The mission statement of Mano A Mano Bolivia is 'Creating partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities that improve health and increase economic well-being. '1
Mano A Mano Bolivia is dedicated to promoting health and education to one of the poorest countries in the world. One of the best ways to do this is to provide a sustainable source of water for impoverished Bolivian communities.
With Mano a Mano, community leaders will create a water cooperative that will schedule water release to their fields, assume responsibility for reservoir maintenance, establish a fee system and manage funds collected by the cooperative.
Fees received by the cooperative will sustain the reservoir over the long term.
The Punata municipality has an established water regulation syndicate that currently manages release of water from the Quinsa Mayu River and will continue to oversee its distribution.
Mano A Mano is starting work on a water reservoir in Sancayani, Bolivia.
When done, it will channel more than 10,000,000 cubic meters of water and will serve about 25,000 people.
Mano A Mano's water reservoir in Choquechampi, Bolivia is 90 percent complete and will hold 800,000 cubic meters of water. It will provide 400 local families with water to irrigate their fields.
Mano A Mano expects the average family income to double or triple in the first year, due to increased crop quality and ability to harvest.
Mano a Mano, in collaboration with the Omereque Municipal Government, is also building 136 atajados.
These small water ponds are shared by 2-3 families each and provide water for their cattle and fields.
The families provide the labor with Mano a Mano supplying engineering advice and heavy equipment. 30 have been completed to date.
Mano A Mano[edit | edit source]
Residents of Bolivia's rural communities struggle to survive in economic and political environments in which they are often isolated and powerless.
In partnership with local communities and their municipal government officials, Mano a Mano implements a low-cost approach to constructing roads and water reservoirs, as well as to building and operating clinics, sanitation facilities, schools and teacher housing.
Community residents participate in all aspects of planning, construction, and operation of these projects.
While Mano a Mano seeks and provides funding for construction, machinery, and skilled labor, community volunteers contribute thousands of hours of unskilled labor and any locally available building materials such as sand or gravel.
The local government and community residents will contribute a portion of funding for fuel for the heavy equipment.
Community residents agree to provide four-ten volunteers for eight hours daily for a projected 350-day period to work on the project until it is completed. Last year residents contributed nearly 80,000 hours to construction projects.
The agreement among project participants becomes the blueprint for ongoing relationships between Mano a Mano and its partners.
By the time the project has been completed, residents will have developed an intense pride in their accomplishments and a view of themselves as competent individuals who can make things happen.
Mano a Mano uses every available opportunity to stimulate community involvement, reinforcing this sense of ownership of and responsibility for projects, and focusing on their long-term viability.
History[edit | edit source]
Mano a Mano Bolivia started in the United States by Ivo Velasquez.
The Velasquez family, based in Minnesota, began to collect and supply medical equipment to Bolivia in order to improve health services.
In 1994, two foundations were founded: Mano a Mano USA and Mano a Mano Bolivia.
From 1996 to 1999, Mano a Mano Bolivia constructed two health clinics per year on a consistent basis. Deliveries of increasing amounts of medical equipment collected by volunteers in the US and distributed by volunteers in Bolivia continued.
Mano a Mano presented the donor with the idea of constructing 30 integrated projects over a 7-year time period.
These projects would include health infrastructure, education of health promotion, continued education of health personnel, mobile clinics for remote areas, improvement and opening of roads to health clinics and the distribution of medical equipment.
However, the rapid development of the projects of Mano a Mano Bolivia and the success in coordination with local authorities and communities accelerated the work, allowing them to complete our plan in only four years.
The surprisingly stabile and sustainable results of our projects made possible a major expansion of our initial plan, which now includes more than 100 health infrastructure projects, 40 educational infrastructure projects, roads, airstrips, and 3 diverse health education programs.
Donate[edit | edit source]
Deborah Sweeney: "Mano a Mano is truly bicultural and effective. When they do something, it makes sense, it's done right and in true partnership with local communities."
Christine Verploeg: "I support Mano A Mano International Partners because they have a track record of creating miracles with very few resources. Their overhead is the lowest I have ever encountered--so low it's incredible--and their impact is terrific."
Affiliates[edit | edit source]
Mano A Mano is comprised of four entities
Mano A Mano Bolivia: Health and Education for rural Bolivians
Mano A Mano Mundo: Builds infrastructure such a roads and reservoirs
Mano A Mano International: Focuses on micro credit and reforestation
Mano A Mano Apoyo Aero: Handles medical evacuations and brings medical supplies to hard to reach rural areas.
Board Members and Staff[edit | edit source]
Dr. José Velásquez U., Executive Director Dr. Edwin López A., Vice President Aida Surez T., Treasurer Dr. Ruth Sanabria M., Secretary of Record Dr. Hugo Castrillo M., Vocal
The staff includes doctors, engineers, architects, administrative professionals,
mechanics, drivers, and most importantly, volunteers from the local areas and abroad.