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Case Study

Honey and Jam in Mexico

Full case study: Jam and Honey in Mexico
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For some Maya people living in rural areas, tourism employment has largely been confined to lower paid jobs in hotels on the coast. These positions often require leaving the community and living in Cancun.

As a result, the cultural cost of tourism has been, in some cases, a progressive loss of identity and place, the dying out of cultural traditions, and the breaking up of families.

In response to these issues, we set up two projects that demonstrate how to enable small community enterprises to access the tourism market, whilst remaining in their communities: a jam cooperative, and a honey-products business that also conserves the Melipona bee.

 

What we did

  • Capacity building: we supported the two groups to develop their businesses, by providing training including in marketing, administration, accounting, information management and team work
  • Product development: an important part of the skills development was to enable the two groups to develop products suitable for the tourism market. This included how to conduct product testing, developing a strong brand, and meeting legal, health and safety requirements
  • Environmental protection: we supported Much Kaab to improve their bee-keeping practices to protect and conserve the endangered Melipona bee. Plus, we helped both groups to integrate sustainable environmental practice into their businesses
  • Improved infrastructure: we supported both groups to improve their kitchen/production areas to international health, safety and hygene standards
  • Creating links with hotels: we supported the creation of purchasing agreements with hotels which are being renewed annually, underpinning the long-term sustainability of the project.