El Palmar Road
Mano a Mano built a 56.6-kilometer (37 mile) road project in the municipality of Culpina, department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. In addition to Culpina’s 3,090 residents, we estimate that another 18,000 individuals will use this road as they transport both people and produce from one region of Bolivia to another.
EL Palmar Road connects this isolated region, for the first time, to main roads that travel to Cochabamba, Tarija, and Santa Cruz, each of which has major markets for produce.
Prior to having a road, residents of El Palmar’s rugged mountains filled with dense semi-tropical vegetation were extremely isolated. Bringing materials into the area was extraordinarily difficult and expensive, and farmers could only get their crops to market “in the bellies of their hogs”.
The core goals of building this road, for Mano a Mano, were to improve access for residents to larger markets and improve families’ incomes, while also drastically reducing travel times (before the direct route the new road provides, travelers would have to drive hundreds of kilometers out of their way to travel around this impassable region; driving from St. Paul, MN to Omaha, NE to reach Fargo, ND would be an approximate U.S. equivalent). But we are very impressed by the many other projects underway that the road made possible.
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