The 100 year flooding of 2014 in the tropical area of Beni devastated the minimal road and bridge infrastructure the communities of San Lorenzo and surrounding areas depended on. Even prior to this flooding, the community of San Lorenzo had been requesting assistance from Mano a Mano to build bridges and improve the road infrastructure the community of San Lorenzo relied on to access outside services.
San Lorenzo is a Focal Point of our Aviation Program
Mano a Mano’s heavy equipment is in the area and responding to fix the damaged roadbed. The floods also washed away various bridges. Instead of building bridges, Mano a Mano personnel are installing cement rings (which were essentially donated from another project) as outlets for the water to escape under the roadbed.
Starting with the Most Critical Repairs
Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo (Mano a Mano’s counterpart organization that concentrates on economic development projects) is currently just doing the most critical repairs so that trucks can use the road. At some point, the roadbed itself will have to be raised throughout its 30-kilometer length. Also, more rings would have to be located and transported to the region to protect the roadbed from future erosion.
Improving Access to the Outside Word for 1,000 Families
About 1,000 families live in San Lorenzo. They currently have access to the outside world only by air or by water when rains diminish and water transport is safer. The road will make it possible for farmers to get their produce out of the area and to access health care. Having a reliable road would decrease the need and demand for our aviation support.
Mano a Mano will look for funding to be able to respond more fully to this request. The current work is only improving conditions so trucks can travel safely during the dry season.
San Lorenzo Road Project – Pictures
Mano a Mano Road Projects
Every project that we do is based on our partnership model, which starts with requests from communities. Building or improving roads is one of our major project areas; to date we have built or improved 870 miles of road in rural Bolivia. The size and scope of road projects varies from large projects like a 56-kilometer road in El Palmar (check out the video below), to smaller improvement projects like this current project in San Lorenzo.