Control and Continuity: Sustainability, Land Rights, and the Politics of Food in Guatemala
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This thesis seeks to understand the intersection of cultural identity and food security in a country that has had a difficult time feeding its people. The discourse on food in Guatemala, in the realm of development and international studies, maintains a focus on the lack thereof. Moreover, the author examines the food traditions and beliefs people in Guatemala feel are important as well as the obstacles they face in realizing food self-sufficiency. Many Guatemalans have an intimate connection with their land, and unequal land distribution hinders farmers’ abilities to access the foods they most value. In addition to this, the unfolding sustainable development agenda has resulted in biofuel projects that threaten the livelihoods of many rural farmers. Through interviews with chefs, agricultural workers, and agricultural commodity traders, the author pieces together the differing perspectives of various stakeholders to present a complex mosaic of Guatemalan foodways.