It is the 5 year anniversary of our Jungle Jams project and we’ve seen some startling results:
By mid 2014, the Maya women had sold a total of 7,793kg of jam products, generating a total income of £57,597 since the start of the project in 2009.
“I remember our meeting with the Travel Foundation back then (autumn 2008), when the Travel Foundation presented their work plan saying that by the end of 2009 we will be achieving commercial links with the Azul Sensatori… we said yes, but we thought this was going to be another broken dream, it took us a while to realise we are living a dream.” Homobona Dzul (Ema)
TUI UK and Ireland sponsored the project for four years between 2009 and 2012. The jam-makers received training and capacity building to support product development, marketing, infrastructure and business development, and the creation of new supply chain linkages. The group is now running a successful micro-enterprise.
Since the project has ended the business has continued to thrive. They have had an average annual growth rate of 13.5% and Jam sales have generated an average of £16,000 each year compared to an average of £300 pre-project. The group has also negotiated contracts with several more large hotels.
“I’ve been saving money from the jams profit, thanks to that I was able to purchase 608 bricks to build a house in a nearby town (Felipe Carrillo Puerto) so my sons will have a place to stay when they move there to study a degree, I need to work hard as in just three years the oldest one will be in junior high!” María Caamal
With increased confidence, the group have been growing their businesses by presenting at events and trade fairs (Latin American Food Shows 2011 & 2012, Sustainable Tourism Expo 2012-2014, Women’s Rights conference 2014,) and challenging traditional gender roles within their families and the wider community.