We know the important role of bees worldwide for food production. They are responsible for collecting pollen from flowers, producing honey, among other functions.
Our survival on earth also depends on keeping bees alive, so it is important that we all take sides in some way.
A very particular story arises around that care, women from the Mayan community organized began to dedicate themselves to meliponiculture, not only to guarantee the life of the bees, but as a commercial undertaking.
Meliponiculture is the breeding of bees that do not have a sting, it is a species that is endemic to the Mayan region, the meliponas.
Through an Educampo program called #SoyAbejaMaya, three areas are covered: the empowerment of indigenous women, the protection of bees and the preservation of the Mayan jungle through the trade of products derived from meliponiculture, that is, breeding of bees that do not have a sting, such as the Mayan bee endemic to southern Mexico.
The program has been running in southern Mexico for over a decade. With it, more than 200 indigenous Mayan women have benefited, since they receive training and technical assistance to take care of bees, “so that they even give them artificial feeding when the plants are not appropriate for the season, also to learn to reproduce and generate all their habitat ”.
The honey produced by these bees is converted into products such as soaps, talcum powder, shampoo and creams that cooperatives sell in their locality and in neighboring municipalities.
With this program, women are also empowered since they become agents of social change in their communities and also preserve an endemic species while breaking gender roles. Likewise with their work they show that women are beyond dedicating themselves exclusively to housework, which they transmit to their families.
The project has been carried out for seven years in the south of the country specifically in the Mayan communities of Campeche and Yucatán and with it, more than 528 women have benefited.
In these areas, they learn to create their own businesses and also change gender roles within their community.
“In this women's program we do see a very strong social difference, indeed, there are certain very defined roles in rural communities. What the girls share with us is that they feel more self-confident from the moment they leave their community to sell ”.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of the women benefited only went to school for three years, so they want their children to have the opportunity to prepare more academically. A clear example of this situation is Mrs. Elvia, who, according to the aforementioned site, with her work as part of #SoyAbejaMaya managed to generate the necessary resources for her eldest daughter.
The women who are part of #SoyAbejaMaya are accompanied by Educampo for five years in which they learn to establish and manage a company.
"At some point when they are independent, what we do is let them work alone to support other women."