Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Angelina Jolie spent several days in the Riviera Maya town of Santa Clara to launch a new training and conservation initiative for Guerlain’s Women for Bees Program.
Jolie, who is Guerlain’s Bee Ambassador, met with the group of Mayan women several days last week in the community located approximately 58 kilometers west of Playa del Carmen, which is the heart of Riviera Maya.
There, she participated in the training and conservation initiative for Guerlain’s Women for Bees program, who have teamed up with UNESCO.
Women for Bees has also partnered with Fundación Selva Maya (FSM), a non-profit organization committed to protecting the Melipona beecheii, the sacred bees of the ancient Mayan civilization.
Jolie shared her Santa Clara experience through a video with Guerlain. “I recently traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and met with the inspiring Mayan women of the region who are helping to preserve the oldest and smallest bee in the world, the Melipona beecheii.”
The Mexican indigenous women taught Jolie about the bees being the primary source of pollination for the Mayan forest ecosystem.
“These bees are very important to maintain the balance of biodiversity in the region, but they are at risk of becoming extinct,” Jolie added. “This was an opportunity to learn more. Guerlain’s Women for Bees initiative is one of the small steps taken to find solutions.”
Jolie was part of a program that aims to provide training to support ancient beekeeping traditions among Mayan women and address the dangers to the Melipona bee population.
On social media, the Guerlain company explained that “In a fitting tribute to this year’s expansion of the Women For Bees program, Guerlain was proud to accompany Guerlain’s Bee Ambassador Angelina Jolie, who mentored the first-ever cohort of Women For Bees graduate to Mexico as part of Guerlain’s collaboration with La Fundacion Selva Maya and Maroma & Belmond.
“The programme will train female beekeepers in Mayan communities while helping protect the Melipona beecheii bee – a critically important endangered native species. Launched in 2020, Guerlain’s Women For Bees initiative combines two of the Maison’s most important commitments: protecting bees and empowering women.
The stingless Melipona honey bees, which are an endemic species to the Yucatan Peninsula, are known not only for their small size, for also for being “bees without a sting” by the Mayan people.