Marco Vinicio sells ice cream and frituras—fried snacks—in the Costa Rican capital, San José. For years, “don Marco,” as he is known, traveled on foot from construction sites to offices to small shopping malls in a small section of the city. On any day, he could cover only a few sites and rarely sold more than a large bag of fried items and a few ice pops, generating the barest living for his wife and seven children.
Bikes for the World partner, the Fundación Integral Campesina deCosta Rica, a non-profit micro-credit program, sold Marco a reconditioned bicycle for about $10, which he could pay in weekly installments over one month. Don Marco commented that never in his life did he think he would be able to buy such a good-quality bicycle at such a low cost, and on installment payments. The investment paid off immediately: able to reach many more sites every day, don Marco’s sales increased so dramatically that he paid off the bike in only two weeks. The last we heard, don Marco was considering purchasing another bicycle—as a Christmas present for his youngest daughter.