I am Angela and I live in the Netherlands.
I love cycling, the city, stories, photos, people, home-baked cake, collaboration, ...
At the Velocity 2012 conference Sofia Lopez gave a great presentation about the work that Macleta does in Santiago.
Macleta is a women’s group that works on making cycling more avaliable and attractive for women in Santiago. As the reality is that very little women in Santiago (and many, many other places) cycle. When at the same time being able to / dearing to cycle could make their daily lives less stressful. Cycling can save time and money, you know!
They put their time and effort in networking, influencing public policy, research and education. A lot of the work is being done as volunteers.
The education part is the most well known aspect of Macleta, and also the one they paay a lot of attention to. Many, many women in Santiago would love to start cycling, but do not feel safe and comfortable yet. Up to now they have done a great job by training over 150 students throughout the city. And new training groups have been planned.
In her talk Sofia stressed how much she had learned herself, by working for this initiative. How they work from the standpoint that they are the trainers, but still have to learn a lot themselves. This way the teaching process flowing between trainers and students. I can only agree on this and stress how inspiring and empowering this can be for all people involved!