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Latin America and the Global Cold War$
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Thomas C. Field Jr., Stella Krepp, and Vanni Pettiná

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655697

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655697.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Community Development in Cold War Guatemala

Community Development in Cold War Guatemala

Not a Revolution but an Evolution

(p.123) 5 Community Development in Cold War Guatemala
Latin America and the Global Cold War

Sarah Foss

University of North Carolina Press

By the mid-1960s, Guatemalan newspapers regularly discussed the nation’s underdeveloped status, identifying it as a national embarrassment. However, the regions that the Guatemalan government identified as underdeveloped were largely rural and indigenous, thus presenting a unique set of cultural behaviors and practices that challenged the western development ideas the government wished to initiate. This chapter compares two development projects that different governmental institutes implemented in Guatemala between 1956-1976: the Plan de Mejoramiento de Tactic, Alta Verapaz and the Programa del Desarrollo de la Comunidad. The key sources that serve as evidence for the chapter’s arguments are anthropologists’ field notes, oral histories, and unpublished internal government documents. The chapter argues that as leftist guerrilla activity increased, the Guatemalan government capitalized upon international concerns with poverty, hunger, and illiteracy, and they used development as a peaceful means to fight the Cold War.

Keywords:   Guatemala, Development, Cold War, Dictatorship, Latin America

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