As part of our celebration of Heritage Month on Roatán, we acknowledge those working to preserve communities and conserve land on the island. Juana Flores is an island resident who is preserving Roatán through her work on the successful apiculture farm in her community of Corozal. Read on for our interview with Juana which took place in the midst of the bees:
When did you start working at the Apiculture farm?
I started working in March 2014, when the Roatan Marine Park (RMP) extended an invitation out to the community of Corozal inviting them to come together to find job alternatives to help build the community. The RMP presented this project as an opportunity for the fishermen. As a single mother, it drew my attention to become part of this project. I saw where I could get a job and provide for my children. When I first started my children were in shock about me taking this opportunity, and working with bees.
Along with Don Isidrio we have been able to receive certifications on Apiculture, which has helped me and the farm in so many ways. I now consider myself a great woman of apiculture, and a world saver.
What do you love about this community and your job?
I was born and bred in the beautiful community of Corozal. Never did I imagine myself working at an Apiculture farm and having this job, but now as I involve myself more in my community and in my job I now consider myself a hero. My community is filled with lots of great things, and luckily I work with one of those great things which is honey!
How has this Apiculture farm helped you and your community?
The farm has helped the community progress, because it has opened doors for many women and men in the community. As a team we envision to reach out to children homes here on the island, as well as visit schools offering honey to students to eat with their pancakes. We love our community and we love teaching the people about the process of how to make honey.