Across our 5 counterpart organizations in St. Paul and Cochabamba, Mano a Mano has been busy! Here are a few updates on some of our projects in recent weeks:

Shipping 3 Containers of Medical Supplies to Bolivia

Mano a Mano is making our first 2022 shipment of medical supplies and equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia next week! We will be loading 3 40-foot containers, which will be distributed to people and organizations in need throughout Bolivia. Shipping costs continue to be much higher since before the start of the pandemic, but the items we are sending are always in very high demand. The Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Cochabamba came to our warehouse in Cochabamba for a distribution of medical supplies and equipment for Cochabamba-area clinics and ambulances in February 2022 – the type of distribution we make in Bolivia on a regular basis. Below are a few pickups and distributions from our St. Paul warehouse over the past month:

Receiving a donation of mobility equipment from St Vincent De Paul at Mano a Mano’s warehouse, March 2022.

Loading supplies for Helping Hands at Mano a Mano’s warehouse, February 2022.

Donating mobility equipment to the Park Nicollet Foundation at Mano a Mano’s warehouse, February 2022.

Dedicating New Schools and Clinics

Over the next few weeks, our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia will be formally dedicating a new school and 2 new clinic projects. Learn more about this program here.

Mano a Mano’s new 2-story school in Chirusi Rosario will be formally dedicated in the next few weeks.

Mano a Mano’s new clinic in Estano Colorado will be formally dedicated in the next few weeks.

Mano a Mano’s clinic in Guadalupe, which will be dedicated at the end of March.

Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA)

We have been making a few new additions to our Center for Ecological Agriculture!

A mini-kitchen that has been put together as a demonstration at the CEA. The biodigester is producing heat for the burner on which one of the students is boiling a potato-like vegetable. The mini-kitchen is made of recycled wood, pop bottles, and a biodigestor, along with a sink with no plumbing. The students are agronomy interns.

The dormitories pictured below are built into the new office building at the CEA. The new office building incorporates two apartments, and each apartment has two bedrooms. Right now we have 15 students from Eterrazama staying there; in the future, we could house up to 30 students at a time. Students from Norway are coming in November to stay at the CEA. They will volunteer with the PT program and Recovered Resources distribution program, which are managed by our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Internacional.

Bedroom for students at Mano a Mano’s new office building.

Bedroom for students at Mano a Mano’s new office building.

Bedroom for students at Mano a Mano’s new office building.

Reports for All Programs in 2021

We have completed our program summaries for each of our major programs and their work in 2021. Check out our Annual Report here.

Water Projects and Punata Regional Complex

Our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo has been busy completing deep water well projects, as well as working on a variety of projects at our Punata Regional Complex, which includes:

Mano a Mano workers reached a depth of 90 meters for a deep water well in Juzgado Chico, February 2022.

Mano a Mano initiated an airstrip project in 2021: the runway that will serve Mano a Mano’s Aviation program when it moves to the Punata Regional Complex. The sub-base of this runway has been formed with a clay/dirt/sand mixture dredged from the bottom of the Laguna Sulti Reservoir when it was deepened last year by Mano a Mano. Though this runway requires further surfacing, it is already usable for small aircraft, like this landing with Mano a Mano’s Cessna Caravan in February 2022.

Mano a Mano’s water reservoir and its multiple expansions in Laguna Sulti, Bolivia provides water for over 600 families in 13 communities.

Around the Web

A few updates about Mano a Mano from around the web:

Awesome Foundation Grant

Thanks to The Awesome Foundation for supporting Mano a Mano with a grant to create a native plant garden that attracts native bees, butterflies, and birds. Here’s a link about the project on their website.

BizRecycling Grant – Video

Mano a Mano received a BizRecycling grant to support our Recovered Resources program in St. Paul, Minnesota, which collects medical supplies and equipment destined for Minnesota landfills and ships them to Bolivia, where they are distributed to people and organizations in need throughout the country:

Article from Macalester Plymouth United Church

Thanks Macalester Plymouth United Church for their nice “Update on Mano a Mano International”! Read the update here.

“In 1996, friends, including many from MPUC, contributed funds to Mano a Mano International in honor of long-time MPUC member Gloria MacRae. Funds were raised in honor of Gloria’s 70th birthday to construct a rural health clinic in Cochabamba, Bolivia.”

This picture is Gloria MacRae visiting one of the Mano a Mano clinics in Bolivia built with her support in 2000 (she is in the middle, wearing tan pants, to the right of Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez). Gloria celebrated her 95th birthday last year; for every birthday since 1996, it’s become a tradition for Gloria to encourage friends to make a donation to Mano a Mano in her honor, which we wrote about here.

Thanks St. Kate’s Community Work & Learning

Providing Emergency Flights and Transporting Cargo – January 2022

In the month of January, Mano a Mano’s aviation program provided 16 emergency flights and transported 12,400 pounds of cargo. There were plenty of challenges: Bolivia was dealing with a heavy wave of COVID and many of our staff tested positive; there were strikes in the aviation industry; and January and February always have lighter numbers due to bad weather. But we still provided flights as we were able, and also spent additional time on maintenance. Learn more about our aviation program here, and watch the video: