The Bolivian entrepreneurs tackling pollution with the humble bicycle

By Gina Baldivieso

Cochabamba, Bolivia, Jul 7 (EFE).- A group of young entrepreneurs are pedalling against pollution in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba with their bicycle messenger service Eco Delivery.

The inspiration behind this eco-friendly service came after the group won the 2016 Carrera Solar Atacama race with a solar-powered vehicle they built themselves, Eco Delivery director Noelia Barea told Efe.

“Now we continue to pedal to clean our city,” Barea added.

 Armed with conventional bicycles, as well as some electric ones, Eco Delivery acts as a courier service for items ranging from bank documents being sent from branch to branch, invitations, and letters to heavier packages, which can be transported by reinforced flatbed baskets.

“With banks, for example, of which there are many in the center, they send papers from one to another, and it’s easier to send them by bike,” said Gonzalo Mercado, one of the messengers.

Pollution is a serious problem in the Bolivian city. In 2018, authorities registered 73 milligrams of pollutant particles per cubic meter of air, well above the recommended 20 mg/m3 set by the World Health Organization.

Pollution levels dropped during the Covid-19 lockdown, but there is still a lot of work to do.

“What we try to do is not compete in terms of price, or speed, although our prices are very affordable, but rather offer a personalized service of high quality, invoiced within all the legal frameworks,” Barea said.

For students like Mercado, Eco Delivery provides the perfect employment opportunity.

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