As Project Bike Love fundraising events continue with great success, staff have begun to formulate plans for the organization’s next trip. With strong ties to the country and an amazing network of local support, PBL has decided to return to Paraguay for their 2016 trip, hoping to raise the bar from last year’s inaugural visit.
To date, Project Bike Love has received over 100 applications from women in Paraguay, arriving predominantly from four different locations. Women in these regions learn about the organization through its local ambassadors and have shown great enthusiasm towards the scheme.
“I heard Mrs. Rogelia is using her bike to sell her goodies in the market! She doesn't carry them on her head anymore! Are the American girls coming back? How can I get a bike?,” expressed one local woman.
The women apply for the bikes by filling out forms, explaining how the bikes would help them to improve the quality of their lives. Ages of the women range from 16-60, most of whom sell goods at a local market and have no access to public transportation, leaving them with no option but many hours of walking.
One of the applicants is a woman called Juana. Juana spends her days looking for worms before walking nearly ten miles to the nearest town to sell them as bait to the local fisherman.
Another applicant, Anna, wants a bicycle to give her independence. A 30-year-old mother of seven, Anna wakes up at 5 a.m., every day to make food to sell to the workers at a local mine. A bicycle would help increase her revenue, allowing her to better support her family.
The delivery of bikes is currently scheduled for late November/early December. Project Bike Love co-founders Erin and Belén are determined to better last year’s experience in a number of ways.
They would like to spend more time with each beneficiary, using the time to teach them basic bicycle safety and skill. The group also hopes to take a mechanic on the next trip to help smooth out any mechanical issues.
The bikes will be shipped two weeks prior to the trip to avoid any logistical problems, arriving by boat.
As plans move towards this upcoming expedition, Project Bike Love continues to work towards making these trips a reality in other regions of the world by firstly securing a good network of local ambassadors who understand and are enthusiastic about the organizations’ mission.
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