Bicycle recycling is nothing new. But a Guatemalan nonprofit is turning trashed bicycle parts into innovative, electricity-free machines that you have to see to believe.
Based in San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala, Maya Pedal Asociación accepts donated bikes from the U.S. and Canada, which volunteers either recondition to sell or break down to create a range of pedal-powered machines called Bicimáquinas.
Founded by engineer and bicycle enthusiast Carlos Marroquin, the organization harnesses pedal power to perform a number of tasks that would otherwise require electricity, which is often unavailable in smaller villages.
Each Bicimáquina is hand-crafted in Maya Pedal’s warehouse in San Andrés Itzapa, where volunteers operate a bike repair service and build everything from tile makers to nut shellers to blenders – all made from old bicycles.
Some of Maya Pedal’s most awe-inspiring creations include a corn thresher – a bicycle machine adapted to fit a hand-powered grinding mill – and a water pump, which can lift water at five to 10 gallons per minute from wells and boreholes up to 98 feet deep.
If your interest is as piqued as ours, check out Maya Pedal’s full list of Bicimáquinas, which includes downloadable building instructions, fact sheets and sketch-up models. Want to lend a helping hand? Sign up to volunteer, or donate some of your old tools and housewares to the Maya Pedal warehouse.
Homepage Image: Maya Pedal Asociación