Changing Places describes and analyzes patterns of environmental and social change in a region of rural Honduras over a 15-year period (1983-1998). The people of this region were subject to economic dislocations caused by the construction of a major hydroelectric dam that flooded more than 6,000 hectares of mostly agricultural land. In addition, residents have been forced to adapt to broader processes of rapid social and economic change associated with globalization over the same period; these responses include increased rates of employment in maquiladora plants and migration to the U.S.
The book examines the environmental consequences of the dam, the response of local people to dam-induced changes, the ecological effects of changing land use patterns, and the challenges to local livelihoods posed by globalization. Loker looks at the failure of post-dam resettlement as well as subsequent "environment and development" projects in the region and presents an analysis of the role of structural power, social capital, and community divisions in frustrating development efforts.
Changing Places examines both the social and environmental dimensions of the intersection between the local and the global. The book will be of interest to scholars and professionals in a variety of fields including anthropology, geography, environmental studies, international relations, international development policy, students of globalization and global environmental problems (deforestation, species loss), and those interested in Latin America generally and Central America specifically.
“His multifaceted approach truly captures the story of a community experiencing substantial change.” — Human Ecology