For the Health of Bolivian Children
About the AAVia Foundation
The AAVia Foundation for the Health of Bolivian Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity founded in 2012 by the Malia family. The heart of the organization is based on a three decade personal and professional relationship between the Malia family, Bolivia, and the medical system in the capital city of La Paz.
By funding Bolivian-based organizations working to improve children's health, the AAVia Foundation provides support where it is wanted and needed.
Our Core Principles
From medical supplies in hospitals to a handwashing program in rural villages, we are focused on improving children's health in Bolivia.
Teaching hand and dental hygiene through hand washing, brushing teeth and distribution of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and towels. Buying water filters and sampling the resulting water to ensure purity.
Financially support Bolivian-based programs and organizations, build personal and foundation relationships in Bolivia and the United States,
Scholarships, empower benefactors and beneficiaries, teach community health through children
"If we are as strong as a mother, if we love children as fully as a mother, and if we are as selfless as a mother caring for a child, the AAVia Foundation will do amazing things!" --Timothy Malia, MD co-founder and medical director
Who was AAVia
The story behind our name
She lived her whole life in Bolivia and saw sweeping changes through the country's whole society, from government to economy. Through it all, her role as a mother was unwavering.
For over fifty years, Mamita was the matriarch of a household with children and teens. Her years of strength and selfless affection remain the heart and soul of the family.
This selfless affection and caring are the pillars of the AAVia Foundation's mission.
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is a rich mixture of
culture and history
The country of Bolivia is a rich mixture of culture and history. Located in the heart of South America, it is landlocked and one of the poorest countries on the continent.
Stretching from the Amazon River basin to the high peaks of the Andes Mountains, it contains a wide variety of landscapes: rain forests, savannahs, mountain valleys, and arid highlands.
A great plateau, called the Altiplano, stretches 600 miles from the northwestern border with Peru to the southwestern corner of Bolivia. Averaging over 12,000 ft above sea level, it is home to the world's highest navigable waters, Lake Titicaca, the world's largest flat, Salara de Uyuni, and some of the richest mines the world has ever known, including Cerro Rico of Potosi.
Traditions and beliefs of the ancient cultures of Bolivia are still part of modern Bolivian life.
The flag of Bolivia serves as an example of this strong bond to culture: the green represents the fertility of the land and the agricultural history of the country, the yellow is for the minerals and mining in the mountains, and the red is for the many wars and battles that have shaped the history of Bolivia.
La Paz is one of the two capitals of Bolivia, serving as administrative capital while the judiciary sits in Sucre.
The population of the city proper is about 800,000 but with the nearby city of El Alto and surrounding area, the whole metropolitan area has an estimated population of 2.3 million.
Located in the Andes Mountains just an hour away from Lake Titicaca it is at an elevation over 12,000 ft. The city sits in a valley, surrounded by mountains affording spectacular views in all directions.
Visible from La Paz when looking south down the valley is Illimani, a mountain peak of over 20,000 ft. Its form is represented in the logo for the AAVia Foundation as it represents strength, tradition and history for the country.
Bolivia also has a very diverse population including large numbers of Aymara and Quechua, peoples living in the region long before the Spanish conquistadors conquered the Inca.
The diversity is represented in the traditions of Bolivia including the costumes for dancers at Carnaval in Oruro which combine colors and folklore of the people during the annual celebration just before Lent.
To improve the health of Bolivian children. We value and depend on relationships in the United States and Bolivia to empower both benefactors and beneficiaries.
At the AAVia Foundation, we fight to better the health of the 3.5 million children in Bolivia. Partnering with Bolivian-based organizations and programs to achieve this goal.
Improved well-being of Bolivian children due to consistent access to excellent medical, health, and social services.
Increased awareness by Americans to the challenges faced by efforts to improve and maintain the health of Bolivian children.
Provide effective and trusted funding to efforts and programs in Bolivia. While developing relationships to facilitate exchange of training, skills, and resources between our American and Bolivian partners.
Actively seeking and empowering Bolivian resources to improve the health of Bolivian children in culturally and socially effective ways.
Meet The Team
President, Co-Founder, and Board member
Raised in a Bolivian-American family, Mackenzie traveled regularly to Bolivia as a child, gaining exposure to the various cultural and social differences between the two countries, as well as their similarities. In 2014 she graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Anthropology. Working for the AAVia Foundation has turned her passion for Bolivia into a career.
Medical Director, Co-Founder, and Board Member
An American family physician, Tim developed ties with Bolivia after visiting his wife's family. Over the years he has done research, published papers, sponsored students/residents, transported medical supplies, and donated his energy to Bolivian healthcare. The AAVia Foundation provides him a stronger, more focused means to improve the medical care for children in Bolivia.
International Liaison, Co-Founder, and Board Member
An American born in Bolivia who has lived in the United States for over 30 years, Ana has maintained her connection to Bolivia through regular visits to provide her children with exposure to both cultures. As an AAVia Foundation Board member, Ana provides perspectives and language skills that contribute to smooth communication with our partner programs, groups, and individuals in Bolivia.
A medical anthropologist with expertise in women and children’s health, Nancy is a professor at the University of Rochester. Training students in public health and anthropology, she has previously worked in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, India, Tibet, and Bolivia. As an AAVia Foundation Board member, Nancy provides experience and anthropological perspectives on the foundation's partners.
President of the JB Sterling Company in Fairport, NY, Jeff is active in local and philanthropic efforts, including serving as chairman of the 2005-2006 Discover Ball-Evening sales for the URMC Wilmot Cancer Center. He is co-owner of Moonlight Creamery, a specialty cafe with a mission focused on youth education, the environment, and fair trade. As an AAVia Foundation Board member, Jeff provides entrepreneurial and business knowledge to the foundation's growth.
A nutritional epidemiologist, Diana is a professor at the University of Rochester. She focuses on the development of children and adolescents in developing countries, specifically regarding malnutrion and obesity. Originally from Argentina, she is currently working on a project to understand how the life of low income families influences the nutrition of their children. As an AAVia Foundation Board member, Diana provides medical and nutrional perspectives on the program work.
Mary Jo Telesca
Director of Accounting and IT at Casa Larga Vineyards, Mary Jo hails from the founding family of the vineyard and carries on the family legacy in Fairport, NY. She previously served on the board of Sustain, Inspire, Survive, providing financial assistance to patients undergoing breast cancer treatment, and was a Co-Chair of the S.I.S. Inaugural Pink Tie Gala. As an AAVia Foundation Board member, Mary Jo provides financial and entrepreneurial experience to the work of the foundation.
Social Media Coordinator
In 2017 Ryan graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Geological Science, Environmental focus. Throughout his childhood and young adult life he traveled to Bolivia many times, learning from the culture and gaining valuable understanding of the struggles and joys of the Bolivian people. While working a part-time job and looking to continue his passion in environmental geology, he joined the AAVia team to keep the foundation up to date and connected to the Rochester community.
Get In Touch
P.O. Box 237, Fairport, New York 14450