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Story and Photos by Debora Martinez | Communications Coordinator | Heifer Guatemala

One year after Heifer Guatemala implemented the Strengthening the Beekeeping Value Chain project, 16 families in Nilla village increased their initial number of hives by 30 percent.

"I will continue to increase honey production to pay for the education of our children," project participant Jose Morales said.

Nilla village is located among the mountains in Santiago Chimaltenango, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Here, community agriculture and beekeeping are the economic engines for villagers.

In August 2012, each family received 400 queen bees and funds to purchase sugar and household hygiene training. Participants also learned how to produce and use pollen and propolis—a waxy, resinous material that bees collect from the buds of trees to maintain and repair their hives.

Participants gained bee breeding skills on a learning tour with Programa Moscamed Guatemala, which is responsible for eradicating the Mediterranean fruit fly. They also received training on processing and packaging products from the Santiago Chimaltenango Development Association (ASODECH), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and the Department of Health.

Project participants Rolando Morales and Mario Ramirez have already begun Passing on the Gift® (POG) to support their community. They passed on to three young men, Rene Ramirez, Baudilio Ramirez and Juan Isaias, who share in the enthusiasm of the whole project and are committed to continuing the pass-on tradition.

Learn how you can pass on sweet success.


Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.