Project #144 | Beekeeping for Coffee Farmers in Guatemala
Our partnership with Pueblo a Pueblo
In San Pablo and Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, many families count on coffee cultivation as their sole source of income. It is an unforgiving way to make a living, especially for farmers who are not themselves landowners but are hired on a day-to-day basis to work on large plantations. Coffee crops are under constant threat from pests, drought, and disease, and even when yields are high, farmers’ earnings are kept very low by a combination of market pressures and exploitation within the coffee industry. The last decade has brought particularly dire environmental challenges, most notably a fungus called coffee leaf rust which has decimated yields across the coffee-growing highlands.
Our partner Pueblo a Pueblo offers income diversification to coffee farmers by providing them with beekeeping supplies and training. Beekeeping is an opportune way for coffee farmers to earn additional income. With a small plot of land, minimal training, and a few basic materials, even beginner beekeepers can generate income indefinitely if they maintain their hives with care. Sustainable beekeeping also promotes the ecological health of the area in which it is practiced and has been shown to greatly improve agricultural yields, including coffee crops. Income diversification helps coffee farming families fight for greater economic stability and the chance to provide their children with an education. The project will equip participants to increase their individual earnings by 30 percent over the course of its three-year timeline, at which time the collective will be ready to continue operations independent of project support.
Our collective impact
Total People Impacted
Percent Increase in Pounds of Honey Sold
Meet Genaro Simalaj
Through the years, Pueblo a Pueblo beekeeper Genaro has seen the importance of the work the organization does in the different communities they work with. He believes that some people think of it as just honey production, but it’s so much more than that. It has impacts on the environment, each beekeeper and their families, and their communities. The bees have an important role in nature, keeping ecological balance and pollinating, and Pueblo a Pueblo avoids all chemicals and pesticides in beekeeping, so they prevent contaminating the environment and the honey. The organization also promotes organic agriculture so the bees can pollinate pesticide-free crops. The beekeepers learn not only about beekeeping, but other skills. They also earn extra income to improve their lives, and the communities are benefited with a source of excellent honey and a thriving economy.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our jobs and skill fund.