|Taylor and Luis in container|
To help us do our part, Bikes for the World was joined by FINCA Costa Rica Director Luis Jimenez last week. On November 15th, representatives from Keep America Beautiful and the US EPA were on hand in the Bikes for the World warehouse to help load the 100,000th donated bike from Bikes for the World. This milestone bike would be donated, along with over 500 others, to our long-standing partner FINCA Costa Rica.
|Luis and Yvette at Microsoft|
BfW shared photos from our recent trip to Costa Rica while Jimenez explained how the program works.
The population of Costa Rica stands at about 4.94 million people. 38% of the population live in what is considered to be rural Costa Rica. Many communities tucked along the winding roads of mountainous countrysides consist of residents who make their livings farming, working construction, or running small local shops.
- FINCA Costa Rica helps rural communities establish micro-finance organizations owned and operated by their members.
- FINCA Costa Rica also teaches community members how to operate those micro-finance organizations set up to benefit their own communities.
The Bike Project was introduced to bring clean, affordable transportation to rural Costa Ricans and also to help raise funds to support the Empresas (these local micro-finance groups).
In this way, one donated bike is in turn helping the new owner of the bike get to work or school, which is helping to support his or her family. It is also generating work for the individuals fixing up and maintaining the bicycle. Last but not least, it is supporting the entire community who benefits from the sale of that bicycle, which helps support a number of member operated businesses in the community.
Jimenez reports that our bikes arrive in great condition and most if not all are put back to good use. His big request, just send more bikes!
If you want to see the slide presentation (without sound) you can check it out on YouTube.
Turns out the mall on a Friday evening...in a store that sells video gaming equipment...isn't the most ideal space for an intimate chat afterwards, so we all retired downstairs for dinner and continued conversation.