The Situation

Mano a Mano is a US-based NGO that specializes in community-based infrastructure projects in Bolivia. Mano a Mano works with local constituents who provide partial funding and labor, in this case, the Culpina municipality and six local communities while Mano a Mano provides additional funds, equipment, and engineers.

In 2012, in conjunction with Mano a Mano-Nuevo Mundo, its Bolivian economic development counterpart, it undertook construction of a 60 km road. When completed, this road – the first in the region – will connect 18,180 residents to three major city markets, reducing travel time for the most isolated communities from two days via horseback to two hours by truck.

The Roadblock

When Mano a Mano contacted Open Road, the construction was fully funded, 40 out of 60 km had been built and the project was on schedule. At this point, a hundred-year, out-of-season flood washed out a partially-completed portion of the road and damaged the heavy equipment that was on the site. Since Mano a Mano owns all of its own equipment, the damage jeopardized not only this current road project but future planned projects as well.

Like many NGOs, Mano a Mano did not have extra funds in its annual budget to cover the additional costs to repair the equipment and was thus faced with the decision to either reallocate money from another program – thereby shorting that budget – or risk being unable to complete the road.

Open Road's Response

A $100,000 grant from Open Road allowed Mano a Mano to repair the heavy machinery, vehicle, and diesel pumps that had been damaged by the flood. Road construction was completed in June 2014.

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