Bamboo bikes are not only unique and beautiful; they are also strong and resistant! We offer products, made from this renewable resource, with great design and quality; creating a sustainable enterprise in the long run.
The Bamboo Bikes Project’s goal is to develop a social enterprise model for self-sustenance that can be replicated in different underprivileged communities.
EcoCultura is leading a multidisciplinary team that will provide training in entrepreneurial skills and the craft of making bike frames from bamboo. The organization will also promote cycling through various activities.
UPDATE ON THE PROJECT
Last Friday, September 26th we finished the first of a series of social entrepreneurship workshops to make bamboo bike frames and accessories. The workshops will continue until January 2015 and include topics such as creative design, social and solidarity economy, harvesting and preparing bamboo, and entrepreneurial skills.
The workshop was a great experience for all. We engaged in dynamic conversations, toured the instalations of Colegio/Talleres de las Aguas in Montebello, learned about bike geometry and ergonomics, watched ¨DIY videos¨ by Craig Calfee, assembled DIY kit, and had hands on experienced under the guidance of Jairo Suarez owner of Gallardo Bikes. The team accomplished the goal of successfully assembling 4 bamboo bike frames in 5 days.
The initial social enterprise will be in Montebello, Cali. Montebello is the smallest suburban area near Cali, and the most densely populated. About 48% of the population is under 17 years old and 80% of youth between 18 and 25 don’t have access to higher education or to good quality jobs. This leaves a high number of youth wandering the streets, vulnerable to unsafe and unhealthy habits and in need for alternatives in occupation, education and income generation.
This is a collaborative project and we couldn’t have done it without the help from:
Fundacion Escuela para la Vida is a foundation working day to day with the youth through the program of Talleres de las Aguas.
Gallardo Bikes, a Colombian bamboo bike maker who is guiding the process to build the frames.
Craig Calfee, a designer and precursor of the bamboo bike since 1995 who is contibuting with his technical expertise and with the donation of a ¨DIY kit¨ for training,
Observatorio de Innovacion Social a program linked to the Universidad Nacional de Palmira contributing with design initiatives as well as program development.
Industrial Engineering students from The Pontificia Javeriana University from Cali who are adopting the project as their Graduation Project to do a feasibility study.
Coladisos a sustainable design organization assisting in the development of design capabilities.
Bochika.org , our fiscal sponsor is overseeing all contributions from US donors.
And individuals such as Juan Manuel Garcia and Juan Carlos Salmon who are providing their professional and entrepreneurial expertise.
We´d like to thank all the participants in this first workshop for their enthusiasm and commitment and special thanks to Cesar Puveda from Cafe Ancestral – Palmira who hosted us during the week of the training. We express our deepest gratitude to our supporters who contributed earlier this year through the Gymkhana event and the Indiegogo campaign. This first workshop was made possible thanks to their contributions.
We thank our friends in the San Francisco Bay Area and our supporters in Miami who are promoting our Bamboo Bike Raffle which will take place in October 12th, 2014. ……. Please click for information on Fundraiser PARTY which will take place in Oakland, CA this Saturday Oct. 4th.
Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you all!!!
We are continuing to build capacity, practicing the technique learned during the workshop, and developing the intended social enterprise. We seek support from family, friends, and the community at large during this early stage.
We need seed capital to start and built a strong foundation for this social enterprise. Four youth from Montebello have received the initial training and they will continue the practice by making their own bikes! They will be doing quality testing on the bikes and joining local bike events to ride their unique bikes. They will become trainers of other members of their community who join the Project in the near future.
Take the opportunity to win a beautiful bamboo bike !!! Get your raffle ticket through our blog by clicking on page GET A RAFFLE TICKET.
We count on your support!!!
Thank you all!