By Chris Bornstein
Buenas Dias, and Aloha from Ensenada, Mexico! My name is Chris and I am currently the solo rider for Pedaling for Peace, a project I started a year ago now to help raise awareness for peace and the environment by being the change I most wish to see in the world and hopefully being an inspiration to those I meet and speak with to make changes in their own life for the good of all, especially the children of the world.
I have crossed the United States and am now on the international portion of my trip which will last the next 7-12 years, taking me across the world through Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, throughout Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and ultimately back to Hawaii where I spent the last 5 years studying Chinese Medicine, permaculture farming, Kung Fu, Yoga and of course, surfing, and learning to love the Earth that sustains us.
I am currently in Ensenada, my second stop on the international portion of my journey which began upon my arrival in Tijuana, Mexico. As a side note, Tijuana I have found to be one of the most heart pounding rides on my journey thus far, for ninja’s only!
Ensenada has turned out to be my first major project that I am fortunate enough to work on. The project, Vamos a Limpiar La Ciudad, aims at maintaining a clean and environmentally healthy Ensenada. The main focus of this organization currently is saving the last lagoon in Ensenada city, home to more than 140 species of birds, of which 17 are on the endangered species list.
Every rainy season, the lagoon swells and the surrounding land becomes a marsh/wetlands, home to some many creatures great and small. The current landowners are doing everything in thier power to fill and then literally pave over the lagoon in order to build ocean front housing as there is a great demand from America and Canada for "cheap" ocean front housing (condos, mansions, etc.)
The government had declared the land a protected area, since that law was passed, through bribes and government contacts, the landowners have managed to put the law on hold and it is now under review for change. During this time, there is a constant back and forth between the environmental groups and the landowners who are going as far as paying men to bulldoze the lagoon in the middle of the night in an attempt to drain it and allowing packs of off-road enthusiasts to use the dunes as a track. In turn, the environmental groups then counter balance by rebuilding the lagoon and getting the off-road enthusiasts chased off by the police.
My purpose now as explained to me by all the groups involved is to raise awareness and bring about cooperation between the groups involved: a more unified front. Also, I will invite people from north of the border down to Ensenada in order to help out with the clean up and media day in an effort to put ever increasing pressure on the government, and help raise funds for the legal battle which is underway to re-assert the law protecting the land. I will be working with Surfrider groups in Ensenada and San Diego, and bicycling groups/organizations in combination with couchsurfing.org and Wildcoast/Cosatsalvaje to bring more people to Ensenada and to have them housed and given guides for the city to have some fun after the clean up day – biking (on/off road, surfing, hotsprings etc.). The bike ride from San Diego to Ensenada is fantastic, giving all kinds of terrain, and views. It ends with a very serious climb that gives you a fantastic downhill for miles right to the ocean.
Lastly I am bringing the local schools together with the ecology and bicycling groups in the city to help raise awareness when it comes to protecting the cities true treasures which are never missed until they are gone.
Peace, Love and Aloha!