Mariel Aguilar-Støen: Between a rock and a hard place: rural transformations and migrant communities in Guatemala
In Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 2019.
My case study of a Guatemalan coffee cooperative illustrates how migrant aspirations shape and are being shaped by this rural institution, and how local dynamics and international flows interact. I understand aspirations to involve negotiations of the past in the present, thus serving as a compass for action. Opportunities for coffee production and access to land that are opened by the remittance economy provide more than material gains; they expand rural people’s sense of self and change their position in relation to others. While aspirations alone cannot secure broad social change, they provide hope that is crucial to endure difficult conditions.