Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schuller, Mark

Second Advisor

Borre, Kristen

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


This research investigates the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement on trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. As a result of increased competition in the agricultural sector, households in El Fresno, Michoacán, and El Paso de Piedra, Jalisco in Mexico had to compete with conventional agriculture from the United States. This ethnography studies how community members cooperate and work together to overcome difficulties caused by open markets. The research involved conducting twelve interviews in El Fresno and El Paso de Piedra using the framework of sustainable livelihood approach to understand how households use their resources to overcome challenges. Semi-structured interviews, economic network maps, and participant observation were also utilized to gain further insight. This research adds context to the livelihoods of people in these communities.


117 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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Media Type