This study focuses on the relationship of interdependence between the people
and the land in the rural community of Yunguilla, Ecuador, located in the cloud
forest region of the Andes. My research question concerns the valuation of the
land from the campesinos’ perspectives, and how the community has organized to promote environmental conservation as a means for local development. My primary data is qualitative in nature, coming from one-on-one interviews, informal chats, and daily participant-observation within the community during my semester in Ecuador. Yunguilla has come a long way from the slash-and-burn charcoal production that used to be their main source of income, and today there
are five major community projects, including eco-tourism, reforestation, jam and dairy production, an artisan workshop, and a small community store.
They have also started an environmental education program for the youth that aims to foster an appreciation for the land and emphasize the importance of taking care of their unique environment. The community leaders hope to inspire their young people to choose careers in agricultural or environmental studies sothat they may continue to improve the welfare of the land and people alike. The example of the sustainable interdependence between the people and the land of Yunguilla expresses our obligation as human beings to care for the environment and serves as proof that this relationship can be mutually beneficial.
Houns, Elizabeth M..
LA NATURALEZA ES NUESTRO HOGAR:” A model of sustainable environmental and community development in Yunguilla, Ecuador.
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