Welcome to Mano a Mano's Blog!

Welcome to our blog, where we will be sharing the latest updates and stories about Mano a Mano International Partners. To learn more about us, please visit our website.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Co-Founder Segundo Velasquez Recognized by Metro State

Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez was recently recognized by Metropolitan State University as one of "40 Alumni Who've Made a Difference!

"Segundo Velasquez ('92) founded Mano a Mano International Partners in 1994 to improve health care in his native Bolivia and has led the organization on a pro bono basis since that time. From "kitchen table" beginnings, Mano a Mano has grown into an organization that makes health care available to more than 700,000 rural Bolivians, builds water reservoirs and roads to increase economic well-being, and provides emergency air transport to remote regions"

Congratulations Segundo!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mano a Mano's 123rd Health Clinic in Kumara, Bolivia

On September 10, 2011 we dedicated our 123rd health clinic in the community of Kumara, Bolivia. Our staff at Mano a Mano Bolivia put together a video of the entire process from start to finish:

You can learn more about our community health clinic model here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We have a new plane!

This week, after a long search, Mano a Mano has purchased a twin-engine airplane for our aviation program in Bolivia. This is a huge step forward for us and will greatly enhance our capabilities.

Mano a Mano's new plane!

To this point, Mano a Mano has flown two Cessna 206 planes for our emergency air rescue, jornada, and commercial flights. Both of these planes are single-engine planes, and while they will continue to be utilized in our program, having a twin-engine plane has numerous benefits. First, a twin-engine plane is safer. Because of the improved safety, we are now able to provide flights to organizations and businesses whose insurance plans only permit them to fly in twin-engine planes, which will provide a new source of revenue. Second, a twin-engine plane can fly further and faster, increasing our range to include other countries that border Bolivia and also decrease travel time on all flights. Third, the new plane is much larger, with 10 seats. Not only does this provide more passenger space, it also allows us to have more comfortable transport for passengers on emergency flights; we can now transport patients on a gurney rather than force them into a regular seat.

We are very excited to what this new plane will mean for all of Mano a Mano. Our aviation program is an integral part of our whole program: Bolivian medical professionals use the Mano a Mano plane to get to weekend health clinics in distant rural areas, shortening travel time to allow more time with patients; heavy equipment operators will now be able to purchase new parts and have them flown to construction sites in a matter of hours rather than days by car; and travelers to Bolivia will have a safer and more convenient mode of transport to see more of Bolivia.

We especially want to thank the donors and foundations who dedicated their time and resources to make this dream of ours become a reality!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


As we celebrate our 17th year this weekend, we continue to be amazed at what a small group of dedicated people in the US and Bolivia can accomplish! Here are just a few of our acheivements since we started in 1994:

  • 120,272 - volunteer hours in the US since 1994
  • 2,180,061 - pounds of surplus medical supplies shipped to Bolivia
  • $10.1 million - value of this surplus
  • 123 - number of clinics built in Bolivia. 115 of these clinics are financially independent and do not rely on any funding from Mano a Mano. (All clinics receive continuing health education and medical supplies on an ongoing basis.)
  • 14,065 deliveries with 0 maternal deaths and 0.5% infant mortality rate (average infant mortality rate in rural Bolivia is 8%)
  • Schools, teacher housing, and community sanitation projects in 42 communities
  • Built 3 large water reservoirs and 153 atajados (small water ponds)
  • Constructed or improved over 1,400 kilometers of roads
  • 962 emergency flights

Thanks to everyone that has been a part of Mano a Mano!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekend Health Clinics

As part of our integrated approach to improving health, Mano a Mano provides jornadas, or weekend health clinics, in rural areas of Bolivia that have no access to health services. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and other medical professionals from Bolivia volunteer hundreds of hours of their time with Mano a Mano Bolivia traveling on weekends to some of the most remote areas of the country to provide free basic healthcare. They also give educational workshops on treatment and prevention of prevalent diseases in the area, such as malaria, dengue fever, chagas, leishmaniasis, and tuberculosis. Mano a Mano Bolivia volunteers usually fly to the jornada sites on the Mano a Mano plane; the trip can often be 15-20 hours each way on treacherous mountain roads, whereas flying reduces travel time to an hour or two, allowing more time to be spent with patients.

Jornada volunteers

Mano a Mano volunteer Nemecio evaluating a baby