Maria’s story came out piece by piece as we hung out daily for about a week. As a teenager, she became addicted to drugs and was faced with two possible futures – jail or death. Luckily, she went to jail. Over time she rehabilitated herself.
In the initial stages of her recovery, she got a bike and rediscovered, from her times as a child, her love of cycling. Cycling and outdoor adventure became an outlet for her, perhaps replacing the void drugs used to fill.
She went on to recover fully and get a college degree. For the past three years, she worked with rural communities in Canada focusing on culture education and awareness of the challenges immigrants and refugees face upon arrival. Despite this rewarding job, her joy of cycling and outdoor adventure never faded. She contacted A Better World and partnered with them to pursue her passion for a good cause.
Maria created “Hope Cycle 3000”, where she is cycling from Canada to Mexico to raise funds to build a school in San Jose, Guatemala. The existing school is an adobe hut with one window, a broken door, and dirt floor. The residents of San Jose are eager to construct a new school for the 60 students, but can’t come up with the money for materials.
Enter Maria. She is riding her bike, earning $5 per kilometer, and soliciting donations for her cause along the way. She has already collected over $10,000 and needs $5,000 more to complete the two-room school. The money is being raised for the materials and the village will construct the school with their own hands.
It is a very inspirational story full of second chances, helping others, cycling, and love. Maria has taken the plunge and with each pedal she is living her dream.
If you would like to follow Maria’s journey, click here. For more information about San Jose and the school, click here. If you’d like to donate to this worthy cause, click here and select her journey in the drop down menu. Tax deductible in USA and Canada.
Best of luck, Maria!