Maya Pedal

San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala, Central America
Maya Pedal is a grass-roots NGO based in San Andres Itzapa, Guatemala. We work with local communities to create long-lasting sustainable solutions to local problems, predominantly through ‘bici-maquinas’; pedal-powered machines made from donated and disused bikes. Right now, we are focused on a project to bring safe drinking water to a rural community and improve the working lives of farming families living there by installing water filters and appropriate pedal-powered machines. Key to this project is training local young women and girls in WASH and the building and maintenance of concrete bio-sand filters, so that they can pass this knowledge on to their community and make the positive impact sustainable for the long-term. It will also give the young women and girls transferable skills for them to be empowered to have better and brighter futures.

Volunteering Activities

Agriculture Work
Web Work
Women Empowerment

What We Need

Maya Pedal has a small number of volunteer positions available self motivated people. Basic bike mechanic skills are very helpful. Welding, basic shop tools use for cutting boring, mural painting, Marketing, computer skills, are all helpfu.

Previous relevant experience as well as basic Spanish comprehension is recommended. We have roles which include:

:: Workshop mechanics
Making pedal powered machines using arc welding gear and heavy duty power tools, as well as mixing concrete, painting and finishing.

Cycle Mechanics-
Taking donated bikes and making them ready for sale and fixing up bikes brought in by the public.

Mural painters: if you have such skill; our new hostel / visitor housing is nice but could use some color. If you can supervise young women in mural painting we’d be extra pleased to see you at Maya Pedal.

General labor for self-starters is always helpful; cleaning up, picking up is always a part of our work.

Photographers, writers, marketing folks, will all find meaningful work here.

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.

When & Who

Yes, we require a minimum of 4 Days
We strongly favor volunteers who can commit to several weeks. If there is space available, we will accept volunteers for shorter periods.
Individuals, Groups, Retirees

What we Provide


There is a small weekly shelter fee of 100 Quetzales per volunteer to cover water, electricity and internet expenses, minimum. Visitors are charged $15 per night. Long term volunteeers and high skilled volunteers may receive reduced-charge accommodation. Meals can be arranged for groups.

Volunteers are responsible for buying and cooking their own meals.

Volunteers are expected to get themselves to San Andrés Itzapa by their own means.

Wifi & Satellite
Hot Water
First Aid
Purified Drinking Water

Our Fees

$15 daily
$5 One-time

Daily fee of $15 is for visitors who do not perform volunteer work. Cost per day for hostel stay for worlking volunteers depends upon experience. Minimum fee is $3.50 daily for experienced and highly productive people.

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More Services we Offer

May have additional fees
Pretrip Assistance
Pick Up/Drop Off
Social Activities

Contact Person

Dave Renfrow
Canton San Lorenzo, San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala.
87% response rate , 76 hour(s) response time.

Other Ways to Help

If you can please bring hand tools and small power tools, drills, screw drivers, hammers, saws bike tools; those are always needed.. Just ask and we’ll send a list.

Additional Info about Us

Up to 5 people

We also have a wish list and we gratefully accept cash or gift donations. If you can bring quality bikes tools, safety equipment please get in touch with us to determine our current needs.

Please feel free to call about transportation.
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). The hours are from 6am to 6pm and runs every hour. If there is no bus or you want to go quickly you can take a bus to Chimaltenango and get off in the chambers, and then take the bus or micro-bus to Itzapa for about 8Q.

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.

application form.docx


Maya Pedal is a Guatemalan NGO based in San Andrés Itzapa. We accept bikes donated from the USA and Canada. we use the components to build a range of "Bicimaquinas", (pedal powered machines).
Pedal power can be harnessed for countless applications that would otherwise require electricity or hand power. Bicimaquinas are easy and enjoyable to use and are inexpensive to maintain.
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.
We are located in San Andrés Itzapa which is 12 miles from World Heritage Site Antigua, but a world apart. Itzapa is a hard working and friendly campesino town where work horses out number pickup trucks. Locals trudging home from the fields kindly greet one another and visitors alike. Our basic but clean and comfortable hostel / volunteer housing has meeting space, kitchen, hot water, WiFi.
We have a busy workshop staffed by locals and by volunteers from around the World.