chapter  3
In the Wake of Occupational Transformation and Pro-Equity Legislation: What’s Driving New Exclusions in Yucatán?
BySUSAN PAULSON AND JIMENA MÉNDEZ NAVARRO
Pages 23

Striking socioeconomic and ecological changes are underway in Yucatán. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the majority of rural men worked in the cultivation or processing of henequen, a tropical agave plant whose fiber is used in making twine and other products. At the same time, many residents continued to grow food for family consumption; in the most common patterns, men cultivated corn, beans and other cultivars in a system called milpa, while women managed home gardens called solares. Many more men than women were employed in the formal labor market, where proportions of women workers were lower than in most other parts of Latin America.