2 minutes reading time (344 words)

Johan: Costa Rican Farmer

Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location. 

But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, without even receiving a bicycle. Through our local partner FINCA Costa Rica we are improving the lives of small business owners and in turn entire communities. This micro-finance project works with communities to establish Community Credit Enterprises (ECC) that offer small business loans to its members. Those loans help develop local business such as cattle farming, agriculture, commerce, or services.

Johan Leandro has spent most of his life farming the lands in his hometown of San Cristobal Norte Desamparados, San Jose Costa Rica. He provides for his family by harvesting vegetables and selling them to local vendors in the town market.

Johan asked for a $1,800 loan to increase his crop production. He will use the money to buy more seeds focusing on a better quality seed. He hopes to double or triple his yield of tomatoes, green beans, and sweet peppers.

This increase in his crops will allow him to sell more produce to vendors, bring home more money for his family, and improve their quality of life.

The loans through the ECC are made possible because of bike sales by the co-op. The bikes are received through shipments from Bikes for the World and placed by FINCA Costa Rica based on need and type of bike. The members of the receiving co-op prepare the bikes for sale and the proceeds fund the community business loans.

Jakob picked out his bike from our container donated this summer through Bikes for the World Charleston. Bikes were collected through a statewide effort among United Methodist churches in South Carolina.

In our One Bike, Two Wheels series we look at how Celia benefited from our bike donations by expanding her motorcycle repair shop. Read more here...

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