With the inability of international economic integration to create opportunities for important segments of society, many Mexicans are searching for ways to forge their own alternatives. These strategies are the concrete manifestations of the realisation that the ‘mainstream’ path of the search for proletarian employment is no longer viable and that a return to traditional forms of cooperation, organised around mechanisms for ecosystem management, might offer greater security and a better quality of life. People are finding ways to strengthen their communities, to ensure that their families can remain in the rural areas as part of dynamic communities searching for a new relationship to their regions, as well as to the nation of which they wish to continue to be a part. This article illustrates this process with an analysis of a project that focuses on creating a new product – low-fat pork – that can command a premium price in the market, and in the process contribute to strengthening a community, providing new opportunities for women, and improving environmental management.
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