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cease during planting time so the workers can plant their fields. All the cooperatives also

said that surpluses, when available, are divided between the members in addition to

whatever money they earn working. This is especially true for cases where a cooperative

makes money in logging.

In addition to employment and cash income, members receive other benefits. All

the cooperatives in the study reported giving credit to their members when sufficient

funds were available in the cooperatives’ savings. This is an important advantage for

people who normally have no access to credit. In addition, the cooperatives reported

giving emergency assistance to members in cases of illness or death. Cooperativa

Guadalupe also has a Christmas savings fund, which members can contribute to from

their income. The members then withdraw the money before the holidays, buying gifts or

entertaining family. Many members, especially those who participate in cooperative

leadership, also have the opportunity to gain new skills and experience.

The activities of the cooperatives also benefit the communities in a collective

sense. All the cooperatives reported contributing to community projects and

organizations in some way. Villa Santa, for example, has contributed money and labor

towards projects in the community including roads, a community center, the water

system, and the primary and secondary school. The cooperative also operates a general

store where people can buy farm implements and other products at discount prices

without leaving the community. Protección contributes three Lempiras per barrel of resin

and fifty-five Lempiras per cubic meter of wood to the Patronato (Village Council). The

Patronato uses the money for community projects. The cooperatives also manage and

protect the forest and watersheds surrounding the communities.


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