An indigenous youth-run organic honey cooperative is struggling to stay in business, losing members to dangerous work in the city. With some technical training in honey production technologies, sales and marketing, the "Bee Boys" will increase their honey production, sales and create stable, sustainable jobs for at-risk youth. Learning-by-doing, the training sessions will leave the group with skills, techniques and materials to re-invest and grow their business.
The Tzutujil Maya community of San Pablo la Laguna endures extremely high rates of unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, political corruption and crime. The San Pablo Youth Group's Honey Bee Cooperative responds to these social and economic challenges by creating sustainable jobs for youth to grow their local economy. 2 years later, with proven demand for their product, the cooperative is ready to expand honey production to provide for their families.
Growing the "Bee Boy's" Cooperative addresses the town's economic decline and provides jobs to young people living sustainable, traditional lifestyles. This project will provide 15 young people with techniques, materials and training to increase honey production and sales. The Boys identified these needs: Permaculture training and fruit-trees for diversified agriculture; Carpentry and Welding training to build their own beehive boxes; Protective Beekeeping Suits; and Processing Equipment.
A small investment in materials and training for the Honey Cooperative will create jobs that lift at-risk youth into dignified, sustainable jobs in their hometown. These jobs will financially support over 75 dependents in San Pablo la Laguna; 75 people will have increased access to nutritious foods grown on site; an expanded bee population will improve regional coffee harvests; increased community consciousness of environmental protection and sustainable agriculture for food security.