Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/244837
Title:
A Forgotten Wasteland: The Guatemala City Garbage Dump Community
Author:
Trujillo, Leanne Rose
Issue Date:
May-2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This thesis is an intensive study on the Guatemala City garbage dump community - a community of scavengers who work informally in the city's largest sanitary landfill. I argue that the garbage dump community is a 'forgotten' wasteland- a community that has continuously been treated as a subaltern population by the Guatemalan government, environmentalists, citizens, and the global economy at large. This thesis provides a comprehensive history of Latin American economic development and transformation into modern day neoliberal, free market economic policies as a form of hegemonic neocolonialism. The report then provides a comprehensive timeline of sanitation policies in Guatemala City and how they have perpetuated the notion of a 'sanitary space' free of contamination. Following the overall development of national sanitation policies, I investigate the waste management system in Guatemala in relation to the city's landfill. I argue that waste management policies have negated the need for a formal recycling system as well as transformational social service policies for the scavenger community. I give a brief snapshot of urbanization and modernization in the history of Guatemala City and its impact on a division in economic, social, and political powers. These separate, yet intertwined history’s support the notion that the garbage being scavenged and recycled is a product of modernist development. In addition, I provide statistics on the scavenger population and the informal economy of scavenging in Guatemala City. I use the concept of subalternity and conceptualized space to represent how these complex histories have created a socio-spatial boundary of subalternity of the garbage dump community. This research was done under the supervision of an expert on Guatemalan history, a Guatemalan anthropologist, and an American geographer. This thesis is an incorporation of empirical evidence from academic journals, primary source newspaper articles and photos from the CIRMA (Center for Mesoamerican Research) historical archives in Guatemala, and statistical data and studies from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and the Guatemalan government. Although no formal interviews or use of human subjects took place during the compilation of this research, I did spend time working in the garbage dump community which gave me a personal perspective that is also incorporated into my research. This research is to serve as a starting point for continued investigation of a lack of social policies that directly affect the garbage dump community in addition to highlighting the adverse struggles the community faces as it is continuously marginalized through national politics, economics, and social structures.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Degree Name:
B.A.
Degree Level:
bachelors
Degree Program:
Honors College; Latin American Studies and Political Science
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA Forgotten Wasteland: The Guatemala City Garbage Dump Communityen_US
dc.creatorTrujillo, Leanne Roseen_US
dc.contributor.authorTrujillo, Leanne Roseen_US
dc.date.issued2012-05-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is an intensive study on the Guatemala City garbage dump community - a community of scavengers who work informally in the city's largest sanitary landfill. I argue that the garbage dump community is a 'forgotten' wasteland- a community that has continuously been treated as a subaltern population by the Guatemalan government, environmentalists, citizens, and the global economy at large. This thesis provides a comprehensive history of Latin American economic development and transformation into modern day neoliberal, free market economic policies as a form of hegemonic neocolonialism. The report then provides a comprehensive timeline of sanitation policies in Guatemala City and how they have perpetuated the notion of a 'sanitary space' free of contamination. Following the overall development of national sanitation policies, I investigate the waste management system in Guatemala in relation to the city's landfill. I argue that waste management policies have negated the need for a formal recycling system as well as transformational social service policies for the scavenger community. I give a brief snapshot of urbanization and modernization in the history of Guatemala City and its impact on a division in economic, social, and political powers. These separate, yet intertwined history’s support the notion that the garbage being scavenged and recycled is a product of modernist development. In addition, I provide statistics on the scavenger population and the informal economy of scavenging in Guatemala City. I use the concept of subalternity and conceptualized space to represent how these complex histories have created a socio-spatial boundary of subalternity of the garbage dump community. This research was done under the supervision of an expert on Guatemalan history, a Guatemalan anthropologist, and an American geographer. This thesis is an incorporation of empirical evidence from academic journals, primary source newspaper articles and photos from the CIRMA (Center for Mesoamerican Research) historical archives in Guatemala, and statistical data and studies from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and the Guatemalan government. Although no formal interviews or use of human subjects took place during the compilation of this research, I did spend time working in the garbage dump community which gave me a personal perspective that is also incorporated into my research. This research is to serve as a starting point for continued investigation of a lack of social policies that directly affect the garbage dump community in addition to highlighting the adverse struggles the community faces as it is continuously marginalized through national politics, economics, and social structures.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen_US
thesis.degree.nameB.A.en_US
thesis.degree.levelbachelorsen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHonors Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLatin American Studies and Political Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
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