Video courtesy Maya Pedal
Guatemalans have pedaled their way to less arduous labor with the help of pedal-powered “bicimaquinas.”
Created in 1997, Maya Pedal is a Guatemalan nonprofit located in San Andres Itzapa. Their bicimaquinas (bike machines), built using old bikes and local materials, take an environmentally-friendly approach to improving human efficiency.
The pedal-powered bicimaquinas help with various tasks in the home, farms and small businesses. For example: the bicycle rope water pump. "The pedal-powered water pump lifts water at 5-10 gallons per minute from wells and boreholes up to 30 meters in depth," according to Maya Pedal, compared to an electric pump that only pumps up to 12 meters deep. The bicycle water pump provides irrigation and drinking water where electricity is not available.
The 24 bicimaquinas Maya Pedal has built also include grinders, tile makers, nut shellers and blenders. A grain grinding shop and building contractor have opened thanks to the bicimaquinas.
Maya Pedal’s bicimaquinas require no fuel or electrical energy, they produce no pollution, are easy to maintain and economically sustainable. Who knew pedaling could be more than exercise or fun? Maya Pedal certainly did.