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Volunteering At Maya Pedal in Guatemala – Changing Lives One Bike At A Time

by on October 8, 2011

in Guatemala, Happy Nomad Tour, San Andres Itzapa, Volunteering

I spent the past week volunteering at Maya Pedal. I think the best introduction I could possibly give is by showing the video below. Unfortunately, it’s in Spanish. But I think the visuals offer all you need to understand this organization and how it impacts peoples’ lives.

Me Riding Bike Machine Blender

Me Riding Bike Machine Blender

Maya Pedal is an NGO that receives donated bikes from abroad and fixes them up to sell to the local population at reduced prices. But they also turn these bikes into “bicimáquinas” or “bike machines”. You can see a complete lists of the bike machines they make here. But examples include corn thrashers, washing machines, macadamia nut shellers, blenders, well water pumps – yes, all pedal powered.

What I love about these bike machines is their simplicity, yet their ingenuity. They solve practical needs here, via human power, and allow households or businesses to save time or increase production. With a micro-loan, these machines can change an entire family’s fortunes and turn them into entrepreneurs. Below are some examples.

Bike Machine - Blender

Bike Machine - Blender

Bike Machine - Thresher

Bike Machine - Thresher

Bike Machine - Thresher

Bike Machine - Thresher

Bike Machine - Well Pump

Bike Machine - Well Pump

Bike Machine - Blender

Bike Machine - Blender

Bike Machine - Blender

Bike Machine - Blender

There was a board of directors meeting my first day here, and they made it clear that it’s a family atmosphere. And you can definitely feel that. The volunteers are constantly changing, but the spirit stays alive. Besides the volunteers, Carlos, the founder, and his two sons work in the workshop.

At Maya Pedal I did publicity and marketing since I wasn’t there long enough to learn how to repair bikes. I contacted tons of companies to inform them of what Maya Pedal does and see if they are interested in helping out financially or otherwise. If you like what Maya Pedal is doing and are interested in helping out, get in touch here.

Overall, another great experience with great people and lots of fun. A big thank you to Maya Pedal and the volunteers who made the experience what it was for me!

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

ajse ixcot October 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

i think u will understand how the world works !!!!  you are one of the  greatest persond that i couch !!!!! :D

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Adam Pervez October 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Gracias Wilson! Unfortunately I am leaving Guatemala tomorrow morning, but thanks so much for giving me a great introduction to this wonderful country! :)

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Marikkapa[email protected] October 12, 2011 at 10:09 am

So cool.  

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Adam Pervez October 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

They’d love to have you there someday :)

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HumanPowerd January 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

hey Adam, great post!  i’m taking some time off and heading to central and south america for a while – really wanted to stop in and help out – i have a marketing/graphic design background but i’d be happy to help spread the word.  I tried the links in your post, but looks like their site is down…do you know if they are still in operation?

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Adam Pervez January 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

Hola! I haven’t been in touch with them, but maybe their domain or hosting expired on January 1 and they have forgotten to renew it? Could be. Their email address is [email protected]

Unfortunately, I don’t remember their phone number but maybe you can find it online. And yes, with your skills they could definitely use your help! Go for it! :)

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HumanPowerd January 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

thanks so much Adam!  

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Ash Clark June 24, 2013 at 5:28 am

Man, I need to get one of those blenders!

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