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The Development of Rural Sustainability Using Participatory Action Research: A Case Study from Guatemala

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DOI: 10.4236/jhrss.2015.31004    3,723 Downloads   4,416 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Rural sustainability, although ambiguous at times, is an evolving science on the right way to higher shared value. Despite the rising demand for sustainability, its parameterization is still underdevelopment and differs spatiotemporally. This is a case study of developing rural sustainability using participatory action research (PAR) in small farms in the southern tropical Pacific coast of the Departments of Retalhuleu and Suchitepequez in Guatemala. This study covers five years (2010-2014) of communities’ involvement in open dialogue, field research and project leadership. The data were collected through multi-dimensional approach including hands-on training, surveys with farmers and their families, and public conferences. Exploratory statistical analyses showed that the differences in the responses collected were statistically significant. In addition, the responses on average reflect gratification from the local communities. This validates the positive change of these intervention programs that are both relevant and science-based. The application of PAR in these communities has proved to successfully allow for a two-way learning process between locals and field experts, improve the livelihood and thus sustainability of their lives, and empower them to take initiative with problem-solving actions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Anderson, F. (2015) The Development of Rural Sustainability Using Participatory Action Research: A Case Study from Guatemala. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 3, 28-33. doi: 10.4236/jhrss.2015.31004.

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