It is hard not to smile when riding a bike.
Marco (not his real name) always loved bicycles. Growing up, there was never money for a bike. Growing up, there was never enough money for anything. Eventually, because of abuse and deep poverty – Marco left his home. When he came to our Casa Girasoles home in the desert city of Ica, he was uncertain and scared. He had a hard time engaging the caregivers and isolated himself from the other boys. One thing that stands out so strongly for that time of Marco’s life – he rarely smiled. Then he found cycling.
With a small number of pieced together bikes and a patchwork of equipment, we started a cycling team. Riding a bike became a way for us to more deeply connect with Marco. Quickly, he became the best rider on our team. He rides every chance he gets. He has become a mentor for the other boys – helping to show them how to maintain the bikes and offer his ideas on training and riding. He is even winning races.
Cycling is a way for Marco to more deeply connect with the wounds of his past. Cycling is a path to healing. Our goal is to support Marco to get involved in more competitive cycling events – events that offer prizes like academic scholarships. Our goal is to help other boys in the Casa Girasoles program find pathways to healing through cycling and sports participation.
We are thankful for the smiles that a bike can bring to the face of a formerly abandoned child.
Make a donation today and support our efforts to bring more smiles to the lives of children and young adults in Peru.