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WAXING EXODUS: AN EXPLORATION OF MATERIAL CULTURE, DEVELOPMENT AND MIGRATION IN RANCHO DE LOS PL ATANOS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC By CHAD R. MAXWELL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004
Copyright 2004 by Chad R. Maxwell
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My sincerest gratitude goes to the people of Rancho de los Platanos who not only generously shared their time, stories and wisdom with me, but were an instrumental part of one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I am especially indebted to Mario and his daughter Idys for their hospitality and warmth, and to Doa Dorca and the staff of ADEPE for their insight, assistance and kindness. I want to thank the members of my committee, Drs. Gerald F. Murray and H. Russell Bernard. Dr. Murray, the chair of my committee, provided countless hours of his time discussing my research, editing my prose and shaping me as a scholar. I am especially thankful for his extensive knowledge of rural Dominican life, which was invaluable in this study. My methods and mode of research were greatly influenced by Dr. Bernard. Our conversations about my study intellectually challenged me, and from that I significantly grew as a researcher. Lianne Carr, my best friend, has been a faithful companion throughout my entire academic career and life. She provided unyielding support during times of self-doubt and thunderous applause during my times of triumph. There are several other friends and colleagues with whom I have also accumulated a debt of gratitude: Matthew McPherson played a fundamental role in refining my research topic and connecting me with ADEPE. During my time in the Dominican Republic, Peace Corps volunteers Jon Geyer and Lee Grever were amazingly generous with their time, homes and insight into Dominican life. Back in Florida, the camaraderie iii
of my friends provided support and the occasional, much-needed break. A special thank you also goes to Drs. Rebecca Gearhart and Charles Springwood. These two professors scholastically inspired me and helped me discover my passion for anthropology. They still encourage me to this day. The Tinker Foundation and the University of Florida Alumni Fellowship provided much of the funding for this research. I gratefully acknowledge the support these two organizations provided. Finally, and most important, I would like to thank my parents, Don, Judy and Linda, and my sister, Heather. Their love, sacrifice, accommodation, encouragement and patience have been infinite and constant throughout my life. And for that, I will be forever thankful. iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION, MIGRATION THEORY AND RESEARCH QUESTION.........1 Migration Theory..........................................................................................................1 Connecting Migration Models to Development...........................................................4 Research Question and Hypotheses..............................................................................6 2 FIELDWORK DESIGN AND METHODS.................................................................8 Field Work and Research Design.................................................................................8 Field Site Selection.......................................................................................................9 Methods......................................................................................................................10 Data Organization.......................................................................................................12 3 ETHNOGRAPHIC SKETCH AND DEMOGRAPHICS..........................................15 4 ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND MIGRATION HISTORY...........................................23 The Dominican Republics Historical Line................................................................23 Rancho de los Platanos Historical Line.....................................................................28 Summary.....................................................................................................................36 5 VARIABLES CLUSTERS, DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND HYPTOTHESES TESTING....................................................................................................................38 Economic/ Material Variable Cluster.........................................................................38 Education Variable.....................................................................................................42 Project Participation Variable.....................................................................................43 Rural-Urban Attitudinal Orientation Variable Cluster...............................................44 v
Migration Variable Cluster.........................................................................................45 Hypothesis Testing, Associations and Correlations...................................................49 Hypothesis One...........................................................................................................50 Hypothesis Two..........................................................................................................52 Summary.....................................................................................................................53 6 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND CASE STUDY................................................55 Conclusion Explanations............................................................................................55 Migration Story and Case Study.................................................................................60 7 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................64 APPENDIX A MAPS.........................................................................................................................66 B CENSUS DATA EXAMPLE.....................................................................................68 C MIGRATION LOG DATA EXAMPLE....................................................................69 D MATERIAL/ECONOMIC VARIABLES DATA EXAMPLE..................................70 E GLOBAL CALENDER..............................................................................................71 F THEMATIC KEY......................................................................................................72 G PHOTOS OF HOMES IN RANCHO DE LOS PLATANOS....................................77 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................78 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................82 vi
LIST OF TABLES Table page 1. Descriptive statistics for scalar economic/ material variables......................................40 2. Reported number of outmigrant totals per household...................................................46 3. Migrant locations and percent of total migrants in each location.................................47 4. Case summaries comparing economic/material standing of PDACRJ participants and nonparticipants......................................................................................................50 vii
LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1. Distribution of individual education levels...................................................................42 2. Distribution of reported migration motivations............................................................48 viii
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts WAXING EXODUS: AN EXPLORATION OF MATERIAL CULTURE, DEVELOPMENT AND MIGRATION IN RANCHO DE LOS PLATANOS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC By Chad R. Maxwell May 2004 Chair: Gerald F. Murray Major Department: Anthropology This study explores the relationship between internal migration patterns, economic/ material well-being and development in Rancho de los Platanos Dominican Republic. Rancho de los Platanos is a community of about 310 people and 70 households in the Dominican Republic, just northeast of Moca. In the late 1970's, there was a major economic crisis in this northern region (the Espaillat providence and the Jamao River Valley) sparked by the reduction of market prices of local major cash crops including coffee, yauta and cacao on the world market. In addition, severe insect problems made the large stands of coffee that remained practically unusable. When the prices fell on the world market, many farmers experienced an economic crisis and migrated from the rural to urban areas in hopes of finding better lives and luck, as one community member stated. With the migration of farmers and the clear-cutting of coffee, erosion and other environmental issues also ensued. ix
In 1994, ADEPE (Asociacin para el Desarrollo de la Provincia Espaillat, Inc.) started a project called PDACRJ (Proyecto Desarrollo Agroforestal de la Cuenca Ri Jamao) in reaction to this environmental, economic and cultural problem. To develop communities such as Rancho de los Platanos in the Jamao River Valley, the PDACRJ had three objectives: 1) increase and teach agroforestry techniques, 2) strengthen local organizations in the area to increase collective voice and power; and 3) introduce bee-keeping as a new source of income in the area. With this in mind, this study asks if the PDACRJs efforts to provide new, alternative cash-crops to replace the income of coffee and cacao led to greater prosperity. And did this greater prosperity, if it exists, lead people to stay in the community rather than migrate to more urban areas? The research shows evidence of a higher level of economic prosperity amongst PDACRJ participants, though there is no way of knowing whether the project recruited economically more prosperous people, or whether the higher prosperity level is a result of the project. With respect to migration, there is no evidence of a lower migration rate among project participants. I attributed the continuing migration trends to chain migration, the seeking of advanced education, age and an overall attitudinal orientation that migration is a secure route to increased opportunity and well-being. As others have found, this study demonstrates that increased well-being may indeed reduce the push of the rural areas, but this does not necessarily reduce outmigration. x
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION, MIGRATION THEORY AND RESEARCH QUESTION The Dominican Republic has a long and complex relationship with migration. Since the arrival of the Taino in prehistoric times to the Spaniards landing in 1492, and from the importation of African slaves to the fleeing of people from political turmoil, immigration and emigration have been a constant part the countrys history (Pessar 1997). Internationally, the World Migration Report states that 36,000 immigrants from the Dominican Republic were admitted to the United States in 1996That is about .5% of the Dominican Republics population. The US consulates office processes over 500 Dominican applications for visas daily, making the Dominican Republic third for the country with the most number of requests (Martin 2002). Domestically, by the year 1970, Santo Domingo was already half comprised of internal migrants (Georges 1990). In fact, a 1976 study found that 91% of all heads of households in the five slum districts of Santo Domingo were migrants and that 46% of them had arrived in the 1950s (Vargas-Lundius 1991). Clearly, the Dominican Republic represents a microcosm of all the main migration patterns such as immigration and emigration, a considerable return migrant population and continual internal migration (Morrison and Sinkin 1982). And such is the nature of this studyThe Dominican Republic, a small community called Rancho de los Platanos and the variables involved with internal migration. Migration Theory Bradshaw (1987) noticed that all across Latin America and the Caribbean that rural inhabitants were leaving their agricultural activities. They were migrating to urban areas 1
2 at an increasing rate that was relative to national economic development. Why, however, were they migrating? And more specifically, why are the people of the Dominican Republic moving? Multiple theories exist to explain these patterns of human movement. For example, the world systems approach traces the evolution of a global economy through the expansion of Europe from the end of the fifteenth century to explain social situations such as modern migrations (Skeldon 1997). The mobility transition model, on the other hand, is part of the developmentalist approach. This theory looks upon migration as a developmental process; and it says that demographic transition, industrialization, and modernization in rural areas are primary factors of migratory patterns and behaviors (Portes 1997). More contemporary migration theory has investigated not only the elemental forces driving the migration processes, but has explored how the variables of social networks, community expectations, identities and household strategies affect the practice. Other migratory theories include arenas such as transnational communities, second generation households, gender, state and state systems control and cross-national comparisons. Although there is no overall encompassing explanation of migration, most theories have some form of economic law as their base (Portes 1997). The economic base of most migration theories can trace its roots back to E.G. Ravenstein and Harris-Todoro. Some scientists even propose that they are the founding fathers of modern migration research (Skeldon 1997). Ravensteins work had 11 major principles of migration and the most famous of these states that as industry volume and commerce develop people movemeaning, again, that the major causes of migration are economic (Ravenstein 1976). Harris-Todoro presented a similar model. It said that the
3 reason why potential migrants move to the urban area is not based on a hidden expected income maximization goal. Rather, the economic factors that motivate the decision hinge on urban-rural real wage differential that exists for different education and skill levels, and by the chance that an individual might succeed in gaining wage-employment in some amount of time (Harris 1970). The economic analyses have grown and changed since their conception into family-decision making modeling, risk minimization strategies and others, but the overall concept of economics has remained intact. One of the most common models to which early migration theory led is the push-pull model. The models basic principles are that migrants react to primarily economic conditions in the places of origin and destination, that migrants have sufficient information about living conditions in the destination place, that the migration decision is based an economic calculation, and that the migration, therefore, is a response to the actual economic conditions in the places of origin and destination (Malmberg 1997, 29). For example, some factors that may push individuals out of the rural areas may be boredom, low wages, poor education availability and no health care. On the other hand factors that pull rural people to the urban areas may be diversity of jobs, better education and increased closeness to friends and family (Skeldon 1997; Turner 1976). Georges (1990), an expert on all forms of Dominican migration, observed that [i]n rural areas, population growth, dwindling and deteriorating land resources, low wages, and high unemployment help push potential migrants out of their home communities. At the same time, comparatively higher wages in the advanced industrial countries exert a strong pull that attracts those who decide they will come out ahead by leaving their communities
4 behind (3). With a foundation of economics and material well-being, the push-pull model is a standard in migration theory. Beyond economics and material well-being, however, there are other reasons for migration. For example, social reasons play some role in the migration decision-making process (Libercier 1996). Some individuals move to be with family that has already migrated. Other individuals go to the cities because of what they consider substandard living conditions in communities lacking electricity and water. Still other researchers found that age and education were major factors at work concerning migration (Vargas-Lundius 1991). Thus, there are economic as well as social reasons why individuals choose to migrate. Connecting Migration Models to Development Many researchers have applied these migration models to the Dominican Republic, but most of these studies have focused on international migration practices (Bray 1984; Chamberlin 1998; Georges 1990; Grasmuck 1982; Larson and Sullivan 1987; Pessar 1982; Pessar 1997; Portes 1997; Preston 1979; Trouillot 1992). Few have studied internal migration in the Dominican Republic, especially the effect of development projects on rural-urban migration. In fact, some see sustainable development as controversial due to its disregard for people and its impacts on issues such as migration. Based on the push-pull model, and the economic background of migration theory, it would seem that improved living standards in rural areas [created through development projects] would serve to increase their relative attractiveness and to restrain the flow of rural-urban migration. There are some reasons to doubt that they would act very powerfully in this direction, however (Preston 1979, 211). In fact, some say that development and investment in rural areas is a further spur to migration. Increased income and education
5 sparks a move through increased resources. The only type of development that seems to decrease outmigration is that which creates jobs in the countryside (Turner 1976). The small community in the Dominican Republic, Rancho de los Platanos, and the Dominican development organization Asociacin para de Desarrollo de la Provincia Espaillat (ADEPE), provided the perfect case study in which to examine this relationship between rural-urban migration and development. Rancho de los Platanos is a community of about 310 people and 70 households in the Dominican Republic, just northeast of Moca (see appendix A). In the late 1970's, there was a major economic crisis in this northern region (the Espaillat providence and the Jamao River Valley) spurred by the reduction of market prices of local major cash crops including coffee, yauta, and cacao on the world market. In addition, severe insect problems made the large stands of coffee that remained practically unusable. Since Rancho de los Platanos is part of the Cibao Valley, it is one of the most fertile and agriculturally productive areas of the entire country. As such, the livelihood and culture of the people of Rancho de los Platanos were inextricably tied to land use and agriculture. When the prices fell on the world market, many farmers experienced an economic crisis (creating the push of the push-pull model). They were pulled from the rural areas to more urban areas in "hopes of finding better lives and fortune, as many individuals from Rancho de los Platanos put it. In fact, some community members thought that at least half the community left during this time period. Other stayed, however, and cut down the majority of the coffee that remained. According to local development organizations, the removal of coffee trees resulted in erosion and dramatic cuts in income.
6 In 1994, ADEPE started a development project called PDACRJ (Proyecto Desarrollo Agroforestal de la Cuenca Ri Jamao) in reaction to this environmental, economic and migration problem. This project had three objectives to develop the Jamao River Valley and to increase the economic standard of living for its inhabitants: 1) increase and teach agroforestry by introducing zapote and avocado as cash crops. 2) Strengthen local organizations in the area to increase collective voice and power; and 3) introduce bee-keeping as a new source of income in the area. ADEPE implemented the project in those areas that were highly eroded, had increasing migration rates, and in those areas suffering from significant poverty. One of these areas was Rancho de los Platanos. Research Question and Hypotheses With the push-pull model, economic and ideological theories of migration and the relationship between development and migration in mind, a clear question surfaces: Did ADEPEs efforts to increase the economic-well-being in Rancho de los Platanos decrease outmigration? In other words, a casual sequence develops. Did the PDACRJ efforts to provide new, alternative cash-crops to replace the income of coffee and cacao lead to greater prosperity? And did this greater prosperity, if it exists, lead people to stay in the community rather than migrate to more urban areas. This question has two clear hypotheses: (1) there should be a positive association and correlation between project participation and economic status. And therefore (2), a negative correlation between project participation and migration status should exist. I will test these propositions, and will also examine the ideological factors of migration by exploring feelings towards migration and education levels as non-economic factors of migration.
7 In order to answer this question, I begin by detailing my research methods and design. I then continue by providing an ethnographic sketch of Rancho de los Platanos and describing the demographics of the community. The next chapter briefly gives a social, economic and migration history of the area, which provides some context for later discussion. I then explain the results of the variables I tested by summarizing household data, comparing migrants and non-migrants, as well as project participants and nonparticipants. This section also tests the hypotheses. Finally the study comes to a close by discussing the findings, connecting them to the historical and ethnographic content, offering an example illustrating the typical migrant household by discussing one familys situation in Rancho de los Platanos and coming to some conclusions.
CHAPTER 2 FIELDWORK DESIGN AND METHODS This research is based on a nine-week field investigation which had three objectives: (1) to execute an ethnographic investigation of Rancho de los Platanos and to understand the current state of and history of farming and migration in the region; (2) to compare and contrast on a defined set of pertinent variables those farmers that participate in the PDACRJ and those that do notin other words, to measure what kind of economic and attitudinal differences there might be between the two groups and if that difference can be attributed to the PDACRJ; and (3) to comprehend current migration trends and motivations by comparing and accounting for differences and similarities in migration trends between project participants and nonparticipants. To explore these three objectives, I constructed a research design, chose a relevant fieldsite and employed several different data collection methods. Field Work and Research Design This study used the two-group posttest only design, also called the static group comparison design (Bernard 2002). I divided the population of Rancho de los Platanos into two groups. The first group had the intervention of the PDACRJ and the second group did not. It should be understood that without before-and-after baseline data some quantitative statements concerning project impact are hypothetical since intergroup differences may have preceded intervention. This means that although I will compare the two-groups, I will never attribute any differences, material or otherwise, solely to the project. Nonetheless, the static group comparison design is the only practical design for 8
9 this natural experiment, and the comparison between the participants and nonparticipants warrants investigation. Field Site Selection With the PDACRJ project and ADEPE covering the entire providence of Espaillat, site selection proved somewhat challenging. Rancho de los Platanos seemed to be the most promising site for several reasons. First, the community was a manageable size. Some communities were too large and spread-out to cover in a nine-week period, while others were too small to gain an accurate overall picture. Rancho de los Platanos, with about 70 households, was adequately large for sampling but at the same time, intimate enough to build strong relationships with community members. The closeness of the community to Moca and the ADEPE headquarters was another reason I chose Rancho de los Platanos. Moca is about two hours away from the village. This distance provided me with access to ADEPEs facilities, staff members and some of the conveniences of the city such as internet, electricity and other resources. Obviously, proximity to the city also affects migration rates. For this reason, too, I chose Rancho de los Platanos since it was about the mean distance to an urban center for all comparable communities. Third, Rancho de los Platanos was a community that had a sufficient proportion of PDACRJ participants and nonparticipants. The mix of people made convenient population subsets which helped to build relationships and design research groups. Finally, I had already made contact with some families in Rancho de los Platanos. This preliminary contact promoted quicker and better integration for the nine-week study than if I were to have chosen a community at random.
10 Methods In order to answer my research question in the time allotted, I employed several different data collection methods. And although I feel there is no divide between the qualitative and quantitative data, the following explanation of my methods uses the split for organizational purposes. The qualitative approaches I took to conduct my fieldwork begin with participant-observation. As an individual living in Rancho de los Platanos I was able to not only directly and indirectly observe community happenings, but participate in them as well. For example, I actively went to the Catholic Church and attended Mass. Community groups such as the youth, womens, and farmers organizations regularly invited me to participate in their meetings. My community also had its patronales festival (a town fair celebrating the patron saint) that I participated in as well. I also had opportunities to partake in farming practices such as plowing, harvesting and taking care of livestock. In addition, I observed commerce activities such as vending fruits and vegetables, and working at a colmado (small grocery store). Participant-observation was my everyday, most practical and most fundamental qualitative method. Another qualitative technique that proved fundamental to my research was interviewing. Each week I conducted two interviews with each of my two primary informants. One of my primary informants was a participant in the ADEPE project and the other was a nonparticipant. The informants were selected based on how long they had lived in the community, their wiliness to participate, their articulation of ideas and their stature as possible representatives of the community. In addition to conducting four weekly semi-structured interviews with my two primary informants, I occasionally
11 conducted one additional interview of a randomly selected community member for each topic, had numerous informal interviews and held three focus groups. I always took notes during interviews. I also recorded all of them on a digital voice recorder. To help individuals feel comfortable with the recorder, I taught informants how to use it and allowed them to record friends and family members speaking, and sometimes singing. After this period of acclimatization, no one seemed to mind the recording device. There were a total of 29 interviews conducted and most ranged from a 20 minutes to two hours. I normally had a list of questions I felt were important, but I was very open to the interviewee guiding the discussion. It was common to explore multiple tangents during my conversations with community members. Photography was the final qualitative method I used. I took digital photos of houses to document conditions and to create a map. With their permission, I took photos of people working in their fields and in their homes doing everyday tasks. The photos were invaluable in complementing my field notes to describe settings, practices and landscapes. In addition to qualitative methods, I used quantitative techniques as wellmainly in the form of surveys. In my research, I thought of surveys as quantitative since they were the medium through which I acquired the majority of my statistical data. It should be noted, though, that my surveys methods were also qualitative since they were carried out through interviews. There were three major community-wide surveys. Each of the three surveys questioned all 70 heads of households. The first survey was a census. After I acclimated myself to the community, the census was taken to gather basic demographic information such sex, age, number of people in each household, names and
12 occupations of all those individuals living in the specific household (see appendix B). The second survey focused on migration patterns. I interviewed the family head of household to learn where each family member was born, where they were now and what they were doing. This provided data concerning migrant household totals and motivations (see appendix C). The third survey generated a economic/ material well-being outline for each household. I counted the presence or absence of certain possessions such as a radio, car, TV, solar panel, etc. I also noted the quantities of land, pigs, chickens, and other countable material variables (see appendix D). The information from these three surveys and my qualitative data provided the foundation on which my analysis will be based. I also took repeated measures to develop rapport, establish collaboration and develop some form of reciprocity with the people. Every Sunday at Mass, I spoke to the congregation about what I was doing, what I was learning and what was coming. I also frequently handed out photos that I had printed in Moca to people who worked with me; I also assisted on projects such as burying PCV pipe to bring river water to livestock. And finally, I threw a party with food, drink and music to celebrate the completion of the work and to thank all the people of Rancho de los Platanos for their participation. Also during this time, I shared what I had learned and put on a slideshow of all the pictures I had taken while I was there. Synergy and reciprocity between me and the people of Rancho de los Platanos was a top priority during my research. Data Organization After finding a field site and selecting proper methods, I needed a way to organize my data and to attack the questions at hand. To start I developed a global calendar (see appendix E). This global calendar divided my nine weeks in Rancho de los Platanos into
13 thematic groupings. For example, week one was spent working with ADEPE to learn about the organization and the project; week two focused on understanding the community of Rancho de los Platanos and getting situated; week three on the census, etc. Through the aforementioned methods, every week I conducted interviews with my two primary informants surrounding each theme, and worked to holistically understand aspects of the culture such as local economy, agricultural practices, etc. The schedule was dictated by the cultural themes I wished to investigate that I felt were pertinent to answering my research question. Each night on my laptop I organized and coded all the data collected during the day. I began by typing in my personal diary all the feelings and experiences I had had. Then I typed my field notes into a separate file. I coded all these notes as I went using a thematic-coding key I constructed (see appendix F). After these nightly tasks, I also uploaded my digital field recordings and photos. The key to all this data organization was properly naming the files by the established coding schemas. In addition to the global calendar, field diary, notes, photos and recordings I also maintained six field logs: The first documented how I spent my time in the field and kept a list of what I needed to do, what I had accomplished, and when I had accomplished it. The next one kept track of all my finances. The third log was a list of all my informants. This log assigned a number to each informant/ interviewee to maintain confidentiality and to avoid confusion. It also listed some basic facts about that individual so I could always have small-talk topics. The next log was a vocabulary list. It defined all new vocabulary words I was learning in the field. The final logs I managed were the thematic-coding key and variable logs. The thematic-coding key defined all the
14 abbreviations I used when coding my interviews and field notes; while the variable log conceptualized and operationalized each of the variables measured in the census, migration and material surveys. This organization system was an efficient way of managing the large amounts of data I collected. It centralized them into one focal area (my password-protected laptop) and, therefore, made information easy to access, sort and search. The organizational methods used also made it easy to backup data. Weekly, I burned a CD of my data, notes, recordings, photos, and logs and sent it back to my home in the U.S. I also transferred the data to a secure website during my occasional visits to the ADEPE headquarters. This ensured that even if my laptop were stolen or damaged, not only would my informants be protected through the numerous encryptions and passwords on my computer, but that I would also still have a copy of my data. Fortunately, nothing happened and I did not have to use my backup data.
CHAPTER 3 ETHNOGRAPHIC SKETCH AND DEMOGRAPHICS Having clarified the research question, hypotheses and methods, I will now present a brief ethnographic sketch of Rancho de los Platanos to provide context and depth for later discussions. This brief ethnographic account provides an overall picture of life in Rancho de los Platanos, but excludes some detail collected during my time there. I will forgo the surplus of intricate and fascinating details of the community so that I can focus on the major particulars that relate to the topic at hand. These major ethnographic particulars include: location and environment, demographics, housing, occupations and economy, services, food, education, authority, religion and recreation. 1 Rancho de los Platanos is a Caribbean community just northeast of Moca, in the Dominican Republic (see appendix A). It is situated on the Eastern side of the mountain called El Mogote, which is part of the Cordillera Septentrional. The valley to the West of El Magote is called the Jamao River Valley; the valley to the East of the mountain is the Moca City Valley. At a distance of about 8 miles, Rancho de los Platanos is the first mountain community North of Villa Trina (a village between Moca and Rancho de los Platanos). From Villa Trina, it is about another 18 miles to Moca. Rancho de los Platanos, Villa Trina and Moca form a V-shape around El Mogote. That is, Rancho de los Platanos is the Western tip of the V, then Villa Trina is the southern point and Moca is the eastern tip. 1 Although it is impossible and not appropriate to include every snippet of information I learned while in Rancho de los Platanos in this study, the memories and kindness of its people will forever remain with me. 15
16 The community has 4 main sections. The first is the section of houses that spreads out along the main road for about 4 miles. There is another section to the East of the main road, higher up on the mountainside, and another grouping of houses on the Western mountainside just off of the main road. Households in both of these sections have no roads leading to them, just mountain trails. The final section is called Los Cacaos. This clump of houses is an area just west of the main road and has a small road leading to it. Although there are several other communities in Jamao River Valley area Rancho de los Platanos, with its population of about 350 people, 70 households and 4 major sections is one of the largest. The main road coming from Villa Trina, along which the majority of community resides, is a dirt road with major bumps and holes in it. Several cars and trucks go by throughout the day. Community members can hitch a free ride (called a bola) or get a ride from a public transportation car (called a guagua) to Villa Trina, Moca or other communities in the vicinity. The poor condition of the road makes traveling unbelievably frustrating and uncomfortable. Vehicles must go at very low speeds to protect their shocks, and even then the ride is still extremely bumpy. During my stay and frequent travel in the community, I saw three people get bumped out of the back of pickup trucks, various products get knocked out and, along with the other passengers, frequently hit my head on the cars ceiling. Even with its poor condition, however, vehicles traveling to and from the city were common. Concerning vegetation and environment, Rancho de los Platanos is a lush, semi-tropical region. The community is surrounded by flourishing green hillsides that are covered in ferns, palms, grasses, and other tropical flora. In contrast to the more
17 southern, arid areas of the country, this northern area has an abundance of rainfall which contributes to its variety and intensity of plant life. In addition to the thick vegetation, Rancho de los Platanos almost constantly has a cool mountain breeze which many people cite as the aspect they miss most when they are in the Moca Valley, which is normally much warmer than the mountain villages. Finally, the area has several small streams and waterfalls that twist through the mountainsides adding music to the aforementioned cool mountain breeze. Overall, the area is strikingly beautiful and alive. The houses of Rancho de los Platanos dotted the landscape in festive colors of green, yellow, white, pink, blue and other shades (see appendix G). The majority of these colorful houses were made of horizontal slat boards and slat board louvers for windows. All homes had concrete floors and corrugated tin roofs, this is unlike other Dominican villages where it is more common to find palm thatch roofs and compacted dirt floors (Murray 1968; Murray 1970; San Miguel 1997) About half the homes were made of concrete block, or a combination of wood and concrete block, and then finished off with a flat cement sealer for the exterior. There was normally a living room type space in the front of the home. Toward the back there were bedrooms that varied in size and number depending on the home. Many homes had a kitchen inside and outside. The inside kitchen would have a sink type area and possibly a gas stove, while the outside kitchen would have the open-flame stove (called a fagn). Most homes had a bathroom, but this was only for washing and taking bucket baths. For human waste, an outhouse in the back of the home was used. Concerning decoration, almost all homes had a picture of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary. Occasionally there were pictures of family members or artwork, but this was rare.
18 Overall, in comparison to other Dominican agricultural villages, Rancho de los Platanos had high-quality, solid, freshly painted homes, that were well-maintained, landscaped and decorated. The homes of Rancho de los Platanos had no running water or electricity. Children fetched water from a nearby stream and carried it home in plastic jugs. Occasionally, a burro or mule helped with this chore. Other households assembled gutters and harnessed them to the sides of the roof. When it rained, the water traveled down the grooves in the corrugated tin roof and fell into the gutter. The gutter carried the water to metal, 52 gallon drums where it was stored. The drums were covered with a mesh screening that kept debris and bugs (particularly mosquitoes) out, but allowed the water to enter. Most houses had car batteries and/ or solar panels to substitute for electricity. Those with solar panels were fortunate enough to be able to recharge the battery during the day; those without solar panels had to replace their battery every so often. These sources powered normal incandescent and occasionally fluorescent lights, radios and TVs, depending if the home had such material goods. It was less common to find kerosene oil lamps. Although people have managed to work around the lack of electricity and water, it was still a topic of frequent complaint. Demographically, the community of 310 individuals was somewhat young. About 30% of the population was 18 or younger and about 50% was under the age of 30. 15% of the population was over 50 and the remaining 35% of the community was between the ages of 30 and 50. The oldest two members of the community were 96 and 101. On average each household had about 6.62 people. 6.62 was higher than the national average, which was between 5 and 6; this was due to multiple family
19 households. The ratio of men to women was 1:1.04. There was little racial variation in the community, compared to nearby Moca. Rancho de los Platanos had a very small black and white population, the majority, however, were some shade of brown (locally known as indio). There were more lighter-skinned indios than darker-skinned however. In general the community was young and fair-skinned, with average-sized families. Besides being a young community, Rancho de los Platanos was also a very educated community. Over 95% of those individuals under the age of 18 were students. The town has had a primary school that goes through the 3 rd grade practically since its founding, but did not add the 4 th through the 8 th grade until 1983. If a student wanted to attend school past the 8 th grade, he/she commutes to Villa Trina to attend the high school there (called the liseo). Due to historical reasons, the older people in the community were less educated that those that were younger. Even with this in mind, however, the mean amount of schooling was 5.84 years. Amazingly, 34% of the community had an 8 th grade education or higher. About 6% had high school diplomas, and 2% had a college degree. Literacy was common throughout the community. In fact, the local school teacher estimated that most people, perhaps 70% of those under 40 could read. These high literacy and educational levels were of no surprise considering the strong belief amongst all parents that education is the key to opportunity. As part of the Cibao River Valley, Rancho de los Platanos is one of the most agriculturally productive areas of the country (Brown 1999; Vargas 1992). Thus, occupationally and economically it made sense that the majority of the men there were farmers producing crops such as zapote, avocado, beans and plantains. Other occupations for men in the area included constructio, public transportation, contract
20 work, education and government. Women, on the other hand, were mostly homemakers. They also engaged in profit-earning activities, however. Many sewed clothes and sold vegetables and other goods in their spare time. Many households in Rancho de los Platanos also gained household income through overseas remittances, rather than internally generated income. More information on economic activities and survival strategies is provided in the next chapter. Being mainly a farming community, much of what was eaten was grown in the household garden (called a conuco). Crops such as yuca, plantain, sweet potato, beans, zapote, onion, pepper, oregano, bananas, chicken and eggs were all household staples that came from the conuco, or a neighbor through trade. Other food items such as oil, pasta, rice, garlic, salt, sugar, bread and oatmeal came from a small, local grocery store (called a colmado). One community member told me that in the past almost all the food that had been eaten in the household was grown in the conuco. Over time, however, there has been an increased reliance on the colmado and purchased food products. McPherson (2004) found a similar increasing dependency on the market and purchased food products. The household in which I lived was irregular in the sense that almost 80% of the food we ate came from the conuco. Most households however, probably grow closer to 30 to 40% of what they eat. With the exception of two households, who identified themselves as Protestant, (calling themselves cristianos); everyone else in the community identified themselves as Catholics. Not everyone attended services, but most people were involved with the local church in some form or another. Mass was every Sunday afternoon in a small church near the center of the community. It was a time of not only worship, but also a time of
21 community announcements and socializing as well. After Mass, there were always meetings of some sort. Sometimes they were to discuss farming projects and other times they were to finalize the details of some other of community-wide activity. Two men in the community took turns leading worship and running neighborhood meetings. These men were the quasi-leaders of the community (locally called honorficos) and seemed well-known and respected by the community, even though they had no official power. The church and the honorficos were the extent of authority in the community. There was no local police force or military group present in Rancho de los Platanos. The closest form of authority was in Villa Trina which had a small police unit. The lack of authority did not seem to affect crime, however. During my stay, I heard of only one incident that may have required authorities. The incident was a machete fight between two intoxicated men. After the brawl, each man had to go to the hospital. Overall, Rancho de los Platanos seemed a tranquil place and most people blamed alcohol on any disruptions to that peace. Besides being actively involved with the community through the church, the people of Rancho de los Platanos also spend their time doing recreational activities. Like many Dominicans, one of the most common pastimes was dominos. Almost every weekend there would be a domino game going on in the home where I stayed. I often walked along the main road and heard men slapping the dominos on the table and shouting with fun. Besides dominos, just spending time with friends and family seemed very common. It was not unusual to spend hours sitting and chatting with neighbors, friends or family over coffee. Household guests were common and always welcome. Those households that were fortunate enough to have a television would watch the nightly soap operas
22 (called telenovelas) and news. Many times the neighbors near my familys house would come over almost nightly to watch the TV. It was not exceptional to have almost ten people in the living room mesmerized by the telenovela. The radio was another recreational standard. Music played everywhere, all the time. When a favorite song came on people would sing along and sometimes dance. Occasionally, but very rarely, larger events such as dances would happen in the local community building. For recreation beyond dominos, socializing, Mass and the television/radio people went to Villa Trina or Moca. As shown, Rancho de los Platanos was a small, culturally-rich mountain community in the Dominican Republic. It was a typical Dominican mountain village in the fact that it is agriculturally based, very Catholic and community oriented, but it was somewhat atypical in its higher education levels and housing quality. These community characteristics are important and will appear throughout the rest of the study. For now, however, with the ethnographic foundation in place, I can elaborate on the social, economic and migration history of the area.
CHAPTER 4 ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND MIGRATION HISTORY The following section briefly describes the social, economic, and migration history of both the Dominican Republic and Rancho de los Platanos. It begins by describing the countrys economic, political and migratory past. Then I connect this past to the history of Rancho de los Platanos. Since the history of the community is unwritten, I rely on interviews with Emilio. At 101, Emilio is the eldest member of Rancho de los Platanos; he provided a great deal of information regarding Rancho de los Platanos past. Through the written history of the Dominican Republic and Emilios oral history of Rancho de los Platanos, I tie together the two historical lines to provide context and the overall economic, social and migratory history. The Dominican Republics Historical Line Since its colonization in 1492, the Dominican Republic has been accustomed to social and economic change. The first Spanish settlers arrived in 1492, when Columbus left behind some of his crews. The first African slaves came to the New World in 1509. The Spanish search for gold and gold mining were the predominant uses of slave labor during this time. In 1697, Spain ceded Santo Domingo to the French, thus giving up part of the island of Hispaniola. In 1820, Spain abolished the slave trade, and in 1822 Haiti took over Santo Domingo, which was then the name of the entire country. During this time an increasing number of Dominican landowners chose to flee the island rather than to live under Haitian rule; in many cases, Haitian administrators encouraged such 23
24 emigration, confiscated the holdings of the migrs, and redistributed them to Haitian officials. After the expulsion of the Spanish colonial rulers and under the Haitian interim government from 1822 to 1844, there was a renewal in the production of simple goods. The Cibao region was flooded with farmers that used slash and burn and shifting agriculture techniques (Conklin 1961). Thousands of small freeholders cultivated one of the Dominican Republics first and most famous cash-cropstobacco (Baud 1987). Cocoa production, another historic cash-crop, increased later in the 1880s. These both slowly gave away to massive sugar production by the early 1900s (Vargas-Lundius 1991). By the end of the 19 th century, two agrarian systems had evolved in the Dominican Republic, cocoa and tobacco, and another, sugar, was rapidly entering the scene (Baud 1987). After the Haitian interim government, the Dominican Republic had several presidents, all however had reigns that were plagued by unprincipled politics, self-serving interests, use of dominant forces and factionalism. Economic difficulties, the threat of European intervention, and ongoing internal disorders led to a U.S. occupation in 1916 and the establishment of a military government in the Dominican Republic. The occupation ended in 1924, with a democratically elected Dominican government. During this same period, there was a renewed interest in colonization and settlement of the rural Dominican Republic, but there was no noteworthy start until 1927. During this year, a few experimental colonies were established that were composed mainly of Dominican nationals (Augelli 1962). In 1930, the year in which a hurricane killed thousands in the
25 Dominican Republic and of worldwide economic depression, Trujillo came to power (Rogozinski 1992). Arguably the most famous and effective dictator of the Dominican Republic, during the first part of Trujillos dictatorship economic exports such as coffee, tobacco and cacao flourished. Infrastructural improvements such as roads and rails increased as well. During his first year in office the amount of colonies that started in 1927, tripled in number and had a total assigned area of 46,333 acres of farmland. Despite this initial migratory trend, however, the colonies quickly died out. The poor economic conditions of the colonies, national political instability, lack of effective transportation which isolated settlers, environmental limitations such as low rainfall, and the relatively small number of people drawn to the new frontier, led to their early failure (Augelli 1962). With the passage of the agricultural colonization law of 1934, however, the farm settlement initiative had a firmer foundation and migration and settlement were on the rise again. By 1953, the number of colonies had exploded from nine to 50, and then by 1959 there were 67 colonies in the country (Augelli 1962). Still, though, the rapid expansion of the colonies was countered by a similar rapid migration to the urban areas from the rural ones. In fact, people moved despite Trujillos law that stated that no peasant, or other rural resident, may move to urban centers without permission from the central government (Vargas-Lundius 1991, 306). This was also the time when the Dominicanyor trend developed. Dominicanyors were the name given to those Dominicans moving to New York to flee Trujillos horrible dictatorship (Brown 1999). Vargas (1992) describes this time as a highly volatile and
26 complicated period in which intersubjectivity, perception, culture, identity, the self and political economy were closely interwoven (532). Juan Bosch was elected president in 1963 after Trujillos assassination in 1961. To further attempt to promote settlement and to prevent outmigration from the rural areas such as Rancho de los Platanos, one of the first things Bosch did was to seize more than seven million acres of Trujillo-owned land and give it to 70,000 landless peasants (Rogozinski 1992). Due to this, and other political factors such as the second US invasion of 1965, there was a decrease in rural to urban migration, as well as international migration in the early 1960s (Vargas-Lundius 1991). Besides ending a legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule, when Balaguer was elected president in 1966, migration regained importance and has continued uninterrupted ever since (Vargas 1992, 306). During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it seemed as though economic conditions, especially those of agriculture, were improving. Resulting from state investments, the agrarian sector experienced a growth rate of 5.5% annually between 1966-1974 (Grasmuck 1982). Part of this 5.5% growth was attributed to the agrarian reform act of 1972. This act was initiated to continue to turn around the trend of declining agricultural productivity and to lower the cost of basic food items (Georges 1990; Moya Pons 1982; Moya Pons 1995). It also gave peasants titles to farmland and provided funding so that the government could build roads, hydroelectric projects, irrigation works, schools and churches in the rural areas (Rogozinski 1992). In fact, by 1973 there were 495,000 workers cultivating their own land and 100,000 landless peasants working as wage laborers on medium and large size farms (Vargas-Lundius 1991, 44). During this time
27 period, Balaguer also passed the industrial incentive law; this allowed tariff exemption on imports of capital and intermediate goods, as well as other financial perks to companies. According to Vargas-Lundius (1991) growth of the GDP after 1968 was much larger than before the law. Although the agricultural and economic outlook seemed strong, the productivity did not last long. By the mid and late 1970s, agricultural productivity was decreasing and rural to urban migration was, again, rampant. The slow agrarian reform rate, combined with the small-size of land plots that were distributed by the agrarian act, soon forced the economic and agricultural expansion to practically a halt. Between 1974 and 1979, agricultural production grew at a mere 1.1% and inflation and unemployment rates rocketed as petroleum prices soared (Grasmuck 1982; Rogozinski 1992). By 1979, the prices of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, gasoline, herbicides, etc tripled in price, compared to the agricultural output (Grasmuck 1982). As a consequence of these agricultural limitations, massive rural to urban migration pursued by the late 1970s and a slow transition was beginning from an agrarian society to a more service and informal economy, which would seriously affect communities like Rancho de los Platanos (Bradshaw 1987; Georges 1990). Guzmn was elected in 1982 and during his presidency, and the various other presidencies of the 1980s, illegal emigration and rural-urban migration continued to be extensive. The rural to urban migration trend may have been compounded by the creation of free zones in 1983. These free zones were areas where companies could build and operate, but be exempt from import duties. They paid no taxes to the Dominican Republic or to the US. Companies increased in the free zone by 50% between 1985 and
28 1989. People fled from the rural areas to these zones to find more stable employment. Nonetheless, by 1988 inflation had reached 60% and the national economy went into crisis again in 1989. During this time there were major problems with services such as water, electricity and garbage collection. Foreign suppliers terminated food, medicine and raw material shipments. Venezuela stopped delivering coal and electricity was limited to three hours a day. Strikes and riots were also common (San Miguel 1997). The 1990s continued this grim streak. Most investments, both domestic and foreign, continued to go to the free zones. 25% of the people were unemployed and another 30% were underemployed by the end of the 1990s (Moya Pons 1999). In 1990, after Balaguer had regained the presidency, he instituted a second set of economic reforms. After concluding an IMF agreement, balancing the budget, and curtailing inflation, the Dominican Republic experienced a period of brief economic growth marked by moderate inflation, a balance in external accounts, and a steadily increasing GDP that lasted through 2000. In June 1996, Lionel Fernandez Reyna was elected and his political agenda was, or course, one of economic and judicial reform. And in 2000, Hiplito Mejia, the Revolutionary Democratic Party candidate, was elected president. His four priorities were: education reform, economic development, increased agricultural production and poverty alleviation. Hiplito promised to aid those who had not benefited from the years of growth in the past and he continues to try to fulfill those promises today (Turits 2004). Rancho de los Platanos Historical Line The economic, social and migration historical line of Rancho de los Platanos echoes that of the national historical line. The majority of the information below recollects the communitys founding, naming and migration history as told to me over a
29 series of interviews with Emilio. Emilio was a well-respected elder in the community of Rancho de los Platanos. In fact, at 101 he was the oldest member of the community. With a careful ear I listened to his proud and caring narrative, he was happy to share the story of the community he loved so much. 1 According to Emilio, the community started out in the late 1890s as a simple resting-spot for travelers who were going from Moca to Villa Trina and then to Gaspar Hernndez (a larger community to the North of Rancho de los Platanos). Much later, around 1928, there was the first large-scale migration to this rural area from primarily Juan Lopez, but from Moca as well. Juan Lopez and Moca are both cities within an hours drive of Rancho de los Platanos. Many people were lured to this area since it was mainly uninhabited, since there were vast forests to the East of Moca that could be used for home-building, furniture making and general sale, and since people could farm the extensive amounts of available land. One of the first such settlements was Villa Trinanamed after Trujillos mother, Trina de Molla. 2 Eventually these new residents of Villa Trina began to migrate even farther in reaction to increasing population and declining land availability (Richardson 1989). The search for more land led to an expansion of the population into previously uninhabited areas on the Northern slope of the Cordillera. The early farmers in this area focused on the producing coffee, tobacco, and cacao, which were flourishing as national agricultural exports during the 1930s, through slash and burn farming techniques (Conklin 1961). 1 Since my fieldwork in the summer of 2003, I have learned from my community friends that Emilio has passed away. It honors me to have known and spent time with him. Recording and sharing his story and the story of Rancho de los Platanos though his patient, caring words was a very fulfilling experience. 2Nationally, this was the time of colonial expansion in the Dominican Republic that began in 1927. From Emilios story, however, it was unclear whether these initial migrants were colonist or simply squatters on the land. Based on other interviews concerning the History of Rancho de los Platanos, they were most likely squatters.
30 These early pioneers to the region also planted conucosthe name given to the intercropped horticultural plots that are characteristic of the regionin the same manner. The conucos contained crops such as corn, yuca, plantain, banana, sweet potato, beans and other such staples. Conucos were much smaller than the coffee and cacao plantations, but some conuco crops such as beans were occasionally sold. Generally, however, the cash crops took priority since they were the profitable products at the time. The migrants, largely seasonal, needed a resting place between their northern farms and their home base in Villa Trina. In other words, early migrants to the more northern farms were commuters of sorts. After spending the week in their new clearings, they would return by horseback to Villa Trina, Moca and Juan Lopez for supplies and to spend time with their families. In order to make the lengthy trip home, the pioneers constructed a small base and planted plantain trees on that bases land. The construction of the resting spot was the birth of Rancho de los Platanos. In Dominican Spanish, a rancho is a small temporary shelter that a farmer constructs on his conuco in case he has to spend the night there (It has nothing to do with the English word ranch); thus the name is most-fitting. Over time, the base became more than just a resting spot. It became the community of 70 households that it is now. Hence, today the paraje (region), seccin (section), and community are all called Rancho de los Platanos. In about 1936, Rancho de los Platanos built its first school. It was a primary school that went from the 1 st grade to the 3 rd grade. Not until the late 1980s would this school expand to the 8 th grade. After 1936, Rancho de Los Platanos continued to expand, and the cash crops such as coffee and cacao, were doing well. According to Emilio, it was a time of great riqueza (wealth).
31 In the 1940s, a road was built from Moca to Villa Trina. This facilitated transportation, formerly done mainly by burro or mule, and made it easier to market crops. The new road also increased access from Moca to areas of available land, thus drawing even more urban-rural migrants. This increase makes sense given that nationally, this was a time of continued expansion and colonization as well. Later, around 1970, the road from Villa Trina to Rancho de los Platanos was built. Although it was originally very narrow, constantly muddy and sometimes blocked from rockslides, it was still an improvement over the earlier horse and burro path. Thus by the end of 1970 Rancho de los Platanos had a road that extended from its center to Villa Trina, and then to Moca. During the period from about 1920 to the mid 1970s, population and immigration were booming because of three main reasons: (1) land was abundant and available to everyone, especially post 1970 due to Boschs agrarian reform act. (2) Coffee and cacao were lucrative cash crops that were doing well as national exports. And (3) the newly established road from Moca to Villa Trina provided easier access to Rancho de los Platanos. As of the mid 1970s, however, new government regulations closed access to the land that was formerly available for free. Migration into the region ceased, though the population of Rancho de los Platanos itself continued to rise. Nationally, agricultural productivity decreased, unemployment grew and petroleum prices were rising. The time of riqueza was coming to a close and continued to do so in the next decade. In the 1980s, a drop in the prices of cacao led to its removal and its substitution by other cash-crops. To make matters worse, coffee export prices also plummeted and the coffee groves themselves were infested with the broca bug (Hypothenemus hampei), a
32 destructive parasite that made the coffee harvests worthless. These crises led to the removal of most of the coffee and cacao trees. Since yauta prices were climbing during this time, many farmers started to grow it as a principle cash crop. The modest income from yauta, however, could not compensate for the loss of coffee and cacao. The economic situation continued to worsen. Emilio went on to say that this was the time of the first huge outmigration in Rancho de los Platanos. Spurred by the devaluation of cacao and the coffee, people feared for their survival and thus fled to urban areas in search of economic security. They most likely found it too, since 1983 was the year when the national free zones were created. The increase in free zone companies meant an increase in employment opportunity, which was more secure than the volatile agricultural market. During this time of rural-flight, the population of Rancho de los Platanos plummeted from its peak of about 520 to less than 200. Over time the population of the community slowly grew, but it never again reached the same level it held prior to the massive devaluation of coffee. By the early 1990s, the size of the subsistence conuco was increasing so that people could continue to simply survive from the food which they themselves planted. The cutting of soil-retaining coffee groves and their replacement by annuals almost certainly increased the level of soil erosion in these mountains. The economic conditions of those that remained in Rancho de los Platanos continued to erode along with their farms. People fled the rural areas hoping to find an improved standard of living. The agricultural way of life, as well as the environment on which it depended, had sadly deteriorated.
33 The second huge outmigration in Rancho de los Platanos was also in the early 1990s. It occurred when the broca bug returned and destroyed the coffee crop again. Many other researchers have similarly concluded that migration can be the result of short-term ecological changes, such as environmental catastrophes, but also of long-term eco-demographic changes such as population growth or long-term resource degradation (erosion) (Fisher 1997; Malmberg 1997). Many who left the town during this time of the broca had hopes of finding more economically stable lives. Nationally, the zona franca (free zone) was continuing to boom, especially under the industrial incentive law. As in the 1980s, there were more jobs in cities such as Moca than the rural areas. According to Emilio, it was a time where even if one had little education, manufacturing and unskilled labor positions were available. Families left so they could earn an income outside of the agrarian sector and so their children could attend the university. Through education some families hoped to make the younger generations life easier and less vulnerable to the unpredictable agricultural market. Emilio remembers outmigration during this time as a way to protect the children of Rancho de los Platanos. It was during this economic and agricultural low-point that ADEPE (Asociacin para el Desarrollo de la Provincia Espaillat) entered the scene and introduced the PDACRJ (Projector Desarrollo de la Cuenca Ro Jamao). ADEPE is a non-profit NGO (non-government organization) that works closely with the Secretary of Agriculture, but receives no government funding (Asociacin para de Desarrollo de la Provincia Espaillat 2002). It was founded in 1975 and started receiving funding from the International Bank of Development (BID) in 1981 to start microfinancing programs. In 1985 ADEPE received further funding from PARME (Programa de Apoyo a la Reforma y Modernizacin del Estado) and FEDA (Fondo Especial para el Desarrollo Agropecuario) to fund agroforestry
34 efforts as well as to purchase agricultural inputs. ADEPE then got another economic boost from BID in 2000 to found the cooperative (COOP-ADEPE). According to ADEPE literature, the PDACRJ was developed through the use of a multidisciplinary team. Supposedly the team worked with communities in the Jamao Valley to understand their needs and to shape the goals of the project. The multidisciplinary team claims to have participated and observed the communities in order to investigate actions and ideas that would develop techniques to encourage sustainable development, empower the people and integrate the community. They also contacted and collaborated with leaders of other NGOs and other rural communities. It is important to note that although ADEPE says it collaborated with communities such as Rancho de los Platanos, I am skeptical that they did so to the extent they claim. Based on numerous interviews, most people wanted to pursue entrepreneurial activities, such as owning a colmado or a small sewing shop. They said that they needed electricity, water and a better road to pursue those goalsnot new farming techniques and crops. Nonetheless, ADEPE allegedly combined all the research and developed the PDACRJ. They presented the project to the community by working face-to-face with farmers and local groups. The local organizations, such as the asociacin de agricultores (farmers association), were the original participants of the project. In Rancho de los Platanos the asociacin de agricultores was a group of about 13 (12 men and one woman) and all were project participants. Herman, a member of the association, told me that after the asociacin de agricultores learned about the project, it diffused from there. Once initial funding for the PDACRJ was approved, the project began.
35 The PDACRJ had two goals. These goals were to help protect the Jamao River Valley from further environmental damage caused by the clear-cutting of coffee and cacao, and to increase the standard of living for the inhabitants of the valley. To do this, the PDACRJ intended to: 1) increase and teach agroforestry by introducing zapote and avocado as new cash-crops, encourage increased use of the conuco for subsistence, and eliminate slash and burn as a farming technique; 2) strengthen local organizations in the area to increase collective voice and power; and 3) introduce bee-keeping as a new source of income in the area. ADEPE introduced and taught the fundamentals of the project through local classes (called charlas) and by teaching local leaders, who in turn taught others. They implemented the project in those areas suffering from erosion, outmigration and poverty. One of these areas was Rancho de los Platanos. Through the project, ADEPE also promoted a cultivation system that eliminated the slash and burn technique of ground clearing. They also taught the barrera muerta technique to protect the soil once the ground was cleared. To create the barreras muertas, farmers gathered dead branches, palm fronds and old plant material to create an erosion blockade. The soil the barrier caught could be redistributed with the organic material that accumulated by the barrier and used as an organic fertilizer. The PDACRJ also intended to create a network of communication through which knowledge could be quickly and effectively disseminated. For example, representative members of the community learned a new skill, such as grafting, at an ADEPE charla and then taught the technique to other project participants. ADEPE felt that an increase in communication and education might facilitate unification of the community and increase their strength as an aggregate entity. The overall hope was that the community
36 could address problems and implement solutions as a whole through monthly meetings. This was, at least in project theory, the democratic initiative of the PDACRJ project. Thus, through adjusting the mode of production of the people, ADEPE hoped to increase environmental protection, cultural preservation, and the productivity of the agricultural industry of the Cuenca Ro Jamao. A byproduct of this development would be increased economic /well-being and therefore decreased migration. In other words, there would be a decrease in the rural push. Summary This chapter briefly described the historical lines of the Dominican Republic and Rancho de los Platanos. Through examining the social, economic and migration history of the country, one can see how Rancho de los Platanos mirrors the overall economic and migration patterns found in the country. Fluctuations in the economy and its consequence of outmigration have a long history not only in Rancho de los Platanos, but in the Dominican Republic as a whole. The historical lines of Rancho de los Platanos end with today: now avocado and zapote are the primary cash crops; slash and burn agriculture has been practically eliminated; some households have taken up beekeeping as an additional income source; reforestation through agroforestry is occurring; and the people are somewhat unified through democratic organizations and meetings. Or course, not all households adopted the PDACRJ and those households that did adopt it may not have adopted all its parts. The PDACRJ did not revolutionarily change the way of life of the people of Rancho de los Platanos. Nevertheless, through diversifying survival strategies and providing some alternatives to their former agricultural modes of production and income producing methods, ADEPE hoped to increase the standard of living in the rural areas. It remains to
37 be seen if ADEPE affected the standard of living, and if that intervention decreased the push of the rural areas, thereby decreasing outmigration. The next chapter looks at these questions by exploring the descriptive statistics of such variables as economic / material well-being and testing their relationship with project participation and migration.
CHAPTER 5 VARIABLES CLUSTERS, DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND HYPTOTHESES TESTING To test the principal hypotheses, five main clusters of variables were measured: economic/ material well-being, education level, project participation, rural-urban attitudinal orientation, and migration rate. Below I detail each one of these variable groups by discussing what subvariables construct each group and how they were defined, how I measured each group, the descriptive statistics of each cluster, and, finally, what the problems were of each grouping. I then conclude the chapter by statistically testing the hypotheses and exploring associations and correlations. 1 Economic/ Material Variable Cluster The economic/ material variable cluster is composed of several subvariables that were measured through surveys in order to establish perspectives on household economic well-being. Standard economic theory assumes that the best measurement of quality of life is material wealth (Fischer 1997, Pomeroy 2004). Pomeroys (2004) study used a similar method to measure well-being in the Dominican Republic. He established several indicators of well-being that included socio-economic, health, and educational indicators. This study parallels his use of the socioeconomic indicators. Unlike Pomeroy (2004) and other researchers, however, I did not put my data in a composite or Guttman scale. Some data, especially sensitive numbers such as loan amounts or amount received from 1 There has been some debate in the literature concerning how to define a household For this study, a household means those people that live within one dwelling. Migrants are said to come from the household in which their parents, or other family members, still reside (Bach 1982). 38
39 overseas remittances, were too imperfectly gathered and precarious to use. With this in mind, rather than risk the harmful effects of invalid scaling, I examine each subvariable of the economic /well-being variable cluster. The economic/ well-being subvariables included: Quantity of land, pigs, chickens and loans (these were all scalar variables). The presence or absence of a gas stove, solar panel, television, radio, transportation and external income were also subvariables (these were all nominal / 1 data) 2 Land was defined as the amount of land a household farmed, not necessarily owned 3 Pigs and chickens were animals that were owned and cared for by the household. Loans measured the amount of household financial debt as self-reported; while external income noted if the household received financial assistance from some non-household source that was not an institution (such as a family member in Santo Domino). All the material items listed such a gas stove, radio, solar panel, etc. were functioning items the household either had or did not have. All these items are self-explanatory, with the exception of transportation. Transportation included any functioning motor vehicle, such as a car, motorcycle, or both. Transportation did not include animals. These variables combined provided a basic economic outline of each household. Table 1 reports the descriptive statistics concerning the scalar economic/ material cluster. The mean amount of land cropped per household comes to 2.53 hectares, while the median was .625 hectares. It should be noted, though, 11 of the 70 households 2 Ideally external income would not be a dichotomous variable, however, I was unable to adequately measure the amount of income households received as remittances. 3 Failure to sufficiently conceptualize the land variable led to its poor definition. Thus in this research a sharecropper is equated with landowner, which is awkward.
40 (17.1%) cropped no land at all and that one outlier household reported 94 hectares. About 67% farmed land, but no more than 5 hectares. 10% farmed less than 10 hectares, Table 1. Descriptive statistics for scalar economic/ material variables 69 2.53 5.803 70 6.54 17.314 70 3.11 5.560 10 16400.00 12562.731 LAND CHIX PIG LOANS N Mean Std. Deviation but more than 5. 2% cropped between 10 and 15 hectares and 2.9% farmed over 15 hectares. The remaining portion of households that did not claim to farm, 17.1%, worked in construction, education, transportation or other jobs. Some households lived solely off remittances, or a combination of farming, other jobs and remittances. 50% of the households had chickens. 49% had pigs, but three households had over ten each, while most households had between three and five. Only 10 households (14.3%) reported having loans. Cattle are excluded from the list because in Rancho de los Platanos only one household owned cattle. Mules and burros were present, but not very common. The community more often utilized the frequent public transportation (guaguas), pickup trucks, and motorscooters that passed by on the main road. The frequency statistics for the nominal material/ economic subvariables were as follows: 52.8% of households had a gas stove, 48.6 % had a solar panel, 65.7% had a TV, 80.0% had a radio, 30.0% had some form of motor vehicle and 30.0% received income from external sources. Although over half the households had a gas stove, not every household used it. The majority used the traditional fagn (open-flame stove) since propane was expensive. Similarly, even though 46 of 70 households had televisions, many did not work.
41 The economic/ material variable cluster is the most complicated and problematic grouping for several reasons: First, there is the dilemma of self-reporting and accuracy. Many community members seemed reluctant to report the actual amount of land they farmed. This reduces the credibility of the information and there was not sufficient time to measure land plots or count animals to improve reliability. The vast majority of land quantity statistics in the third world are based on verbal reporting, however, not physical measures. Furthermore, there was no cadastral data bank available on the land. Second, there was the problem of question clarity. For example, I asked the question, tiene usted una televisindo you have a television? It turns out that one household told me that they had a TV, but I later learned that the TV was not used for watching, but rather it was a TV shell that was being used as a planter. 4 A third problem concerned the truthfulness of the responses. The culturally sensitive nature of many economic questions caused reliability trouble that is evident in the economic subvariables of loans and external income. For example, common sense says that it is highly likely that more than 10 households out of the 70 surveyed have loans and that definitely more than 21 households receive external income, since over half the households have televisions and gas stoves, which are probably financed by overseas remittances. The final problem surrounding the economic/ material variable cluster is the fact that it is quite likely that my data underestimate the real amount of income received from family members living elsewhere. Many people in the rural Dominican Republic now get remittances. This form of income may account for a high percentage of a households 4 In future research care must be taken to do more careful formulation, pretesting and revision of questions with the help of local informants.
42 income. The data do not effectively reflect the role of remittances in household income in Rancho de los Platanos. Clearly households with televisions, cars and solar panels did not purchase these luxuries with profit from avocado and zapote sales. Education Variable The next variable is education. The heads of household were asked to report the last year of education completed by each member of the nuclear family. Figure 1 illustrates the spread of individual education levels (n=473). The distribution is skewed to the left, since access to higher levels of education was difficult. The mean level of Years of Education18161514131211109876543210Frequency706050403020100 Figure 1. Distribution of individual education levels education was 5.84 years, the mode was 8 and the median was 5. The mode was 8 for the obvious reason that the local schools only had 8 grades. This difference between the mean and the median was explained by a large population of adults who did not go to school because they did not have access to schooling, and because they had to work on the farms; and by a large teen population who had community access to schooling through 8 th grade but who did not have to work on the farms. There was minimum, yet significant difference in the sexes concerning education levels. Men had a mean of 5.35
43 years (n=220) while women had a mean level of 6.32 years (n=227). This difference can be attributed historical reasons. Formerly, men worked on the farms and women went to school. Now, however, with a decreased demand for farm labor, as well as increased transportation to and affordability of school, the average education difference between men and women might decrease. Project Participation Variable Also measured during the household survey was project participation. By asking the head of household, Participa usted en el Proyecto Desarrollo Agroforestal de la Cuenca Ro Jamao? I attempted to classify each household into participants and non participants. 25.7% of the households reported involvement with the project, while 74.3% said they did not partake in the PDACRJ (n=70). If the PDACRJs purpose was to benefit the community, it may seem odd that only 25.7% of the community participated. Interestingly enough, my original research question concerned this very questionwhy were communities not adopting the project? The project initially targeted local community groups such as the asociaciones de agricultores and it slowly spread to other groups and community members. Several ADEPE staff members informed me that project participation diminished due to limited funding, however. Since the PDACRJ was in a trial phase, it could only take on a certain number of participants before it ran out of resources. Without sufficient funding, ADEPE could not extend credit lines to farmers. Without credit, farmers could not purchase the necessary materials to adopt the project, such as avocado and zapote trees. Therefore it is possible that more households would like to participate, but that is not known for sure. While I was there ADEPE was applying to worldwide NGOs in search of supplementary
44 funding so that the project might continue to amplify. Until additional support arrives, however, it is likely that participation levels will remain stagnant. In retrospect the yes/no formatting of this question may have constituted a flawed measurement because of issues of diffusion of treatment and communication. When asked if households were participants in the project, the majority responded no. As the survey continued, however, I realized that some households did not officially participate, but they still implemented some of the PDACRJ objectives (especially agroforestry). Thus, even though households did not identify as participants it was clear that they had implemented some measures promoted by the project. Some households saw that their neighbors planted certain crops in a certain way and started to practice the same techniques. This made the lines between participation and non-participation unclear. Rather than change the question in the middle of the study, however, I kept it the same; and so this variable perhaps measures formal project affiliation more so than actual participation. Another confounding factor was that of communication. Some households were participants in the project, but did not recognize the name of it (Proyecto Desarrollo Agroforestal de la Cuenca Ro Jamao). So when asked if the household participated in the PDACRJ, the head of household said no. The project name was used by ADEPE, not the people. In future research more careful pretesting procedures will be used. But for this research the lines between participants and nonparticipants were grey at best and this should be kept in mind when interpreting results. Rural-Urban Attitudinal Orientation Variable Cluster The rural-urban attitudinal orientation variable cluster probed peoples feelings towards migration, especially concerning their children. To establish this attitudinal
45 perspective on migration, four questions in the household survey centered on migration and children. These questions included: (1) Do you want your children to go to the university? (2) Would you prefer your child to live in the city? (3) Do you want your children to do agriculture? And (4) do you have plans to, at some point, move to the city? I asked these four questions and recorded the responses concerning attitudinal orientation. The responses to the survey were overwhelmingly in favor of migration. 37 households (49%) wanted their children to be involved with agriculture; but 68 households (90.7%) wanted their children to attend the university; and 66 households (94.3%) wanted their children to live in the city. Only 20 households (26.7%) had plans to move to the city. It must be remembered, however, that the survey was administered to heads of households. This means, the likelihood of uprooting the family is different from the likelihood of individuals (especially young adults) leaving the community It may seem odd that 49% of the households wanted their children to do agriculture since 94.3% of households wanted their children to live in the city. Numerically it is strange, but it is ethnographically explainable. Many families, although they wanted their children to move to the city and go to the university, would ideally like their children to do agriculture. Families felt, however, that there was more opportunity for their children in the city, and so they responded yes to both questions thereby creating a sort of contradiction between doing agriculture and living in the city. Migration Variable Cluster The final variable cluster is the migration variable grouping. It measured migrant totals per household and other pertinent migratory information such as motivations, location to which the individual migrated and the age of migration. To collect this information I, again, interviewed and surveyed heads of households concerning all
46 members of their nuclear familys place of birth, current location, and motivations for moving. As I interviewed I filled a data table to compile results (see appendix C). Below, I define and explain the descriptive statistics of each migration subvariable. Migrants were measured by determining where an individual was born and where they lived now. If the individual was born in Rancho de los Platanos, but no longer lives there, they were considered a migrant. Of the 473 nuclear family members in or from Rancho de los Platanos, 37.2% of them were migrants (n=176). This means there are, on average, 2.51 migrants per household. Table 2 deconstructs these numbers further and examines the spread of migration totals per household. Table 2. Reported number of outmigrant totals per household 34 48.6 3 4.3 7 10.0 4 5.7 5 7.1 4 5.7 6 8.6 1 1.4 1 1.4 1 1.4 1 1.4 2 2.9 1 1.4 70 100.0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 Total Valid Frequency Percent 48.6% (34 households), had no migrants, 41.1% (29 households) had 1 to 6 migrants, and 9.9% (7 households) had more than 6 migrants in the household. Besides migrant totals per household, I also recorded to where individuals migrated and the average age at which they migrated. The majority of individuals that migrated moved to Moca (31.3%). The next largest percentage was Santiago at 26.1%, then New York and Boston at 13.6%. Table 3 shows the locations to which individuals migrated
47 and the percent of total migrants from Rancho de los Platanos (whose family was still present in the community to report them as a migrant) at each location. Table 3. Migrant locations and percent of total migrants in each location MIGRANT 55 31.3% 46 26.1% 22 12.5% 14 8.0% 2 1.1% 13 7.4% 24 13.6% 473 100.0% Migrant Location/ Destination Moca Santiago Santo Domingo Palma Herrada / Los Cacaos/ La Yautia Puerto Plata La Vega/ Salcedo New York/ Boston Total N % ofMigrantTotal The average age of migration was 22.3 years. This was calculated by taking the migrants current age and subtracting it from how many years ago they left the community. The majority of individuals that migrated were between 20 and 30 years of age (42%), 38% were 18 or younger and only 20% were over the age of 30 or older. Similar to other researchers work, there were some sex differences in outmigration totals. Women accounted for 56% of the total migrant pool, whereas men accounted for 44% (McPherson 2003; Vargas-Lundius 1991). The age distribution of migrants was very similar to the spread found in Ramirezs work (1993). It also almost matched what the International Training Institute found. In the 1960s the institute noted that 53.8% of rural-urban migrants were women and in 1970 that number had increased to 55% (Vargas 1992). The final migration cluster subvariable was motivation. The head of household reported why each individual migrated. After condensing the response data, there were five primary factors why people left the community: (1) to gain more education, (2) to be
48 near family, (3) to find work, (4) to be married and live with a spouse, or (5) other reasons (death of family member, general dislike of the country, looking for better opportunity (general) or adoption). Migration MotivationsOtherMarriageWorkFamilyEducationFrequency by Individuals6050403020100 Figure 2. Distribution of reported migration motivations Out of the 173 migrants the majority left to find work (30.1%) and the next largest portion married out of the community (27.2%). 8.1% left for educational reasons, and close to 24% migrated to be with family or loved ones. The remaining 18.5% left the area for other reasons. Figure 2 summarizes the distribution of reported migration motivations. 56 One problem with the migration variable cluster concerned reporting of information. Since I was unable to talk to the migrants themselves, I relied on the information provided by the head of household. Motivations reported by someone other than the migrant themselves should be looked upon with skepticism. Along these same 5 The migration variable cluster failed to account for households that completely migrated. 6 Some individuals may have moved from Rancho de los Platanos and lived in another location for a period of time, then returned to the community, These individuals would have been marked as a non-migrant
49 lines, just as with the education cluster, there were concerns about the head of household remembering details such as age of departure. Thus head of household recall and responding for migrant family members are threats to validity in the migration cluster variable. Hypothesis Testing, Associations and Correlations With the definition and measurement method of each variable now clear, I can go on to test the original two hypotheses that came from the research question. To review, the question at hand was did ADEPEs efforts to provide new, alternative cash-crops to replace the income of coffee and cacao lead to greater prosperity? And did this greater prosperity, if it exists, lead people to stay in the community rather than migrate to more urban areas? The accompanying hypotheses are: (1) there should be a positive correlation between project participation and economic status. And (2), therefore, a negative correlation should exist between project participation and migration status. To test these hypotheses I used the chi-squared statistic and Pearsons r. The chi-squared statistic measured association between dichotomous, nominal variables (such as project participation and migrant status). A large chi-square value and an accompanying significant p-value means that the probability of the distribution of the response variable changes in some way as the value of the explanatory variable changes 7 In other words, a strong chi-square value means something is going on between two variables that is unlikely occurring by chance. Pearsons r measures the strength of association for the quantitative data (such as land total and household migrant total) is always between -1 7The Chi-Squared statistic for the test of independence calculates how closely the expected frequencies fall to the observed frequencies 2 = (FO FE)2 / FE
50 and 1. 8 The larger the absolute value of Pearsons r, the stronger the degree of association between the two variables. For each hypothesis below I examine Rancho de los Platanos as a population. I then consider Rancho de los Platanos as a statistical sample for all the communities involved with the PDACRJ in the Jamao River Valley. Although clearly not the most random sample, the data from Rancho de los Platanos still sufficed for testing with chi-square and Pearsons r. The community provided enough data so that I was able to speculate, but not conclude, about trends in the larger population of the Jamao River Valley. With this said, I now begin by investigating hypothesis one. Hypothesis One In Rancho de los Platanos, there was a well-being difference between project participants and nonparticipants. Table 4. Case summaries comparing economic/material standing of PDACRJ participants and nonparticipants pp 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 4 179.094 299 132 24 20 30 39 15 16 84000 3.44411 5.75 2.54 .46 .38 .58 .75 .29 .31 21000.00 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 6 89.125 159 86 13 14 16 17 6 5 80000 4.95139 8.83 4.78 .72 .78 .89 .94 .33 .28 13333.33 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 10 268.219 458 218 37 34 46 56 21 21 164000 3.83170 6.54 3.11 .53 .49 .66 .80 .30 .30 16400.00 N Sum Mean N Sum Mean N Sum Mean PDACRJ NonParticipant Participant Total LAND CHIX PIG GAS SOLAR TV RAD CAR EXTINC LOANS p Table 4 shows the means for all the components of the economic/ material well-being variable cluster. Project participants, on average, had 1.5 hectares more land 9 3 more 8 Pearsons r is a standardized version of the slope. It is calculated by taking the standard deviation of x and dividing it by the standard deviation of y, then multiplying by the slope of the linear relationship. 9 It only makes sense that project participants had more land than nonparticipants. Project participation relied of farming, which relied on land. It would be impossible to participate in the PDACRJ without land.
51 chickens and 2 more pigs per household than non participants. Also, project participants were more likely to own a gas stove, solar panel, TV, radio and some form of transportation. Nonparticipants, however, were more likely to receive external income. Also based on the data presented in table 4, households that were project nonparticipants have almost 8000 pesos more debt than households involved with the project (about 200 US). At the village level, it is clear that participants were materially better-off than nonparticipants, but, as I will later discuss, this difference cannot be proven to be a result of ADEPEs intervention. Using Rancho de los Platanos as a statistical sample to extrapolate to the larger population (all the communities in the Jamao River Valley that participated in the project) there were somewhat similar results. The chi-squared statistic showed that there was a high degree of association between project participation and gas stoves, solar panels, and TV (p < .001) but no significant association between project participation and external income, radio and transportation. There was no significant correlation between project participation and quantity of land, loans, pigs or chickensmeaning there was no noteworthy difference between PDACRJ participants and nonparticipants on these variables at the valley-wide level. Thus, households that participated in the project were more likely to have solar panels, gas stoves and TVs. And since these are luxury items, it could be argued that they were materially better-off than nonparticipants. On major indictors of well-being, namely land, external remittances, and transportation, there was no significant difference. Although there is not much statistical evidence to suggest there was a well-being difference between participants and nonparticipants at the valley-wide level, there was a
52 great amount of evidence at the village level. In Rancho de los Platanos the population means of the economic well-being indicators showed a clear divide between participants and nonparticipants, where PDACRJ participants were materially and economically better-off. Thus hypothesis one is true: participants were, at least in Rancho de los Platanos, economically / materially better-off than nonparticipants. It is imperative to reiterate that even though it appears as though project participants are better off than nonparticipants this difference cannot be unconditionally attributed to ADEPEs PDACRJ. It is possible that some other variable caused this difference, since the economic/ material conditions of each household were not known prior to the project and prior to this study. Furthermore the fact that project participants had more land than nonparticipants indicates that they might have been better-off than the nonparticipants right from the start. Bottom-line: Although there is an economic/ well-being difference between the two groups, it cannot be unquestionably explained by ADEPE. Despite this fact, the analysis will continue to investigate migration trends between the participants versus nonparticipants with well-being as a variable. Hypothesis Two When the means were compared, households in Rancho de los Platanos that participated in the PDACRJ had higher household migrant totals than nonparticipants. In fact, on average, participant households had one more migrant per household than nonparticipants (3.27 and 2.26 respectively). Thus, the more affluent, PDACRJ participating households had higher migrant household totals, on average, than the less affluent, non-participating ones. This means hypothesis two is false. Using Rancho de los Platanos as a sample to again examine Jamao valley-wide migration trends, comparable conclusions were found. There was no correlational
53 evidence to suggest that the number of migrants per household was less for PDACRJ participants than nonparticipants (r =.125, p = .3). Therefore, at the valley-wide level hypothesis two is again false. There was no correlation (r = .127, p = .297) between migrant household total and household land total. But there was significant correlation between external income and number of migrants in the household (r =.284, p-value = .017). This correlation makes sense. Households that receive external income would naturally be more likely to have migrants. Thus, those households which are earning the most money from outside sources (which arguably produced more income than avocado and zapote) had higher levels of outmigration. This same theme is seen in the correlation between migrant household total and transportation (r = .327, p = .006). Thus, as one might expect, those households that are economically better-off have a higher migrant household total. This phenomenon is very much in line with what Preston (1979) modeled concerning developmental migration. Projects such as the PDACRJ might actually provide the resources for people to leave, rather than convince them to staymore on this in discussion of findings. Summary In this chapter I presented the economic / material statuses and migration attitudinal stances for the households of Rancho de los Platanos. I also presented the descriptive statistics surrounding education, migration motivations and migrant destinations. Then, through statistical testing I found evidence that hypothesis one is true, while hypothesis two is false. It seems that project participant households are economically / materially better-off than nonparticipants, but that variation cannot be attributed to the PDACRJ. It was also found that that the difference in prosperity has not led to decreased outmigration in those same, more affluent households. The following chapter elaborates on these
54 findings and attempts to answers the now obvious question: Why, if some households in Rancho de los Platanos experience less economic/ well-being push than other households, has the pull of the city remained the same or perhaps increased?
CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND CASE STUDY In chapter five I found that although it seems that project participant households are economically / materially better-off than nonparticipants, this has not led to decreased outmigration in those same, more prosperous households. It actually may have led to a higher mean migrant total per household for project participants than nonparticipants. This is in line with what Turner (1976) observed. He said that investment in rural areas leads to increased income and education, thereby providing the resources to move. Malmberg (1997) noted a similar phenomenon. She stated that Demographic transition, modernization in rural areas and industrialization were regarded as determinants of the regional differentiation and of the interregional interaction that triggered increasing long-distance migration (37). Based on interviews and what other researchers have found, I speculate that attitudinal orientation toward migration, age, chain migration and education have a large impact on migration behavior and decision-making. Since ADEPEs PDACRJ did not address these aspects of migration, but rather focused more on economic/ material issues, it makes sense that the PDACRJ might have failed to change outmigration. The following chapter explains this seemingly paradoxical conclusion. It then concludes by describing a typical Rancho de los Platanos family that demonstrates the aforementioned conclusion. Conclusion Explanations Regardless of PRACRJ participation and economic / material well-being, almost every individual in Rancho de los Platanos saw migration as a good process. Based on 55
56 the results from the migration attitudinal orientation survey and numerous interviews this conclusion was overwhelmingly clear. Only seven of 70 households did not want their children to attend the university. 88% of parents wanted their children to live in the city. It is true that many parents, 48%, responded that they would like their children to do agriculture, but most parents confessed that this was just wishful thinking. They thought although it would be nice for their children to remain in farming, that there was much more opportunity for them in the city. This explains the negative correlation between children working in agriculture, children attending the university and children living in the city. Most children held similar views. My sister, Idys, told me that although she would like to stay in Rancho de los Platanos she knows that it was in her best interest to move to New York to be with her mom. Although the PDACRJ may have been able to offer households alternative crops and farming methods, it seemed that attitudes toward migration remained unchanged. Additionally, since the PDACRJ did not target the largest migrant pool (those under 25), migration totals may not have been affected through the project. This, again, might explain why there was no difference in migration totals between those households that participated and those that did not. 73.7% of migrants were age 25 and younger. Vargas-Lundius (1991), found an even higher percentage. In 1978, 78% of the migrants to Santo Domingo were under the age of 25 years of age and the majority had more than 5 years of school (306). Additionally, young people have a longer investment horizon than older individuals. The longer ones investment horizon, the more likely they are to migrate (Fischer 1997). Although projects such as the PDACRJ might increase a households standard of living, they are not affecting the migration of young adults.
57 Thus, even though development projects may increase the well-being of older generations, younger generations, with longer investment horizons, still leave. Lack of younger generations to reproduce and replace the older generations means that the population of Rancho de los Platanos will still decline, and the town will slowly continue to die away. Cleary, age is a huge intervening variable in rural outmigration. On the other hand, older people seemed to remain in Rancho de los Platanos. Fisher (1997) noted this pattern as well. Strong ties to specific places might explain why older generations stay in their current place of residence and reject the pull of more urban areas, despite the economic advantages that may come with migration (Fisher 1997). I also speculate that older generations do not migrate because they are comfortable in the tranquil rural areas, do not feel it is worth the effort to make the move, are apprehensive about the bustle of the urban centers and fear they do not have the skills to endure an urban way of life. On the other hand, during several interviews older people said that they wish they could move to the city. They mentioned that they often fear something horrible happening to their health. Since there was no hospital in the immediate vicinity, they felt as though sickness almost certainly would bring death. Thus, desire for nearby healthcare was pulling even older people to the city. Chain migration is another explanation for the paradox between increased well-being and continued migration. Morrison and Sinkin (1982) observed that the costs an individual Dominican must consider when deciding about emigration are partially social, such as separation from family or living in a strange culture (823). In many cases, one member of a family migrates and other family members will soon follow for two reasons: 1) just like Morrison and Sinkin (1982) and Pessar (1982) observed, the separation from
58 family and loved ones was too much to bear and, therefore, families tend to chain migrate; and 2) initial migrant family members faithfully send money home, which accelerates the migration of additional family members until the entire family has been transplanted (Richardson 1989). Rancho de los Platanos had its first massive outmigration in the 1980s and then another in the 1990s, thus starting a pattern of chain migration. I speculate that since development projects such as the PDACRJ cannot control separation anxiety caused by split family households, and since it also cannot regulate the practice of sending remittances back to the original household, it cannot affect chain migrationespecially strong chain migration trends that have long histories, such as those found in Rancho de los Platanos. Finally, and perhaps most important, is the desire for education as an intervening variable. In Rancho de los Platanos and I conjecture in most rural Dominican communities, parents saw education as an escape from the rural areas. The data seems to support this claim as well. The mean education level of adult migrants from Rancho de los Platanos was 7.42 years (n =165) while that of adult non-migrants in Rancho de los Platanos was 4.7 years (n =187). Practically every child that was of school age was attending school. This is unlike educational practices during Emilios time. Many children, especially boys, did not go to school. Instead they worked the fields of lucrative cash-crops. Today, with a cash-crop harvest that is not nearly as intense as coffee or tobacco, children no longer have to work the fields; they go to school. Most parents I interviewed felt that the history of insecurity and economic hardship from which they suffered in Rancho de los Platanos could be best eliminated for their children through increased schooling.
59 Increased schooling also means increased migration in Rancho de los Platanos. The Rancho de los Platanos school goes through the 8 th grade. Beyond that, students have to attend the high school in Villa Trina; and beyond high school they have to attend the university in Moca. The principal of the Rancho de los Platanos primary school told me that 90% of the 2002 8 th grade class graduated and are attending the high school in Villa Trina. Most students in the high school I spoke with said that once they get a daily dose of the urban life in Villa Trina they are bored with Rancho de los Platanosafter exposure, they do not want to return to their rural lives. At one time, attending the high school in Villa Trina was very difficult. Now, however, a government subsidized guagua transports students from Rancho de los Platanos to Villa Trina everyday for only 10 pesos, round trip. Thus, through advanced schooling, young adults gain skills that make them more marketable in urban rather than in rural areas. With such an increase in skill and education many young adults want to utilize their talent in areas other than the agrarian sector. Education beyond the 8 th grade also increased contact between young adults and urban centers. Once in contact, many were magnetized to the privileges, such as education, work, water, electricity, social life, etc that the city has to offer. With so many parents seeing the value of education, and the reduced need for farm labor, migration for educational reasons will continue. Preston (1979) thought that improving schooling opportunities in rural areas would decrease the flow of individuals to urban areas. As of August 2003, there were no plans to construct a secondary school in Rancho de los Platanos, thus education-motivated migration will most likely continue. Education
60 was just one more aspect of migration that affected young-adults, the largest outmigrant group, that projects like the PDACRJ might not have reached. Together attitudinal orientation toward migration, education, age and chain migration explanations may account for the fact that although there are differences in economic / material well-being between participants and nonparticipants, there was no connection between participation and decreased household migrant totals. The following case study of Mario and his family illustrates this overall relational trend between project participation, migration, and the variables just explained. Mario is a PDACRJ participant and is economically/ materially better-off than many people in Rancho de los Platanos, yet much of his family has migrated due to chain migration, education, age and attitudes. Migration Story and Case Study Mario Sanchez, his family and their history illustrate many of the themes in migration already discussed. His nuclear family is a family of six. He and his wife have four children, 3 girls and one boy. Both he and his wife Juana are from Rancho de los Platanos. The family has a rich history of migration: Juana moved to New York in 1991, when she was 37. Her father, who had immigrated to New York years earlier, invited her and her eldest daughter, Argentina, to move there. Although Juana wanted to be with Mario and her other children, she felt that the move would be better for the family since they had lost so much of their coffee crop to the broca. Mario and Juana decided that she would leave when Idys, their youngest child, was old enough to take care of herself and the home while Mario was in the fields working. Eventually Juanas father sent enough money to provide the resources so that Juana and Argentina could make the move. She and her daughter legally reside there to this date. Juana works as a cleaner for a local community college and Argentina is going to school as well as working at McDonalds.
61 The separation was very hard on the family and they often struggle with the isolation. Juana often grieves about how little time she gets to spend with her family. She said that normally she is able to return to Rancho de los Platanos for about 4 weeks out of the year, and those weeks are never around Christmas time. She enjoys spending time with Argentina, Argentinas husband and her grandchild in New York, but often misses the countryside. Their second oldest daughter, Mariana, and their son Carlos both live in Moca. Mariana, who is 20, goes to school there and is studying computers. At 18, Carlos is considering attending the university, but for now is working at a local stores warehouse called La Victoria. Both are planning on staying in Moca, but Mariana confessed that she still likes to visit her home in the country and go to Mass there. Carlos has no remorse about leaving Rancho de los Platanos. He finds the entertainment of Moca to be much more satisfying. Idys, the youngest daughter, still lives in Rancho de los Platanos with Mario. She is attending the High School in Villa Trina and, according to her school teacher, is very bright. She has to commute via guagua everyday to Villa Trina to go to school, but still does all the duties that Juana would do if she were not in New York. She wakes up and makes Mario breakfast in the morning, and also leaves a lunch for him. When she comes home from school she studies and does more domestic duties such as cleaning, washing clothes and preparing dinner. Idys felt as though it was her job to take care of the household and Mario since she promised her mom she would do so.
62 The family is highly educated. Mario completed grade 8, which is very rare in his age group, and Juana completed the 5 th grade. Idys is finishing 12 th grade now. Carlos finished high school and Mariana is studying in the university. The household is also well-to-do. The family owns about 1.06 hectares of land and is an avid and successful participant in the PDACRJ. In fact, Mario is a honorfico that often represents Rancho de los Platanos at ADEPE meetings. He teaches other farmers the PDACRJ techniques. On his 1.06 hectares Mario farms over 100 crops and has various fast-growing hardwoods that he will harvest when they are mature. He also raises 6 pigs and has over 70 chickens. The house is made out of wooden slats, a corrugated zinc roof and a concrete floor. The family has a radio, TV, gas stove, and a solar panel as well. Mario sells over 20 gallons of honey a year and also sells all the farm-produce that the household does not consume. Additionally he sells his pigs to earn money, which is a very lucrative commodity. On top of this, Mario purchases very few food products from the local market. He raises most of the food him and his family consume. By limiting his purchased foods to only rice, spices, pasta, oil, and the occasional luxury food item, he saves money. Besides these income generators, Juana faithfully sends money home from the US on a regular basis. Mario has been able to save enough of this money to buy a truck to transport his produce. This way does not have to rely on the monopolistic intermediary. He also saves money so he and the rest of his family can reunite with Juana and Argentina in the US. Mario has plans to move him and the rest of his family to The US within the next couple of years. He has applied for visas for both him and Idys (Mariana and Carlos want to stay and finish their degrees first). Although Idys is frightened about the move,
63 she told me that she will be happy to be with her mother and sister again. Mario explained that although he will be happy to have most of his family united again, he is not looking forward to moving to New York. He fears having nothing to do in the city, missing his land and farming and missing the fresh air of the countryside. Mario and his family serve as a typical illustration of migration in Rancho de los Platanos for several reasons. His family is, on average, wealthier and more educated than many households in Rancho de los Platanos, and therefore have a high household migrant total, even though they are PDACRJ participants. The chain migration that started with Juanas father opened the door to future migrations. The money Juana sends to Mario enables the family to prepare for their migrations (such as legal paperwork concerning international migration) while at the same time maintaining the home and farm. The separation anxiety caused by the split home motivates the family to reunite in New York. Marios thrifty ways, coupled with the external income provided by Juana, provides enough capital to send all the children to high school and some to the university, opposed to them having to stay in Rancho de los Platanos to work on the farm. Through their exposure to urban areas from their pursuit of advanced education, Mariana and Carlos have chosen to stay in Moca. And although the familys attitude toward migration is one of slight fear and reservation, they feel in the long-run it is in their best interest. This case study plainly demonstrates how a successful PDACRJ participant household that is economically / materially prosperous, can still have a high household migrant total. Intervening variables such as chain migration, education, age and attitude toward relocation have a direct and significant impact on migration.
CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION This study explored the relationship between migration, development and economic/ material well-being. Chapter one stated the research question which was: Did the PDACRJ efforts to provide new, alternative cash-crops to replace the income of coffee and cacao lead to greater prosperity. And did this greater prosperity, if it exists, lead people to stay in the community rather than migrate to more urban areas? This question had two hypotheses: (1) there should be a positive association and correlation between project participation and economic status. (2) Therefore, a negative correlation between project participation and migration status should be present. Chapter two outlined the methods and research design behind the study. Chapters three and four provided the ethnographic and historical background of Rancho de los Platanos. Chapter five then explained the variables, the descriptive statistic for each cluster and tested the hypotheses. Hypothesis one was confirmed by my data and hypothesis two was rejected. In other words, there was evidence of a higher level of economic prosperity amongst PDACRJ participants, though there is no way of knowing whether the project recruited economically more prosperous people, or whether the higher prosperity level is a result of the project. With respect to migration, I found no evidence of a lower migration rate among project participants. I explained this phenomenon in chapter sixdiscussion of findings. Here, I attributed the continuing migration trend to chain migration, the seeking of advanced education, age and an overall attitudinal orientation that migration is a secure route to increased opportunity and well-being. As others have 64
65 found, I too learned that increased well-being may indeed reduce the push of the rural areas, but this does not necessarily reduce outmigration. Based on my interviews and my experiences in Rancho de los Platanos, I feel that if ADEPE wants to reduce outmigration it needs to focus on projects that work to bring electricity, water and a better road to the community. Electricity would enable residents to start the small, entrepreneurial activities they spoke of, such as colmados, sewing shops or small restaurants. Water would provide irrigation for crops, producing more bountiful harvests. A better road would allow more intermediaries to come to the area, which would decrease the current distribution monopoly found in Rancho de los Platanos. Also, when I left, there was talk in ADEPE of working to increase ecotourism in the region. If Rancho de los Platanos had electricity and water, it could set up numerous small businesses that could feed off the potential tourist population and a better road would bring more tourists to the area. All in all, I think that if ADEPE could provide Rancho de los Platanos with electricity, water and a better road, then the community may experience increased commerce, job market growth, tourism and general well-being. It is possible that these amenities and their byproducts might even prevent the continuing waxing exodus of people in communities such as Rancho de los Platanos.
APPENDIX A MAPS 66
APPENDIX B CENSUS DATA EXAMPLE 68
APPENDIX C MIGRATION LOG DATA EXAMPLE 69
APPENDIX D MATERIAL/ECONOMIC VARIABLES DATA EXAMPLE 70
APPENDIX E GLOBAL CALENDER 71
APPENDIX F THEMATIC KEY MASTER MATRIX VARIABLE KEY & LOG: Masters Research in the Dominican Republic Code: Variable #: LongForm: Definition: PERSON 1 Person The number of the individual sampled MAP 2 Map Location of the informant on the map. The first letter indicates where in the pareje the informant resides: (A) Rancho de los Platanos Arriba (structures north of AZ on the main road) (B) Rancho de los Platanos Abajo (structures south of AZ on the main road) (C) Los Cacaos Arriba (structures along the Cacaos road) (E) Rancho de los Platanos Arriba (All structures north of AZ, and east of main road (O) El Alto (structures west of the main road, excluding Los Cacaos) The second letter identifies the house (A-Z). Together the two letters form a unique address for the house on the Rancho de los Platanos grid. AGE 3 Age This is the age of the informant as reported by the informant or by the head of household, to the closet year. However, if the individual was less than one year old the age was rounded to 1. SEX 4 Sex Sexual Identity of the Informant as reported by the informant 0Male 1Female OCCU 5 Occupation Profession that takes up the majority of the informants time, as self identified: 0Not applicable. Individual is less than 5 years old Not Currently EmployedUnemployed and not in school Retired/ Doesnt work due to age Doesnt work because of illness 1Domestic worker (alma de casa), modista Student 2Does occasional contract type work Farmer (agriculture o machete), includes selling and distribution. Construction workerHome/ Road Work 3VendorFood/Clothes 72
73 Factory 4Business personCommercial/Retail/Skills/Stores/Service/ Business PersonTransportation/ Motaconcha/ Gua Gua /Barber/ Mechanic/ Plumber/ Lavanderia Food IndustryRestaurants / Comedor 5Professional OccupationEngineer/ Nurse/ Lawyer/Reporter Government/ Military Education (professor) LIVES 6 Location of Current Residence/ Where the individually currently lives Location in which the members of the nuclear household live now. As reported by the head of households. 1Rancho de los Platanos 2Moca/ Juan Lopez/ Villa Trina/ San Victor 3Santiago 4Santo Domingo/ La Romana 5Palma Herrada/ Los Cacaos/ La Yauta/ Cortui/ 6Puerto Plata/ San Francisco 7La Vega/ Tratrase/ Los Riones/ Bayaco/ Salcedo 8New York City/ Boston MIGRANT 7 Migrant Did the individual once live in Rancho de los Platanos, and now does not? 0No 1Yes WHYMOVE 8 Reason for Leaving Rancho de los Platanos If the individual is a migrant, for what reason did they migrate? Household member that was being interviewed supplied a primary reason for those that are within the nuclear family, but no longer live in Rancho de los Platanos. The reasons are categorized as the following: 1Education (Individual left to pursue further education) 2Family (The individual either moved to be with family that had already migrated, or part of the family migrated together) 3Work (Individual want to find work in another location) Military (Individual left to join and train in the military) Life (Individuals left Rancho de los Platanos in hopes of finding a better life, busca una vida mejor) Resources (There were not enough household resources to support the individual and therefore, they migrated) 4Marriage (individuals was married and left Ranch de los Platanos with or to be with their spouse) 5Other (Reasons not having a clear category)
74 Adoption (Children were adopted by a family not in Rancho de los Platanos) Death (spouse passed away and therefore the individual left Rancho de los Platanos) Dislike (Individual dislikes the country and therefore left) AGEMOVE 9 Age Moved from Rancho de Los Platanos This is the age at which those that no longer living in Ranch de los Platanos, but who were born in Rancho de los Platanos, migrated from Rancho de los Platanos. This is not the time at which the individual left for their final destination, per say. It is the time of departure from Rancho de los Platanos only. If the space is blank, it means that the individual still lives in Rancho de los Platanos. EDU 10 Education Education reports that last curse accomplished by the individual. It is possible that students are still in school. To check, see STILSTUD. If a child is too young to go to school the cell remains blank. STILSTUD 11 Still Studying This variable notes who is still studying and who is not studying. 0No 1Yes LAND 12 Land Quantity This is a scale measure. Its the reported cuadros of land each household farms in which the PERSON lives (or resided), not necessarily owns. CHIX 13 Chickens This is a scale measure. It the number of chickens owned by the household in which PERSON lives (or resided). PIG 14 Pigs This is a scale measure. It is the quantity of pigs the household owns in which PERSON lives (or resided). PDACRJ 15 PDACRJ PDACRJ is weather the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) participates in the Proyecto Desarrollo Agroforestal de la Cuenca Rio Jamao. 0No 1Yes GAS 16 Gas Stove Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) have a gas stove? 0No 1Yes SOLAR 17 Solar Panels Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) have solar panels? 0No 1Yes TV 18 Television Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) have a television? 0No 1Yes
75 RADIO 19 Radio Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) have a radio? 0No 1Yes MOTORV 20 Motor Vehicle Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) have a motorcycle or a car? 0No 1Yes EXTINCOM 21 External Income Does the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) receive external income from some source such as a family member, friend, etc that is better off? 0No 1Yes LOANS 22 Loans This is a scale measure. If the household in which PERSON lives (or resided) has loans, the amount of the loans is put in the cell. If the household does not have loans, the cell is left blank. CHIAGR 23 Children and Agriculture This is the response to the question: Do you want your children to do agriculture? by the head of household. Answers were allocated to each individual in the household. 0No 1Yes PLANS 24 Plans to Move to the City This is the response to the question: Do you have plans to move to the city in the future? by the head of household. Answers were allocated to each individual in the household. 0No 1Yes CHIUNIVE 25 Children and the University This is the response to the question: Do you want your children to go to the university? by the head of household. Answers were allocated to each individual in the household. 0No 1Yes CITYCOUN 26 City or Country This is the response to the question: Do you want your children live in the city or the country? by the head of household. Answers were allocated to each individual in the household. 0Country 1City IMPORTAN 27 Whats most Important This is the response to the question: What do you need most in Rancho de los Platanos? Electricity? Water? Or A better road? by the head of household. Answers were allocated to each individual in the household. 1 Water 2Electricity 3Road ADULT 28 Adult Status This is a dummy variable that shows weather or not the PERSON is an adult. (Adult defined as 18 and older)
76 0Not an adult 1Is an adult CHILD 29 Child Status This is a dummy variable that shows weather or not the PERSON is a child. (Child defined as younger than 18) 0Not a child 1Is a child MIGHHT 30 Migrant Household Total This is the total number of migrants in the household in which PERSON lives (or resided). ADULTHHT 31 Adult Household Total This number is the total amount of adults living in the household in which PERSON lives (or resided). CHILDHHT 32 Child Household Total This is the total number of children in the household in which PERSON lives (or resided).
APPENDIX F PHOTOS OF HOMES IN RANCHO DE LOS PLATANOS 77
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Chad R. Maxwell was born in 1980, in Champaign, Illinois. He graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2002, receiving a degree in both Spanish and anthropology. Besides the Caribbean, his additional research interests include Southern Spain, cross-cultural performance, cross-cultural gender, sex and sexuality, applied anthropology, research design and anthropological methodologies. 82