CARLOS MARROQUIN & MAYA PEDAL | BICIMAQUINAS (1997 - …)
‘Now and Then, How Sustainable was my Sustainability?’
Maya Pedal was a Guatemalan NGO based in San Andrés Itzapa. It was founded in 1997 Carlos Marroquin, in collaboration with PEDAL Canada, and staffed by volunteers from around the world. From the very beginning, its activities ranged from regular bike repair services, and the reconditioning and selling of bikes donated by American and Canadian partner organizations, to what made the workshop truly particular: the reconversion of old bicycles into a range of Bicimaquinas or "people-powered machines", invented by Marroquin. Pedal-driven, these devices served for applications that would otherwise require electricity or gas – often not available, and very expensive- or hand power, which takes five times more energy than leg power. Bicimaquina designs included bike-powered washing machines, corn de-grainers, grain and animal-feed mills, water pumps, coffee depulpers, corn grinders, threshers, tile makers, nut-shellers, blenders, mobility trikes and trailers. Their advantages were many: they were easy and enjoyable to use, could be built using locally available materials, and freed the user from rising energy costs. They could also be used anywhere, were easy to maintain, and not polluting. Some designs were even available online, via downloadable fact sheets.
The research is part of TOTAL CHANGE—NIEUWE GLOBAL GESTALTUNG #001