activity they promoted for the cooperatives was tapping the pine trees for resin.
Cooperatives also formed in some areas of broadleaf forest. These groups were given
permission to harvest small volumes of trees and convert them to lumber in the forest
using pit sawing techniques.
Technicians from COHDEFOR were sent into the field to identify potential
groups and train them. New cooperatives received technical and organizational training,
monetary assistance for obtaining legal recognition as cooperatives, loans for buying
equipment, and were assigned areas of forest where they would collect resin.
Cooperatives must register with the Honduran Institute of Cooperatives (IHC) to be
legally recognized. COHDEFOR never guaranteed that the areas assigned to the
cooperatives could not be auctioned or harvested by COHDEFOR or other entities in the
The development of the resin cooperatives gave rise to a parallel development of
three Honduran resin processing plants: Complejo Industrial Comayagua, Resinera
Maya, and Resinera Bahr (ADECAF, 1998). The cooperatives sold resin to these three
companies which existed in independent competition during the 1970s and 1980s. The
prices paid to the cooperatives in this period reflected the fluctuations in world market
prices for crude resin. In 1990, the three processors joined forces to control the
Honduran resin market, focusing on prices paid for crude resin. This new conglomerate
was called the Fondo de Resina, and the cooperatives had to deal directly with the Fondo
in order to sell their resin.
During the 1980s, some resin cooperatives were successful and were able to
invest in their communities. Some cooperatives built water projects, schools, community