Guatemala Guatemala Sayaxché

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Implementing Organization

World Renew

Program Summary

The Asociacion Programa Integral de Desarrollo Cristiano Petén (APIDEC) works in community development with indigenous rural communities located in the region of Petén in northern Guatemala.  During the last seven years they have implemented a sustainable agriculture program focused on providing training to small-scale farmers in soil conservation, crop diversification, poultry raising and post-harvest  practices as part of the Guatemala Four Departments program.

The current phase of the program is scaling-up the activities developed in the previous program by reaching new participants in the five communities that have already been part of the program, as well as new participants in three additional communities. To scale up the sustainable agriculture program, the organization is integrating it into the Maternal and Newborn Child Health program and the Village Savings and Loans Association program, focusing on women, mothers and youth. The migration of men and the variations of the climate in the region has increased the vulnerability of households that are sustained by single women or mothers.

The program’s goal is to empower women and youth by training them in sustainable agriculture practices that increase yields and diversify produce to improve food security, as well as market access to increase income. APIDEC  is also introducing the promotion of beekeeping as a new practice with some of the most successful participants of the previous programs.

Success Stories

Beekeeping Strengthens Family & Community

Even though Julio only recently started beekeeping, his work is showing such promise that he’s being singled out as a possible future leader for the local program.

He arrived 12 years ago in his community in Petén, the northernmost and by far the largest department of Guatemala, situated between Mexico and Belize. He and his family, like others, migrated there seeking to escape the rampant violence in the more densely populated places where they used to live.

Julio’s wife was already benefiting from other training opportunities with local partner APIDEC (Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Petén) focused on sustainable farming and income generation. So, when beekeeping training came up in early 2023, he was invited to join. He says he’s always been interested in the interaction between bees and humans, and was delighted to have a chance to learn more about it.

Hearing about beekeeping activities in “New Dawn,” a nearby town, further inspired him. There, beekeepers are now collectively producing more than five tons of honey a year and earning a decent living from this delectable natural food. APIDEC has been able to use New Dawn’s example of effort and achievement to convince other farmers that beekeeping is a worthwhile activity. During 2023, APIDEC began to encourage neighboring communities like Julio’s to participate in the training.

In addition to instruction on safe and productive management of bees and hives, he has received inputs and technical support from APIDEC. A highlight for him has been visiting the apiaries in New Dawn: seeing their operations with his own eyes has served as further motivation.

Since Julio first received training, he’s established five hives that have brought him a lot of joy, satisfaction and pleasant anticipation. In turn, he is working with APIDEC to involve more of his neighbors in the program. Performing meaningful work that has the potential to improve lives and incomes in his community makes beekeeping that much sweeter a proposition.

Guatemala Sayaxché Program
Led by World Renew and local partner Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Petén (APIDEC)