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PEDAL For Change - What We Do

PEDAL for Change takes groups of high school and university students on epic experiential learning and service trips in Ecuador. PEDAL trips vary depending on the student group and can last anywhere from 1 week to 3 months or more, but they all have several key elements in common:

Environment: Environmental stewardship, conservation, and sustainability are key facets of PEDAL for Change’s mission. We incorporate these principles into every aspect of our trips, capitalizing on Ecuador’s multiple mega-diverse biomes. We believe that nature is the best classroom, and that the best lessons are lived, seen, heard, and touched. From the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon Jungle, we strive to give our students as much hands on exposure to Ecuador’s incredible environs as possible in order to enhance both their knowledge and respect.

Community: People are central to everything PEDAL stands for and does. Each of our trips is built around a stay with at least one indigenous Ecuadorian community. Through living and working with local communities, we aim to promote not just learning, but relationship building. These cross-cultural relationships are at the heart of our programs, and are essential to our mission. We also work to strengthen relationships and build community within our student groups and amongst participants.

Service: Each PEDAL trip contains some element of service, as we believe in giving back to the people and places we visit. PEDAL participants are not passive tourists, we are active world travelers and global citizens and we work (and work hard) to improve the world around us. Service projects vary, but are always dictated by the needs of the communities we visit.

Activity: At PEDAL for Change, we believe in human power—the power to move ourselves and the opportunity for growth that comes from that activity. All PEDAL trips have a cycling component—whether it is biking from the sierra to the amazon jungle, through mystical cloud forests, or a wet ride along the beach, we try to utilize cycling as a form of transportation and learning wherever possible. We also offer a wide array of other activities throughout our trips, including white water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, surfing, and snorkeling.

While PEDAL for Change trips are undeniably fun and adventure-filled, they’re purpose is educational. While the jungle may not look like a classroom and a giant tortoise may or may not seem like a teacher, this is where and how learning happens. We believe whole heartedly in experiential learning, and work with school administrators, teachers, and students to design tailored trip curricula to fit each groups needs.

The general PEDAL for Change field curriculum is comprised of activities and tasks for participants in Ecuador. Included in the field curriculum are activities to take place before, during, and after participants’ PEDAL trips (all are required for those partaking in PEDAL for college credit). This programming, or the “field curriculum”, consists of a pretrip reflection, journal activities, contribution to the PEDAL periodical, trip-specific activities, and a capstone experience.

Please contact us to see our complete curriculum.

We also offer a curriculum for students in middle schools that follow the work of University students. A short description of the student activities:

One aspect of PEDAL for Change programming is exchanging stories and experiences with others in order to teach others about your experience, learn about the experiences of others, and deepen your understandings of your own experience. To accomplish these goals, you will document your experience with PEDAL for Change, create a presentation of your experience, and share your story with partnering middle school students, who will also be sharing their stories with you.

Again, please contact us for the full curriculum.