Help us create lasting, community-driven solutions for Bolivians that improve lives dramatically
Mano a Mano is a Small Nonprofit that has a Huge Impact in Bolivia
We started in 1994 as a group of friends with the goal of saving surplus medical supplies from the landfill in Minnesota and shipping them to Bolivia, where we knew these supplies were desperately needed and could be used immediately.
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 and family to collect enough surplus medical supplies and equipment to equip the hospital in Bolivia that Jose managed.
Mano a Mano Today
From our humble beginnings collecting surplus medical supplies with a volunteer staff of Joan and Segundo's friends and family in the US and 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.
What our Projects Do
Our projects focus on basic needs that improve many different components affecting a communities' quality of life, including health, education, sanitation, water, and empowerment. 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.
How Your Donation Helps
Every project that we do in Bolivia starts with a request from a community for a need that they have identified (clinic, school, road, etc.). They are heavily involved in the project, from volunteer labor to providing a portion of the funding.
But we can only do each project with seed money from you. Your donation kick-starts the entire process and allows Mano a Mano to begin work on a project; having a base of funding in place motivates all groups involved to see that their hoped-for project can become a reality, and pushes them to do their part. Mano a Mano is able to accomplish a lot on a very limited budget thanks to our collaborative approach (you can get an idea of what we are able to do by looking at the donation amounts information).
There are many communities in Bolivia that are on our waiting list for a project. With your support we can reach one more of these communities and provide quality projects that dramatically improve their lives.
Supporting a Specific Project
At any point in time Mano a Mano has a variety of projects that are either planned or already underway.
If you would like to support a specific project (e.g. sending a container of donated medical supplies, building a school, clinic, road, or water project, emergency air rescue), please be sure to check out one of our project pages or to note your choice in the designations box - adding designations and dedications is on the second page after you select a donation amount and click the “Donate” button.