chapter  8
Empowering rural communities
WithElena de Florencia Vasquez
Pages 15

In Mexico a general apathy towards introducing any changes which might allow the peasants a life of greater worth stems from a lack of work opportunities, the absence of creative activities and entertainment, and neglect of the rural areas. Any projects initiated by public institutions, even if they succeed in reaching the villages, usually fail. In contrast to these material possessions is the squalor in which country people live: half-naked children, people going barefoot in muddy streets beside which run filthy gutters, drunken men, an inadequate diet of maize pancakes and beans. With the financial resources gained from their normal agricultural produce or from seasonal occupations, together with the additional earnings from their projects, the peasants should be able to improve their standard of living through improvements in diet, housing and clothing. Individuals will have the right to organise their lives in accordance with their own ideals, enjoying freedom provided it does not interfere with the freedom of others.