Leaving Guatemala – Entering El Salvador
It was time to leave Lago de Atitlan, we couldn’t wait to be on our bikes again. Too much sitting and eating, too big bellies…
Now we were a trio: We left San Pedro la Laguna together with Aaron in the early morning on a beautiful lancha (little boat) ride. On the way out of this mountanious region we had lots downhill cruising – what can be nicer than that??? We went back to camping as much as possible in these days and it felt great!
In the small town Brito we accidently met Harco, a Swiss cyclist we knew from earlier in San Pedro as well, again. We thought we could maybe meet in El Salvador for New Year but there he was! Unfortunately, Lena got ill that day. And down at the costal line the heat nearly melt us. So we made only short day stages after entering El Salvador.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and has the highest population density at the same time. It is also supposed to be one of the most dangerous places in Central America, but the tiny country surprised us with its superfriendly and helpful people from the very beginning. No more GRINGOOOO shoutings but nice greetings, often even in English: „Heyyy, where are you going?“ „Thank you for visiting our country!“ It seemed like every third Salvadorian tried to jump the fence at least once in his life, worked in the US, came back… and is proud to speak some words in American. Paul, a cyclist from Belgium who we met on the street cycling the opposite direction, said the same. He is already on the road for three years and nine months – impressive and enviable!
The second night in El Salvador we reached the Pacific Ocean, black Volcanoe sand and a wild sea. For us, it was the first time swimming in the Pacific – and we nearly forgot about how amazing a bath in the ocean is after a hot cycling day!
21 Bicycles for Africa financed with the help of our community
Some major donations in the last weeks brought “Bikes for Africa" significantly forward! We are happy about the great variety of people who support our project. We especially want to thank family Schachner from Essen, Hardy’s former customer NEDAP Deutschland GmbH, Janne and Sami from Belgium who we met in Belize, family Santana from Chetumal who even started collecting money with the Velosophics donation box and of course all the others!
What a joy that already 21 bicycles more mobilize people in Zambia to go to school, get access to health care or fetch water! The education of bike mechanics additionally helps to set up sustainable development structures.
We are happy to see that bicycles and especially tricycles are already well used in the countries we have cycled through so far in Central America. Tricycles are often transportation for heavy loads or even little shops and imbisses. In every tiny village you find a „Taller de Bicicletas“ where bike mechanics can solve any problem.
And there is even more: People in San Andrés Itzapa/Guatemala got really creative. „Maya Pedal Guatemala“ builds all kind of useful machines from old bicycles. They make water pumps, grinders, threshers, tile makers, nut shellers, blenders (for making soaps and shampoos as well as food products), trikes, trailers and more.
Isn’t that great?