Pueblo a Pueblo, our 2019 Compassionate Impact Grant recipient, strives to develop innovative, data-driven, and culturally appropriate programs to target locally defined problems in the Lake Atitlán region in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Their beekeeping project targets coffee farming communities with a focus on women and Indigenous Mayan farmers. Coffee farming alone does not provide a stable income and is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. For these coffee farmers, adding beekeeping helps provide year-round stable income though honey sales, and the bees help increase coffee income by increasing the coffee yield. Beekeeping has been a Mayan enterprise for centuries, making it a culturally appropriate addition for indigenous coffee farmers in the region.
In the Lake Atitlán region, over 80% of the population lives in poverty, of which 40% face extreme poverty and live on less than $2 USD a day. Among individuals who self-identify as Indigenous in Guatemala, 79% live in poverty (1.7 times higher than the general population). Coffee farmers are subject to volatile market prices, insufficient income for proper nutrition until harvest months, and are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they have had to put many of their usual activities on hold, but they have been able to continue their Maternal-Child Health Project through socially-distanced, small group workshops. In addition to having a space to learn about early childhood development, good nutrition, and hygiene, these workshops provide a safe and supportive space to discuss COVID-19 fears.
Pueblo a Pueblo’s values and project design align with FBB’s very closely. Their project is designed to counteract the effects of colonialism with a culturally appropriate intervention that targets women and indiginous farmers who are living in poverty. FBB is proud to support this innovative, effective, sustainable, culturally-appropriate organization!