Maijuna elders are at increased risk from COVID-19
Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon, including our partners, the Maijuna, are extremely vulnerable to the pandemic due to persistent inequality, discrimination, and lack of access to health care. Our partner communities are currently sheltering in place to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 to their ancestral lands.
OnePlanet’s immediate focus has shifted to safely delivering essential medicines, personal protective equipment, food, and supplies to Maijuna families that they would otherwise risk leaving their communities to procure. Through our pandemic relief and the Maijuna’s community-organized efforts to shelter in place, the current front-lines of sustainable development are keeping communities healthy and safe from the pandemic.
Though sheltering in place and the restriction of commerce mean that workshops and market activities are on hold, Maijuna beekeepers continue to tend their hives. The dozens of beekeeping workshops and hundreds of home visits for technical support that OnePlanet has provided in recent years have prepared the Maijuna beekeepers to independently maintain and expand their hives. The hundreds of hives tended in Maijuna communities continue to improve local access to honey and pollen, which are traditionally important medicines. Just before the pandemic, the Maijuna reached record high hive numbers and honey harvest. Due to the technical capacity of the beekeepers we have trained, the activity’s roots in Maijuna culture, and the bountiful harvest last season, the future of stingless beekeeping is incredibly bright.
As soon as it is safe, we are eager to continue advancing sustainable development in the Maijuna communities through stingless beekeeping as an alternative income source. As beekeepers master management techniques and honey production increases, the project’s next steps include building capacity in the collective business model and supporting beekeepers’ connection to retail partnerships for honey sales.
Maijuna stingless beehive