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.
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.
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!