorge have been assembling and installing the kit in Cochabamba, with the drill now getting very close to being back to operational – a typical challenge Mano a Mano deals with on a daily basis. We are so grateful to everyone that is a part of Mano a Mano to make this work possible.

Maintenance and repairs are a never-ending process!

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