SBBIKE Outreach Coordinator Myrna Muñoz looks forward to growing the wealth of diversity that helps make SBBIKE such a benefit to the community.
Myrna Muñoz immediately felt welcome at SBBIKE. As part of her role as the coalition’s new outreach coordinator, she plans to ensure others do too. “I want to make this community stronger and even more connected,” she says.
That means growing the wealth of diversity within the SBBIKE/Bici family, which “brings so much good to the community. Part of being an SBBIKE member is being open to many opportunities,” says Muñoz. “You interact with people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, with different accents.”
For Muñoz, who grew up in El Salvador, SBBIKE is “from another world.” It’s about living the ideal, happy faces, and truly seeing everyone in the community. “When people come, and we say, ‘No worries. We’re going to help you,’ you can see it on their faces: Finally somebody understands me and my needs.”
When Muñoz was young, her family moved from the capital, San Salvador, to a more rural area. To keep her and her four siblings entertained, her parents got one bike. All of them, including her dad and mom, learned to ride on that same BMX—“our forever bicycle.” Muñoz doesn’t remember how many times she fell, but she will forever treasure the memories. To this day, her siblings say to each other, “Remember Daddy learning to ride on that tiny bike?”
In El Salvador, Muñoz cycled as support for national athletes. Riding for transport in the city, though, was challenging and dangerous; she stopped after her bike was stolen by a man with a knife.
She moved to Santa Barbara in 2013. Her mother has been in the States for thirty years. SBBIKE is part of her process of finding her own path. “This has been an amazing turnaround for my life, for my career, and as a human being,” she says. She enjoys outreach, talking growth of cycling and local investment in infrastructure and inviting collaboration—“I tell people we need their support, and we are here to support them.” She encourages people to talk about SBBIKE, to donate bicycles, and to come to Bici for repairs or when they need new bikes for their kids.
Muñoz looks forward to using her Spanish language. Her message: “In the end, we are all the same community here. Everybody is equal. We treat everybody equally.” If anyone doesn’t feel the welcome she has enjoyed, she will ask, “What do you need? How I can help you feel more welcome?”
She plans to listen too. Feedback leads to great ideas and workable solutions.
And she’ll surely add to friends she has found. “Being an immigrant, I came to a community that has been amazingly open and helpful,” says Muñoz. “I have seen so much kindness here.” She looks forward to meeting you, sharing a little about herself and learning a little about you.
Muñoz can be reached at [email protected]