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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Emergency Air Rescues in 2010

One of Mano a Mano's core programs in Bolivia is its aviation programThis is a critical component of our work due to the unique challenges of traveling in Bolivia. Bolivia has a very minimal road network. Only one two-lane roads connects the country’s capital to other major cities; tropical regions have almost no roads. Rivers connect some tropical settlements but their width, rapid current, and large amount of debris present danger to even the most experienced boaters. Small aircraft transport has become the mode of choice for reaching into these areas.

Goals of Mano a Mano aviation program:

  • Provide safe, efficient and reliable air transport to support Mano a Mano’s programs in rural Bolivia;
  • Increase aviation capacity in Bolivia by training pilots and technicians;
  • Create and operate an emergency response program;
  • Generate income to help cover operating costs by maintaining other aircraft, transporting cargo, and flying private individuals.
Using two Cessna 206 six passenger aircraft, Mano a Mano transports:

  • Medical professionals into remote tropical communities to conduct weekend clinics for tribal groups that have no other access to health care;
  • Ill and injured patients from isolated areas to urban hospitals for emergency medical care;
  • Staff and volunteers to distant communities that request the opportunity to partner with Mano a Mano on a project; 
  • Emergency supplies of food, medicine and medical supplies and other desperately needed items to regions that have experienced a flood or other natural disaster.
In 2010, we provided emergency air rescue to 266 Bolivians! Each case is unique and presents different challenges; read about one of our recent flights where we airlifted a family in the tropical community of Ushbe whose house was crushed by a tree.

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