North, Liisa L., “Externally Induced Rural Diversification: The Communitarian Experience of Salinas”
Ch. 10 from North, Liisa L. and John D. Cameron, Rural Progress, Rural Decay: Neoliberal Adjustment Policies and Local Initiatives. 2003.
Abstract: Marika Liebman
This article discusses the transition from the early 1960s through the turn of the millenium of the small parish of Salinas in highland Ecuador, beginning with land reform involving the promotion of small- to medium-scale decentralized rural agro-pastoral and industrial diversification. Gradually, external support was extended to foster the creation of small communal enterprises, eventually leading to the socialization of profits throughout the parish, increased participation in political proceedings, and greater empowerment of women and minority ethnic groups. Within the context of deeply rooted social structures, and later that of international neoliberal policy, the author addresses the successes and failures of these development programs and provides suggestions for improvement. Finally, the experience of Salinas is compared with similar initiatives within Latin America and across the world, encouraging discussion of different modes of developmental transformation.