Non-profit

Maya Pedal – Makers of Bicycle Powered Machines

Based in San Andreas Itzapa, Guatemala, Maya Pedal refurbishes donated bikes from North America. Started in 1997 by Canadian citizens as a means to support sustainability in the region, the group has been under local management since 2001.

Besides selling their upgraded bikes to members of the community, Maya Pedal also designs utilitarian machines that run on the power of a person riding the stationary bike. These bicimáquinas include blenders, grinding mills or corn threshers, water pumps, nut shellers and even coffee depulpers. Each of these bicimáquinas is made with spare bicycle parts. Their website offers downloadable sketches and detailed description of each machine.

Maya Pedal supports many community projects in collaboration with local, national and international groups. They provide training workshops to those interested in implementing pedal technology in their own communities, including bicycle machine repair and maintenance and innovative uses of the machines. Each group brings their own energy and creativity to the project, helping to successfully meet the needs of diverse communities. Resulting examples of this community outreach include a women´s collective that makes and sells their own aloe gel and a family that produces their own animal feed.

Maya Pedal has a free volunteer program and could especially use the help of those with bike repair experience as that is what they spend most of their time doing. They also accept donations with a list of needed items on their web page.

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Fundación DELPIA

Fundación DELPIA

Fundación DELPIA is a Bolivian non profit started in 2006. DELPIA is translated as “Local development of the indigenous people of the Andes and the Amazon¨. Their work addresses the problems that indigenous communities face with the encroachment of globalism and how to manage their natural resources in a sustainable way. This ensures that the communities will strengthen and maintain their cultural heritage. They also develop ways to improve income without compromising their culture and use of their land.

The foundation offers a form of tourism they call ¨Dual Tourism¨ whereby the visitors and the hosts share equally in the exchange of ideas. Various volunteer opportunities allow participants to experience the daily life of the tribes with hands-on work. They are also developing bee farming and organic agriculture practices.

Fundación DELPIA has the potential to be a model for other organizations to help with the preservation of other indigenous societies in the region. They can accept donations on their website through the Association for Threatened People in Germany.

 

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Mayan Families, helping the indigenous people of Guatemala

Mayan Families, helping the indigenous people of Guatemala

Mayan Families is a non-profit organization that provides assistance and opportunities to the indigenous people of Guatemala, in particular in the Lake Atitlan area, through education, community programs and construction. They have a variety of ongoing programs that support the community, including elderly care, kids sports clubs, micro-financing, water filters and fuel efficient stoves, among many others.

The young girl featured in the video below is just one example of how Mayan Families has been able to help with finding sponsors for needy children.

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