We just sent out our monthly newsletter, which you can check out here, or by continuing reading the post below. Each headline is a link to a more detailed post with more information. Check back regularly to learn more about Mano a Mano’s activities (and feel free to contact us).

What Does Mano a Mano Do?

We regularly share updates about our day-to-day work here on our website and on social media. This post shares in more detail what Mano a Mano does overall as an organization: our mission, how our work addresses the needs of Bolivian communities, the partnership-based approach we use, and how we are structured.

3 of Mano a Mano’s 4 counterparts are based on the same plot of land in El Abra, Cochabamba

Marking the Completion of the Toro Toro Airstrip on May 21st, 2021

After months of COVID-related construction and project delays, the Toro Toro runway is open for business! Local residents and Mano a Mano personnel marked the completion of this exceptionally challenging project on May 21, 2021.

Dedication brochure for the improved runway in Toro Toro, Bolivia.

Celebrating the Initiation of Mano a Mano Projects in Bolivia’s Municipality of Punata

Mano a Mano plans to construct several projects in the Cochabamba Valley’s Punata region over the next three years: another expansion of the flat-land based Laguna Sulti agricultural water reservoir; a new public school; a deep well for potable water; 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).

SAR taking part in the celebration on May 12, 2021.

Area farmers have seen and experienced the benefits that the Laguna Sulti reservoir has brought to those who have had access to its water. They have requested partnership with Mano a Mano on additional projects, recognizing the opportunity to transform their communities. In response, our Bolivian staff have been meeting and planning these projects with municipal officials and community leaders during the past year, as possible, given restrictions related to the pandemic. On May 12, following a productive harvest, the leaders of this community decided to celebrate their expanded partnership with Mano a Mano. Officials and leaders made speeches, bands played, Save and Rescue (SAR) volunteers parachuted from a rented aircraft onto a local field to demonstrate how they rescue injured persons from inaccessible spaces, and local chicheras served their corn brew throughout the day and evening.

Providing Weekend Health Clinics in Rural Bolivia

Mano a Mano recruits medical professionals to spend a weekend providing healthcare in rural areas with limited access to healthcare. Three to eight volunteers, along with a pilot, fly to a prearranged airstrip location on an early Saturday morning, and return home the next day. Learn more about a few of our most recent weekend health clinics, transporting volunteer medical professionals to provide care in rural communities in the department of Beni in May.

Jornada in Trinidad – March 13-14, 2021

Impact of Jusku Molle Water Reservoir One Decade Later

As part of a request for Mano a Mano’s support on new water projects last month, we also received a letter from the Jusku Molle community about the impact the water project we completed in 2012 has had for them. We are always happy to see the sustainable impact these projects have for communities.

Jusku Molle reservoir filled with water.

Distributing Medical Supplies and Equipment in Bolivia – March/April 2021

Mano a Mano distributes medical supplies and equipment throughout Bolivia on a near-daily basis. There are a few donations from recent weeks detailed at the link above.

Mano a Mano transporting medical supplies and equipment on our plane to the Municipality of Baures in the department of Beni, April 23rd, 2021.

Mano a Mano Technical Training Programs for Construction and Aviation

Just as Mano a Mano’s clinics require highly trained physicians, nurses and dentists, our water and road projects simply could not happen without skilled mechanics and machine operators. For years we recruited technicians who already had work experience; they had essentially been trained by others. When a simple but costly mistake happened, we decided to create our own training program.

Pato Enyo. Pato says, “If lucky, I might have earned $B700 (about $US100) a month at some point in my life. Now, with my training, I earn $B2,500 (about $US360) at Mano a Mano”. Pato is one of two students who have graduated from this budding program. Mano a Mano has hired both of them.

Reducing Waste in Minnesota, Improving Lives in Bolivia and Beyond

The vast majority of the donated supplies and equipment we receive at our Minnesota warehouse (90%+) is shipped to Bolivia. Our core mission is to help communities in Bolivia, and that will continue to be our focus. But we are happy to partner with other organizations when we have excess supplies, items that we cannot send to Bolivia, or items that are not the highest priority for our programs. Ultimately, we want to keep these supplies out of the landfill in Minnesota, and get them to people in need. In 2020, we helped provide supplies locally in the Twin Cities and to organizations working in other countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Cameroon. And sharing our excess supplies has continued into 2021 with these local medical equipment distributions. Thanks to the many people in Minnesota and Bolivia that work so hard to make these shipments possible!

PTs, Mano a Mano volunteers, and Mano a Mano Co-Founder Joan Velasquez meeting during our recent giveaway on May 8th at our St. Paul warehouse.