Bicimáquinas from Maya Pedal


"Bicimáquinas (translates as "bicycle machines") are pedal-powered machines that act as an intermediate technology to assist the family economy in obtaining a higher production capacity in agriculture and in small business." Each bicimáquina is produced individually in Maya Pedal’s workshop from reused bikes, concrete, wood, and metal. They’ve developed original designs that they believe to be both functional and economical. Working models include: mill/corn degrainer, blender, water pump, tricycles and trailers, coffee depulper and a metal sharpener. They are also trialling prototypes of a washing machine, electricity generator, plow/till/hoe, nut-sheller and even a wood saw. And while we might think such adaptations of a bike as kinda cute and quaint, for Guatemalan villagers these are machines that dramatically improve their standard of living, if not their quality of life. For example, the mill grinds up grain feed to the rate of 3lbs (1.4kg) per minute freeing farming families from heavy usage of expensive agro-industrial chemicals. The water pump can bring to drinking water up from 30 m (~100ft) underground at the rate of 5-10 gallons (~20-40 ltr) per minute. The objectives of this locally managed not-for-profit organisation, originally established with assistance from dedicated Canadians at PEDAL, are inspiring, and if you have a smattering of Spanish, they’d welcome your volunteer contribution. ::Maya Pedal.See also our series of posts from design students in Guatemala.

Plus we’ve covered many other recycle-a-bike style programs before.