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Nestled on the majestic slopes of the
Andes Mountains lies a community that has
struggled to reconcile its natural beauty with
so much need. More than 200 families in
this community in Bolivia suffered from rural
isolation and government neglect. In order
to fundamentally change their prospects, the
villagers decided to boost their incomes in a
way that would also enhance their nutritional
intake. The perfect solution was to
Working with the Peace Corps
Volunteer, the community created a plan to
build two beekeeping sites (or apiaries)
containing a total of 30 bee boxes. In order
to increase the project’s sustainability the
community planted thousands of flowering
trees for the bees to feed on. Additionally,
planting these trees also helped to prevent
destructive soil erosion on the mountainside.
As they built the apiaries, the community
members also took classes on creating and
maintaining commercial beehives.
With the first labeled jar of honey
ready for sale, this community is so proud of
how far they have come. The support of
donors from across the United States, an
extremely motivated Peace Corps Volunteer,
and the hard work of the entire community,
has resulted in 5,000 trees being planted and
two apiaries being constructed. The honey
being produced is now being sold around the
region, as well as being used by the local
schools to supplement their students’ meals.
This project has done more than just improve
a town’s material well being; it has shown
them how big they can dream if they work
together as a community.
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