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How to Turn Your Rusty Cast-Off 10 Speed into a Global Poverty Fighter

Got a bike rusting in your basement? It could be grinding corn in rural Guatemala. Lots of corn.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJVThyebOB4&feature=player_embedded

Got some bicycles rusting in your basement? They could be grinding corn in rural Guatemala. Using cast-off bikes from the United States and Canada, Maya Pedal fashions a range of bicimaquinas (pedal powered machines) that are helping pull Guatemalan subsistence farmers out of poverty.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKmt7PwYPCY

This week at the Venice Biennale, three finalists were named for the Curry Stone Design Prize, a no-strings $100,000 grant honoring a visionary design initiative. The three nominees are Maya Pedal, a nonprofit organization that builds "Bicimaquinas," bicycle-powered agricultural machines in Guatemala; ELEMENTAL, a system of inner city public housing in Chile that allows residents to easily expand and individualize their spaces; and the project above by Sustainable Health Enterprises, which hopes to bring safe, affordable sanitary pads to women in developing nations. As the video explains, it's estimated that women lose up to 50 day of work per year because they can't afford them. In partnership with a group of collaborators in Rwanda, founder Elizabeth Scharpf is manufacturing a line of feminine hygiene products made from locally-sourced banana leaf fiber.

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