Growing up in rural Bolivia, young Roly Mamani built his own toys because his family lived in poverty. Now a 34-year-old engineer, he uses his skills to 3D print limbs for Indigenous people who have suffered life-changing injuries. He funds this work by selling robotic toys he creates. In his workshop, Mamani works hard to improve people’s quality of life, like a young boy who lost his arm in an accident.

Raised on a farm in Achocalla, Mamani built his first remote-controlled toy car in primary school. Eventually, he attended public university and started building robotic toys and teaching tools. He was inspired to create prosthetic limbs when he heard about a man without hands. Since 2018, he has made over 400 prostheses, many of them donated or sold at cost.

In Bolivia, a 3D-printed prosthesis may cost up to $1,500, far beyond the reach of many. However, the country’s public health system doesn’t cover these expenses. Mamani chooses who receives his donated prostheses, usually focusing on underprivileged people with dangerous jobs.

Mamani’s efforts have been a blessing for recipients like 59-year-old Pablo Matha, who lost his sight and right hand in a mining accident. The prosthesis gave him back his self-respect, and he now earns a living playing the guitar. Another beneficiary, 26-year-old Marco Antonio Nina, found renewed joy in singing with his prosthetic limb.

Earning recognition for his work, Mamani received a US robotics scholarship. He now wants to establish a rehabilitation center and develop his own technology.

Key Takeaways From Article
Travel Tip #1: Visit Achocalla, Bolivia
If you’re inspired by Roly Mamani’s work and want to learn more about his hometown and community, consider visiting Achocalla, Bolivia. This small community nestled between two lagoons is where Mamani grew up and currently operates his workshop.

Travel Tip #2: Support Local Workshops
When traveling, consider supporting local workshops and artisans like Roly Mamani. By purchasing their products or services, you can contribute to the local economy and help fund projects that aim to improve people’s lives.

Travel Tip #3: Learn about 3D Printing Technology
Take the opportunity to learn more about 3D printing technology and its applications in different fields. Mamani’s use of this technology to create prostheses is just one example of its potential impact on improving people’s lives.

Travel Tip #4: Volunteer or Donate to Similar Causes
If you’re passionate about helping others and making a difference, consider volunteering or donating to similar causes in the countries you visit. There are organizations and individuals around the world who are working to provide life-improving solutions to those in need.

Travel Tip #5: Explore the Indigenous Culture of Bolivia
Bolivia is home to diverse Indigenous cultures, and learning about their traditions, customs, and struggles can provide a deeper understanding of the country. This understanding can contribute to more meaningful and respectful interactions during your travels.

Travel Tip #6: Be Mindful of Safety in Workplaces
Roly Mamani mentions that many people who lose limbs are those who work precarious jobs without safety measures. While traveling, be mindful of workplace safety standards and support businesses that prioritize the well-being of their employees.


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