A Note from GoodWill in Panama

by Tom Ford, board member, Asociación Panamena de Industrias de Buena Voluntad
Fall 2001 InGear

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our third container. Despite the fact that we cannot meet the demand for mountain bikes, the public has reacted very favorably to our super prices as a great transportation alternative.

Distribution has included almost all sectors of the Panamanian economy and geography. P4P bikes can be found along small rural roads as well as on wide city streets. Many of the users are first-time owners who have found the bikes to be satisfying both emotionally and economically. A typical case is that of Jose Luis Bethancourt.

2001fallPanamaSeventeen-year-old Jose is the youngest of four brothers born to parents of scant economic means. Since his early childhood Jose worked at sundry jobs ranging from fisherman to car-washer to help make ends meet at home. His desire to go back to school was so great that he struggled, successfully, to obtain a grant and was able to begin his studies anew. But the time required in attending school reduced his ability to contribute to the family income, and he was considering dropping out of school again.

P4P came to the rescue when Jose obtained his first-ever bike. He saved money by not paying bus fares and was able to work longer because the easily maneuverable bike makes the trip to school through Panama’s traffic jams in half the time. Back at work while remaining a student, Jose has once again become an important provider for the family. He boasts about his new-found luxury so much that his friends tease him about his newly gained mobility in his P4P “automobile”. Definitely a satisfied customer!

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