What happens when a poor town in an impoverished nation is saturated with tens of thousands of bicycles? The Bicycle City is the story of the struggle, determination, idealism, and hope that has brought about the transformation of an entire society.
Crippled by decades of military dictatorship, civil war, and environmental catastrophe, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America, having one of the region's lowest GDPs and the second highest Human Poverty Index, behind only Haiti. Economic opportunities are few and those born into the lower classes tend to remain in poverty for life.
Over the past 20 years, more than 20,000 bicycles have been brought into Rivas, a city on Nicaragua's Pacific coast, by the non-profit Pedals for Progress, which collects donated bicycles in the United States and distributes them in impoverished communities worldwide. Since the first was unloaded in Rivas in 1991, the bicycle has become an integral part of daily life.