Established in 2001, with the support of the Canadian PEDAL organization and the “Guatamalan Heritage Development”, Maya Padal is an NGO which uses recycled bicycle parts to build “bicimáquinas”- human powered bicycle machines.
Maya Pedal is a Guatemalan NGO based in San Andrés Itzapa. We accept bikes donated from the USA and Canada which we either recondition to sell, or we use the components to build a range of "Bicimaquinas", (pedal powered machines).
Pedal power can be harnessed for countless applications which would otherwise require electricity (which may not be available) or hand power (which is far more effort). Bicimaquinas are easy and enjoyable to use. They can be built using locally available materials and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of local people. They free the user from rising energy costs, can be used anywhere, are easy to maintain, produce no pollution and provide healthy exercise.
We make water pumps, grinders, threshers, tile makers, nut shellers, blenders (for making soaps and shampoos as well as food products), trikes, trailers and more.
Bicimáquinas are pedal-powered machines that assist with a variety of jobs in the home, on the farm, on the road and in small businesses. Each bicimáquina is handmade in our workshop using a combination of old bikes, concrete, wood, and metal. So far, we have developed several original designs that have proven to be both functional and economical.
We have a busy workshop staffed by locals and by volunteers from around the World. As well as building Bicimaquinas, we offer a bike repair service and sell used bikes in the surrounding area.
Maya Pedal has a small number of volunteer positions for skilled, self motivated people. We expect volunteers to come to us with skills to offer and skills to teach.
Volunteers must have previous relevant experience as well as reasonable Spanish comprehension. We have roles which include:
:: Workshop Engineers
Making pedal powered machines using arc welding gear and heavy duty power tools, as well as mixing concrete, painting and finishing.
Taking donated bikes and making them ready for sale and fixing up bikes brought in by the public. If you're new to bike mechanics, please check out our beginners guide to fixing bikes.
Sales & Marketing-
Getting the machines out there. Selling at local markets and events, making links with Guatemalan NGOs and local cooperatives. Improving promotional materials.
Producing PDF Instructions-
Writing and photographing clear, step by step instructions for each bicimaquina. The ability to take sharp informative photos and write clear text without jargon is a must.
All our instructions need translating from English to Spanish and other languages.
These roles are flexible and work is varied.
Volunteers are also responsible for keeping the premises clean and comfortable. Painting, decorating and improving volunteer accommodation. Accommodation is modest.
There is a small weekly shelter fee of 35 Quetzales per volunteer to cover water, electricity and internet expenses.
Volunteers are responsible for buying and cooking their own meals.
Volunteers are expected to get themselves to San Andrés Itzapa by their own means.
There are no additional Volunteer fees other than the weekly shelter fee.
We also have a wish list and we gratefully accept cash or gift donations. If you can bring quality bikes tools, safety equipment, or items related items, please get in touch with us to determine our current needs.
HOW TO GET TO MAYA PEDAL ?:
To get to Maya Pedal from Guatemala City , take the bus in the "Trebol" that says GUATE-Itzapa. The fare is Q8.00 (direct), and the bus schedule is from 6am to 7pm. If you arrive later (8pm at the latest), you can take the bus to Chimaltenango that will cost Q7.00, and there taking a micro-bus costs Q5.00 Itzapa you. Chimaltenango is located in a valley about 1 hour from Guatemala City and 45 minutes from Antigua. If you come from Antigua , you can take a direct bus to Itzapa (Q5.00). Their hours are from 6am to 6pm and runs every hour. If there is no bus or you want to go fast, you can take a bus to Chimaltenango and get off in the chambers, and then take the bus or micro-bus to Itzapa. Its price rises to Q8.00.
SAN ANDRES DE Itzapa is located at 1800 meters above sea level, next to a diverse agricultural plane. The town is known for being the land of friendship and chileguaque, some visit for Maximón.
Maya Pedal headquarters is located steps from the only petrol station in the village, next to the Mormon Church.
Itzapa is a Maya territory where the language is spoken Kaqchiquel. It is a village of very friendly people and it fills increasingly bicycles and bicimáquinas.