Resiliency in a hostile environment: The comunidades agricolas of Chile's Norte Chico
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe comunidades agricolas of Chile's Norte Chico are unique entities/systems of indivisible communal land, inherited land use rights, democratic decision-making, and diverse economic strategies that are closely linked to changing environmental conditions. Families reproduce their livelihood in this semi-arid region where drought is chronic and poverty is widespread through a combination of pastoralism, dry land farming, and temporary labor migration. Because this research is based on fieldwork that spanned three years of extreme climate change, the reader is presented with an opportunity to observe a full range of flexible risk management strategies and co-operative mutual assistance that these people make use of at both the family and community level. One particular family's story is given as illustration of the extraordinary resiliency that these communities have shown despite the harsh ecological and, at times, social and political environment in which they are situated. Although government attention to the problems that the comunidades, face has increased during Chile's transition to democracy over the past decade, one of the goals of this dissertation is to bring to light the specifics of their cultural livelihood so that economic development programs that limit their options and conflict with community ideals and practices can be avoided. The material presented here will also address questions concerning the persistence of peasant culture in Latin America in general.
Degree ProgramGraduate College