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Empowering communities for triple impact

The experience arises from the same needs felt by the population. It began with a grain mill to support women’s groups in the production of concentrate for animals, since industrial products are more expensive and people do not have the economic resources to access them. At the beginning it was hard enough, nobody believed what is capable of general with only the pedals, however, as time went by people were opening their minds and changing those patterns of consumerism and leaning towards energy alternatives of triple impact and above all friendly to the environment.

Through the different models of bicimáquinas the communities can generate their own electrical energy only using physical strength, likewise the initiative promotes the change of patterns in the consumption of fossil fuels and products that damage the environment, for example the use of a bicilicuadora works in the same way as a common blender using electrical energy, with the difference that with the bicilicuadora you do not spend electrical energy, you contribute to the environment, you exercise to maintain your health in optimal conditions and save economic resources, it is important to change the mentality in consumerism, to see these affordable and functional alternatives.

Technical characteristics of the proposal

The organization is made up of a technical and administrative team, a director and a board of directors composed of women leaders from the community, who make decisions based on their involvement and participation in the planning and supervision of programs and projects, and generally meet periodically to discuss activities and commitments.

Maya pedal aims to leave installed capacity in the locality and the technicians who are part of the team are natives of the locality, currently has 4 technicians who are responsible for assembly, the materials used are metal parts of recycled bicycles.

Productive, community, environmental, or economic processes or activities that were positively impacted by the implementation of the community experience of TEJ.

At the family level it has been an extraordinary experience since they have the bicimáquinas at hand, for example the bicilicuadora is used daily to prepare food, they exercise and also change gender roles, mainly with the bicilavadora since in the communities the women are the ones who assume the task of washing clothes and with this tool the approach is that men are the ones who assume this task and balance the shared responsibilities in the homes.

The economic impact is imminent, since the electricity bills are minimal, unlike if we were to use an industrial washing machine.

Beneficiaries of the experience

7,000 women, 1,000 men, 14,000 adolescents and young people (between 12 and 18 years of age), 15,000 children (between 0 and 12 years of age)

  1. For Maya Pedal, it is important to have a gender focus in all its projects, and to leave capacities installed in the community leaders, especially in the use of available resources, as well as to reduce the consumption of electricity and fossil fuels, recycle and reuse.
  2. Another achievement is the acceptance of the tools and the ability to adapt them according to people’s needs. 
  3. Families are disciplining themselves to exercise their bodies and at the same time they are being productive and generating economic resources.
  4. People with a vision of entrepreneurship making use of a basic tool such as the bicimáquinas. The girl leaders program is involved in technical training processes in the assembly workshop, because it is important to transfer knowledge to the new generations, especially to girls and adolescents, in order to break with gender stereotypes.
  1. The high demand and the low technical capacity and equipment to assemble in series, everything is manufactured in a handmade way and that takes more time. Also because it is a meticulous and creative work for the effective operation of the bicimáquinas. Each bicimáquina has its own meticulousness and there is no single specialized technician to assemble each of the different models, but a technician must learn how to assemble the different models and training the personnel takes time.
  2. Also the deterioration of the technical tools used for assembly.
Women’s participation in the TEJ community experience

Most of the beneficiaries have been women’s groups, who have received support to promote their economic empowerment, from training processes and knowledge of their rights to the use of the bicimáquinas as environmentally and economically friendly tools.

Women have also been involved in the planning or proposals for new models or improvements to existing ones, for example, the grain mill is culturally adapted since indigenous women have never ridden a bicycle and for them it is uncomfortable to do so because of their Mayan dress, which is why it is adapted with a chair type seat.

Impact of the community experience of TEJ on public policy

Proposals have been made to the Ministry of the Environment, but it has been difficult to obtain the openness and political will of the decision makers, but they continue in the struggle while working to ensure that more people benefit from the bicimáquinas and that they are part of the municipal and national plans, as they believe that environmental care is the responsibility of all, but especially of the organizations that are guarantors of rights.