Paul Cormier, a mountain guide from New Hampshire, and his team just returned back to the US from their annual climbing expedition in Bolivia. Paul’s trip was more than mountain climbing; two years ago, during one of his climbing trips in Bolivia, Paul heard about Mano a Mano’s work and asked how he could help. Paul and his fellow travelers wanted to give something back to the community of Chunavi, where they had set up base camp during their climbing expeditions. Chunavi is a small village more than 13,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, located a few hours’ drive from La Paz. Last year they began the Chunavi Fund, which was dedicated to raising enough money in the US to build a community health clinic in Chunavi. The clinic project would be built using our collaborative approach involving Mano a Mano, the community of Chunavi, the Municipal Government, and the Bolivian Health Ministry.
The Chunavi Fund was very successful, and now, one year later the project is done! The clinic is fully equipped with medical supplies and equipment, and has a full-time RN; soon a physician will also be hired by the local municipality. The entire community came out for the dedication ceremony last week to celebrate its completion, and Paul Cormier and his group traveled to Bolivia to attend the dedication. This is Mano a Mano’s 120th clinic in Bolivia. The local community and municipality were heavily involved throughout the process, volunteering nearly 4,000 hours during construction. Thanks to everyone who made this project happen!