On January 7, we presented 40 brand-new bicycles to middle school students from the small, isolated villages of Juan Gil Preciado and Ranchitos. The bikes were donated by Fundación Fraterna, a Mexico City-based organization that provides toys and sports equipment to children in need, who worked with us to select these two communities to receive the bicycles because of the distance that the students have to travel between their homes and their schools. The school teachers helped us to organize the gifting ceremony, which included student performances of traditional Mexican dances and a lunch prepared by parent volunteers. Upon receiving the gift of a brand-new bicycle, each student submitted a contract detailing how they, in turn, will give back to their own community.
Following the event, we invited the students to attend a series of workshops to teach them the basics of bicycle function and maintenance. The students were excited to learn about their new bikes and were empowered to know that they can now fix them independently. We hope to soon expand this workshop series to teach children in other communities!