After another successful year of fundraising, we are excited to announce the details of our upcoming 2017 mission! With many women still in need of bicycles and interest for our organization spreading quickly, we have decided to return to Paraguay, building on the work of our inaugural mission in 2016.
Erin and Belén are both taking part in this year’s delivery, as well as new PBL member and photographer, Melody McClain.
“I hope to do a great job of photographing the mission and showing PBL’s supporters the difference they are making in others lives. I hope my help will make a difference for Belen and Erin in expanding their project and gaining momentum and support for their organization,” explains Melody.
“I'm excited a new person is coming! She decided to come and see for herself what this PBL thing is all about! One of my main goals in life is to share the world and show people that there is a lot more to the world than the bubble we live in,” said Belén.
The trio will deliver 50 bikes to 50 local women over the span of a week, beginning Wednesday, December 14. Deliveries will be split between three differing locations across Paraguay, namely, Limpio, Villeta and Puerto Casado. A fourth delivery will be made around a similar time by local ambassadors representing PBL.
As popularity grew for the scheme, a selection process was created to ensure bicycles were given to those who were in need of them most. “The selections were made based on the location of the women, the ones farther away from the capital and with no public transportation were prioritized, as well as family breadwinners whose income would increase from the extra transportation,” explains Belén.
The bikes themselves are made in Brazil and delivered to each location by the supplier where they are met by the PBL team. Each bike has a basket and a rack to allow the women to transport goods to the local markets and is mechanically as simple as possible to ensure longevity.
The PBL team will also visit the 2016 beneficiaries to see how the bicycles have positively impacted their lives one year on.
“I’m so excited to be delivering more bikes and meeting more women! I'm just beyond grateful we are having another delivery. I'm also excited to see some of the beneficiaries from last year,” said Erin.
This mission marks Project Bike Love’s first with their own 501 (c) 3 status, as prior trips were conducted under an umbrella organization, Hello Possibility.
For Belén, the trip gives her a chance not only to make a difference but to catch up with family.
“Paraguay is home to me. Once I walk out of the airport and the hot humid air hits me, I take a deep breath and always say welcome home Belen and watch my family fight over my luggage.”