Equipped with pedal power and a message to share, a group of 11 cyclists pulled into Nelson this week as part of the Otesha project.
The Otesha project is a non-profit organization based in Ottawa.
“Basically we’re a group of volunteers who are on a cycling tour, performing at schools, community centres and parks along the way between Vancouver and Lethbridge,” said Julia Earley, one of the volunteers.
The group performed at L.V. Rogers high school on Tuesday and Trafalgar on Wednesday.
“We are doing performances about sustainability, environmental sustainability and social justice,” said Earley.
“We’re doing this play about a girl called Emma who wants to change the world but she doesn’t really know how and she doesn’t have the support from people. Gradually it works out that simple actions can have an effect on the world whether it be a positive or a negative effect.”
In addition to the performances, the group also worked with LVR students on two workshops, one focused on corn and the other on bananas.
The workshops looked at fair trade, monocropping and the impacts of industry on the environment and the societies where the products are grown.
After school, the Otesha group spent time with students who are part of the school’s garden project.
They visited the garden and greenhouse and heard about what students are already doing at the school to promote sustainability.
Earley said one of the best experiences of the tour has been travelling with the group
“It’s really intense living, breathing and travelling with 10 other people 24/7,” she said.
“But it’s so exciting and I’m learning so much every day. I cycled before but more just around town, not really long distances. It’s really exciting to see what your body is capable of. To travel by bike is really exciting because you take in so much more.”
Otesha has two more weeks of travel before arriving in Lethbridge. They will be stopping in Creston, Cranbrook and Fernie.