The recyclists : bikes, borders and basura
In January, 2009, I joined Bikes Across Borders, a local grassroots organization, on their yearly bike caravan to Mexico. The group works to promote bicycles, both here and in Mexico, as an environmentally and financially sound alternative to motorized transportation. Each winter, members ride bicycles they build out of salvaged parts to border cities in Mexico. They give these bicycles to maquiladora workers who would otherwise spend a large portion of their income on transportation. These workers make a fraction of what they would in the U.S. and live in shacks amid the pollution from the factories they work in. This is the story of one group’s attempt at making a difference in the lives of these workers.