For the Bee Boys, producing honey isn't just about producing money.
The value of beekeeping is also a spiritual practice, a ceremony of communion with nature and nurturing the positive relationships between plants, bees and humans.
The Bee Boys have a fire ceremony site at the entrance to their land so they can stop to attune to the bees and enter the space in calmness. This is necessary, especially when bringing guests, because the bees are very sensitive to emotional agitation and will swarm at the already upset person.
For Utz Kab, the beekeeping is also about spreading awareness. Concerned about the ecological crisis, keeping bees is about raising awareness amongst neighbouring coffee farmers - chemical sprays affect the populations of our most precious pollinators.
Finally, Utz Kab is about preserving cultural heritage through language and way of life in the modern world. As musicians and actors, they sing proudly about traditional farming in Tzu'tujil language with an electric guitar and bass. Their income from honey fuels their creative expression for community cohesion.
With your help, they opened up sales of honey in two health food stores and at a Montessori school! They have an ever growing following on Facebook of local residents who recieve honey delivered to their front door! The honey bees are producing more than ever - in great health since 2017 gave good rains and great flowers.
With the success of their cooperative, they reached further out to the community to share their abundance! In August, they matched your donations with their own honey-income to put on a free public concert in their village! The concert featured local artists from traditional flutes and drums to Tzutujil Alternative Rock and an internationally recognized Tzutujil Hiphop artist, TzutuKan. It was a huge sucess, thanks to your support, the town enjoyed fantastic lights and sound like they've never heard before.
In return for your generosity they wrote a project report for transparent finance use. And since ATC loves transparency, I atttach the summary here!
Now in their 10th year of organizing, the Bee Boys coordinated a great music and arts festival with lights and music to give pride to their town's artists and increase awareness to 500 indigenous teenagers about tradition and sustainability.
The show featured Tzutujil hip hop, alternative rock, DJs, and indigenous drums and flutes. Local painter, Pablo, had his work featured and publicized his free afterschool art classes. They spoke out about protecting indigenous way of life and protecting the Lake and waters.
Members of Miel Q'aniel (the Bee Boys) wrote their own Tzutujil rock songs speaking to life in San Pablo as agricultural workers.
The Bee Boys send you this special message,
"You have us a huge hand up! We couldn't have made this festival a success without you and we give you a big thank you as organizers and as participants. This was the first time our band ever got up on stage to share our music with our town, and now, all the other artists are talking about preparing for next year's event. The festival was almost dead, now it's up and running again!"
- Jeremias, Bee Boy and Organizer of Festival Ijatz
Can you help us do more? This Thursday, October 5th, Globalgiving is matching funds!
This is our chance to support youth-driven social change for sustainable living.
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