ERIC Number: ED476010
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Rapid Rural Appraisal: A Case Study in Rural Mexico.
Lucas, David M.; Jarrett, Charles W.
The North American Free Trade Agreement has generated serious debate regarding the stimulating effects of foreign investment on Mexico's economy. Saltillo, a metropolitan center in the mountains of Coahuila, has been positively affected by recent economic trends. But the village of General Cepeda, located just 50 miles from Saltillo, is relatively unaffected by recent economic improvements in the region. Mexican and American undergraduate students from the Saltillo campus of the Institute of Technology of Monterrey and Ohio University, representing a wide variety of majors, cooperated in a qualitative study to assess the attitudes of rural residents regarding social, political, and economic issues. The rapid rural appraisal method was used because it features a commitment to multidisciplinary research, team training, and qualitative data, and has an international reputation for rigorous and systematic principles of data collection. During the 12-day study, every head of household in the 175-family village was interviewed, and focus groups were conducted with village women, key informants, and village youth. Structured observations supplemented data collection. Findings revealed local residents were concerned with a lack of educational opportunities for youth, extreme poverty, high unemployment, and increasing alcoholism. Residents expressed a high degree of fear and suspicion of governmental institutions at the local, state, and federal levels. (TD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Students, Community Attitudes, Field Experience Programs, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Intercollegiate Cooperation, Interdisciplinary Approach, Poverty, Qualitative Research, Quality of Life, Research Methodology, Rural Areas, Social Science Research, Student Research
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: North American Free Trade Agreement