Kathryn Peters is a dual degree M.A. Latin American Studies/Community and Regional Planning student at the University of New Mexico. Kathryn received a field research grant in 2012 to conduct research in the remote village of Pindoyú, Paraguay.
The community of Pindoyú has historically practiced subsistence agriculture with little interaction with the global economy. However, macro-level policy reform beginning in the 1970s caused international trade, principally agricultural export, to become a priority in the formerly insular Paraguayan countryside. Additionally, a highway located within 5 km of Pindoyú was paved during the mid 1990s, exposing the community to increased migration and trade. Currently, residents of Pindoyú participate in elements of a local, communal economic system while simultaneously playing a role of the global capitalist economy.
Three years after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Pindoyú, Kathyrn returned to the 500 inhabitant village to conduct research for her master’s thesis. To document the changes in inter-personal relationships and the population’s contemporary economic perspective of the land, Kathryn interviewed families and arranged auto-ethnography activities with 2nd-12th graders. The recorded narratives reveal varying perceptions surrounding these cultural shifts, including forms of both adaptation and resistance.