In the US, millions of pounds of usable supplies – from medical items like gowns and gloves to other items like school supplies and construction equipment – are thrown away every year. Meanwhile, the rural poverty rate in rural Bolivia is up to 94%, and the most basic supplies can make a huge difference in improving someone’s life. Since 1994, Mano a Mano has collected donated supplies in Minnesota and shipped them to Bolivia, where they are distributed to Mano a Mano’s network of 173+ health clinics and other infrastructure projects throughout the country. A large portion of these supplies are also distributed, free-of-charge, to other nonprofit/governmental organizations and individuals in need. With the COVID-19 pandemic, these supplies are in higher demand than ever.
Mano a Mano builds new clinic, school, road, and water projects in rural Bolivia every year, and we are committed to having every project be sustainable, with staffing, training, adequate equipment & supplies, and ongoing maintenance in place.
Your donation helps Mano a Mano ship donated supplies from the US and distribute them in Bolivia, which:
Mano a Mano's mission is to create partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities that improve health and increase economic well-being. Our projects focus on basic needs that improve many different components affecting a communities' quality of life. Every project we do is done in collaboration with the community; they are expected to contribute funding and volunteer labor, and they are responsible for co-administration of the project upon its completion. In this way we ensure that there is local support and that the project will last over the long-term. We have built more than 300 projects throughout Bolivia over the past decade, and every single one of these projects is still in operation today.
The surplus program was what started Mano a Mano; Mano a Mano's co-founder, Segundo Velasquez, was born in Bolivia and grew up there before moving to Minnesota as an adult. His brother Jose, a pediatrician working in Bolivia, would ask Segundo to bring medical supplies back home whenever he traveled back to visit family. Over the years the amounts grew from a few items in a suitcase to 32 boxes! In 1994 Segundo and his wife and Mano a Mano co-founder Joan Velasquez (a former Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia) came together with friends & family to collect enough surplus medical supplies and equipment to equip the hospital in Bolivia that Jose managed.
From our humble beginnings collecting surplus medical supplies with a volunteer staff of Joan and Segundo's friends and family in the US & Bolivia, we have now grown into constructing large-scale infrastructure projects throughout Bolivia, while continuing to ensure that each project is well-equipped and maintained, and that training and education are provided for as well.
It takes a community and you are a huge part of that community. Your financial support is critical in making these projects that communities have dreamed about for years become a reality. Every pencil or notebook donated to a child in school, every wheelchair or pair of crutches given to a disabled Bolivian, can make a tremendous impact. Shipping and distributing donated supplies allows Mano a Mano to equip our projects that benefit hundreds of thousands of Bolivians each year, help out other groups in Bolivia working with those in need, and reduce waste in the US.
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