Promoting Food Sovereignty through a Cooperativa Model in the Maya Region

María Cristina Osorio Vázquez, Hans Th. A. Bresser, María Laura Franco García


The purpose of this investigation is to demonstrate if working in cooperatives favors an increase in food sovereignty among indigenous Mayan women living in rural communities of the Yucatan Peninsula, located in southeast Mexico. The support networks created within the working relationship are expected to transcend beyond the economic activities and provide a basis for deeper ties which promote food sharing in times of scarcity and foment bartering of fruit and vegetables among the participants.

A quantitative methodology was used by means of a questionnaire with a Likert scale to measure the attitudes of the participants. The qualitative methodology of social investigation was also applied through open interviews, semi-structured interviews, participant observations and ethnography.

It was found that cooperative work strengthens support networks among the participants in this study, thereby favoring their food sovereignty; however, this is also related to cultural and family aspects of the Maya people. As a result, this paper explains community strategies implemented by indigenous women to confront poverty and to improve, with their limited resources, their access to food and income through association.

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