Although Maya Pedal is run by the inimitable Carlos, it is also made up of a crew of continually changing volunteers, all of whom dwell in shared rooms above the workshop. Volunteers come and go over the year, staying from as little as a week to several months. Some are engineers, some bike enthusiasts, some simply like the idea of the project and want to get involved; all in all, it makes for a great community of like-minded souls.
Here’s just a few of the guys I’ve been working and hanging out with over my time here…
Ilja, and the bicilicuadadora he built with Nina. Ilja works at a film archive in Bern, and gave the chaos of Maya Pedal an injection of Swiss efficiency.
Yorkshire Jules and the Schwinn she renovated. Back home, Jules is a both an engineering boffin studying at Cambridge and a great singer.
Canadian Emily and her spiffy pink kid’s bike… Emily studies ‘Canadian’ studies. Not quite sure what that is, but it seems to involve reading lots of books. She makes a mean set of shelves too.
Here's Max, her boyfriend, an engineering student from Germany, with the picadora he’s building – for composting organic waste. Max overflows with energy and throws themselves into one project after project (even juggling several at the same time) with unparalleled zeal.
Nina, a social worker, and her vintage Rollfast. Without Nina, we would have been malnourished and hungry, and the house would have descended into a pit of grime and mess (the latter I can handle, the former less so).
Chacan from Spain. A regular at Mayapedal, he’s been cruising round Mexico and Guatemala for a few years, earning his keep by teaching diving in the Carribean.
Me, looking like I might know what I'm doing, as I chop up a classic Panasonic frame (broke my heart) for a longtail project.
Nina, Elja, Geno and Tom. Geno is an artisan from Guatemala City, and Tom, who once hailed from Scotland, has been travelling and working in Central America and Carribean for the last 4 years. Seen here chilling out at lunchtime in the sun, a rare thing in these rainy season days.