Empowerment and Sustainable Agriculture in Loma Linda, Guatemala: A qualitative study on contributions for empowerment by the local association in Loma Linda
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This study is focused in a Guatemalan small village, Loma Linda, and on the local association ASODILL that is working for sustainable agriculture and alternative employment possibilities.
Many rural areas throughout the world, including Guatemala, have been exposed to neglect by the government, political exclusion, and socioeconomic inequalities. The civil war that roared in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996 left behind psychological suffering, mistrust for the government, socioeconomic weakening and infrastructural destruction. Currently Guatemala suffers from rural poverty, environmental destruction and from an unaccountable state prioritizing economic before an environmentally sound alternative development. Presently, pesticides are encouraged by the Guatemalan government and sold below the market price. The pesticides are, however, destroying the soil and decreasing soil fertility to the point that it turns unusable for agriculture. There have been records of farmers protesting demanding change: requiring the government to halt environmental damaging actions and financial assistance for sustainable agriculture.
I am examining if the local association, ASODILL, has contributed to a social, political and economic empowerment through their main objectives of sustainable agriculture and increasing employment alternatives Loma Linda. John Friedmanns Empowerment theory is the main helping device for understanding the empowerment effects of ASODILL in the village better. Ethnography as interpersonal method enabled me to construct a view on how the village has generally changed through the association, by participatory observation and interviews. The conclusion suggests that the association, through its work for sustainable development, has contributed to a social empowerment. This is mainly because Loma Linda already has the necessary prerequisites. With a stable social infrastructure ASODILLs external networking and expansion made the association grow which included them in a wider political community that aims for similar objective and thereby are politically empowered. The association has not yet achieved any economic empowerment. If a long-term empowerment is to be achieved the Guatemalan government must start to take the farmers political demand seriously or there is a risk that the local prosperity will not be long lasted.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 48 p.
Sustainable, agriculture, pesticides, empowerment, Guatemala, alternative development
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-14321OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-14321DiVA: diva2:443925
Subject / course
Peace and development
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
2011-08-25, Växjö, 12:46 (English)
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law