On February 17th we took on the hilly and rocky village of Juan Gil Preciado, where last month we, in Partnership with Fundacion Fraterna, donated brand new bikes to all the middle school students. Although most of the children who joined us for the bike excursion ride their bikes every day, they were extremely eager to get out of the immediate vicinity of their homes and school and really put their new bikes to the test. We were a total of 22 students, most of whom attend the middle school with a handful attending the primary school, and 6 adults, including two parent volunteers.
The students were beyond enthusiastic, all had notably positive attitudes, and encouraged each other along the way. They were even able to fix many of the small problems they encountered with their bikes during the ride, after having had bike workshops in January where they learned how to take care of and repair their bikes. When we reached our destination, after biking past lakes and amazing foliage, we relaxed in the shade, shared some snacks, and rehydrated. When we had finished the ride and returned to the plaza, we spent a long time just hanging out with the students.
A few of us, as Careyes staff members and volunteers, have gotten to know this particular group of students through the several bike-related activities we have had in the past two months, and they are very funny, charismatic, and have big personalities. It is truly a joy to spend time with them, find out what they like to do in their spare time, and talk about their futures. Upon our exit, the students were yelling, “no te vayas, no te vayas!” meaning “don’t go, don’t go!” We enjoyed their company as much as they seemed to enjoy ours, and we will be returning to Juan Gil soon for more events, or simply just for a visit.