The study of spatial patterns of rural settlement involves two basic approaches: the empirical, designed to discover and generalize the principles governing the development of rural structures; and the analytical, directed more toward the formulation of normative models and based on lessons gleaned from real-world experiences. The division between regular and irregular, or tight and loose settlement, remains nevertheless arbitrary. Academic interest in the structure of rural settlement has further sagged with the surge in urban sciences which tend to regard rural settlement as an intermediary stage toward urbanization. Both the agglomerated and dispersed settlement patterns exist among peasants in Latin America, with a tendency to group in small hamlets or villages. Concentrated settlement will be used whenever social criteria are preponderant. The shift to concentrated patterns in Latin American land settlement schemes not only satisfies the desire to maximize social and economic efficiency, but also facilitates the provisioning of amenities, agricultural extension, training, financing, and related infrastructure.