How Development Projects Persist: Everyday Negotiations with Guatemalan NGOs
Repackaging Development in Guatemala
This chapter provides a historical overview of development trends in Guatemala, embedding national developments in a changing international context. It demonstrates how projects do not disappear but are repackaged using new buzzwords, as can be seen with the continued emphasis on nontraditional crops, credit, technology, and discourses of entrepreneurship and self-help before, during, and after the armed conflict in Guatemala. Furthermore, the chapter demonstrates that international discourses and practices influenced but did not dictate national and local development efforts in the country. Rather, they interacted with the Guatemalan context in which local actors exercised varying degrees of agency. In addition to describing the current landscape that Namaste and the Fraternity navigate, this chapter explains how NGOs came to be one of the key faces of development in many Guatemalan communities and how organizational diversity was able to persist even in the face of strong international pressures.