Knowing of Indigenous Ways: Fieldwork Dispatches from Atitlán, Guatemala

Lucy Caroline Pollard Harbor

Abstract


Coupled with the aesthetic beauty of its highland volcanic landscape, the modern indigenous culture of ancient Mayan descendants is a primary factor in bringing over 300,000 international and domestic visitors to the Lake Atitlán, Guatemala region each year. In this field report, I share the evolution of my ethnographic research process within one of these indigenous groups, the Tz’utujil residents of Santiago Atitlán, as they navigate the development and ongoing production of tourism in their town. I provide a vignette of a tourist’s typical morning in Atitlán, convey the methods by which my ethnographic insights were derived, and reflect on these fundamental field experiences as they influence my research ethic as a burgeoning scientist.

 


Keywords


Guatemala, Lake Atitlán, Ethnography, Tourism, Identity, Socio-cultural Change

References


Babbie, Earl. 2013. The Practice of Social Research. 13th ed. Toronto, ON: Cengage Learning.

Berkes, Fikres. 2012. Sacred Ecology. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.

Bernard, H. Russell. 2011. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

Centro de Salud Santiago Atitlán. 2011. Memoria de Estadística Vitales y Vigilancia Epidemiológica. Santiago Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala.

Creswell, John W. 2007. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

DeWalt, Kathleen M. and Billie R. DeWalt. 2011. Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

Guest, Greg, Emily E. Namey, and Marilyn L. Mitchell. 2013. Collecting Qualitative Data: A Field Manual for Applied Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Huxley, Aldous. 1934. Beyond the Mexique Bay: A Traveller's Journal. London: Chatto & Windus.

INGUAT. 2015. Plan Maestro de Turismo Sostenible de Guatemala: Un Compromiso de Nación para el Desarrollo Competitivo 2015-2025. Guatemala City: Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT).

Instituto Nacional de Estadística. 2002. XI Censo Nacional de Población y VI de Habitación. Guatemala, Guatemala.

Instituto Nacional de Estadística. 2008. Estimaciones de la Población Total por Municipio Periodo 2008-2020. Guatemala, Guatemala.

Municipalidad de Santiago Atitlán. 2012. Plan de Desarrollo del Municipio de Santiago Atitlán con Enfoque Territorial, Género y Pertinencia Cultural 2012-2023. Santiago Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala.

Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano Guatemala. 2005. Cifras para el Desarrollo Humano, Sololá́, Guatemala. Guatemala, Guatemala.

Saldaña, Johnny. 2015. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London: Sage Publications.

World Tourism Organization. 2017. UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2017 Edition. Retrieved from https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284419029.


Full Text: PDF

Penn StateCreative Commons License