The gift of giving back!

Xmas time in the States can be overwhelming; one of the things that can be really annoying is the amount of emails advertising things that I didn’t know I needed!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Xmas spirit ( Love, Joy, Giving) but it’s kind of my normal state through the whole year!! 

So, I don’t want this to be another Xmas email, asking you to buy something you didn’t know you couldn’t live without 3 min ago!!

I want to tell you a love story.

The girl in the picture is named Jazmin. Jazmin is the daughter of Leti, one of the PBL beneficiaries. Jazmin is a full of life 10 year old who personally won my heart! She asked me in Spanish, Que idioma hablas con ellas? Which language do you speak with them? And I explained it was English, she said ahh that’s the one people speak in the United States, my teacher told me about the States. Her mom later told me, “the teacher” was a volunteer from Techo, who was going every Saturday to help the kids with school.  There were also some Techo volunteers from the States before, and Jazmin was always around them. “She just loved to learn new things, she asked me to take her to English and Computer lessons”  her mom told me.

For me, Jazmin, was the example of a girl that needs to be empowered!! She learned there is an outside world, and that her life doesn’t have to end in her slum!!

Here is a sequence of pictures from bicycle delivery day.  Jazmin is paying close attention to what I’m explaining, basic bike maintenance; she’s grabbing the handles of a bike. Then you see her sitting on a chair, while we take the picture with all the beneficiaries… the look in her face broke my heart. I know I can’t give a bike to every girl in the world who deserves one, Can I?? But then, and I don’t know how, Erin read her spirit and took the best picture of the day! And Jazmin had the light of empowerment in her face again!

In PBL we believe and live by our values; Love, Empowerment, Community, Connection, Awareness. I love Jazmin so much, that I want to give her a bike myself, but me and Erin alone, won’t be able to keep doing it!  We need the help of our Cycling Community, and we know we can create that Connection that will drive Awareness in both worlds.  In our world, to remind people that a bike can be a lot more than just our favorite toy.  In Jazmin’s world, that there is more than her slum, that she can have a better future!

I know there is only 5 days until Xmas, but what if we all live in a constant Xmas spirit? Paraguay 2015 was only the beginning, the first 40 beneficiaries, were only the “first” 40!

Wish you all a Feliz Navidad and a 2016 filled with rides and Love!!

From my heart to yours.

Belen