by Christian DeVries

Santiago Morales-Mata is crazy about bees. Twenty-six years ago he received his first hive but he knew nothing bees, but after years of trial and error he got better.

In 2002 he joined a Heifer bee project. He still had very limited knowledge, so the trainings (along with the 10 hives) he received were important for him to take his beekeeping to the next level. Santiago learned everything he could, from how to start a new hive all the way through to harvesting honey more efficiently. “I received training which has been very important,” he said.

All of this training helped him increase his income from roughly $81 per month to $271. Santiago was able to add more cows to his herd and, in addition to beekeeper, he is a dairy farmer. When we visited his farm, it was buzzing with activity. He has 42 hives, 20 chickens and more than 40 cows. “Everything that we have, in terms of our land, animals, cows, is coming from bees,” he said.

Santiago is happy that this project has been so successful, and he believes that by passing on the gift, Heifer’s projects will reach many additional families. As I have seen firsthand on this trip there are many poor families in Honduras anxious for Heifer’s assistance.

Christian DeVries interviewed project participants in Honduras on behalf of Heifer International. This is the final installment in a series of posts he sends from the field. You can read his earlier posts here.

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Casey Neese