You too could visit and volunteer at Maya Pedal
One of the things that I love about our cycling trip is how, by leaving our schedule and routing flexible, we find ourselves being presented with extremely rewarding opportunities. How we ended up at Maya Pedal is a great example of this. It was simply through a chance encounter with a social media acquaintance, Dave Renfrow, that we found ourselves first invited to visit Maya Pedal in San Andres Itzapa, and then later, being drawn into the great work that they’re involved with.
Both Rebecca and I derive significant pleasure in working with our hands. There’s also something very special about working together as a team to construct something of value. The images below show one day’s labor where we helped to assemble two custom Bicimaquinas. In this case, pedal-powered blenders that, later that same evening, were loaded onto a truck and delivered to their new owners in Guatemala City. I think you can tell by the smiles how much everyone was enjoying the process.
Luis, a volunteer from Germany, works to add a new tire to a wheel.
Mario Juarez, the director of Maya Pedal, cuts chunks of rubber for the construction project.
Mario’s daughter Melody always had a smile on her face!
A young boy from the neighborhood watches the project take shape.
All done and ready to be delivered to their new owners!
Want to join in the fun?
Maya Pedal welcomes volunteers, both of the cycling variety and also non-cyclists. In addition to the construction of pedal-powered machines that we have been involved with, Maya Pedal also plays host to a number of other groups. For example, the other day we sat in with a group of young girls who visited the facility for a Christmas party, and yesterday we visited a remote Mayan village where the residents may join in a Maya Pedal collective to more easily sell their handmade products.
In the next day or so, a container full of bicycles and tools that was shipped from Montana, USA will be delivered here providing fuel for more than a year’s worth of work. In other words, there will be plenty for volunteers to do, both on the construction front and otherwise.
I think it’s also worth pointing out that the Maya Pedal facility is nicer than half of the hotels that we have stayed at, meaning that volunteers can have a safe and comfortable experience while visiting Guatemala. It’s also my understanding that within a day or two, once their new website is online, Maya Pedal plans to officially join the Warmshowers network, making available camping space, showers, Wi-Fi, kitchen access and more for cycle travelers like us. So, at the very minimum, cyclists taking the non-highway route from Lake Atitlan to Antigua should stop by to say hello and rest up. Who knows, you may just get sucked into the positive atmosphere here like we have!