Community projects in the era of globalization: The case of a local rural society in Mexico

  • Iñigo González de la Fuente Universidad de Cantabria
  • Hernán Salas Quintanal Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Keywords: community, cargo system, social project, globalization, Mexico


This paper is a proposal for an anthropological analysis of the cargo system in Mexico, including both indigenous and non-indigenous communities. From the understanding of the cargo system as an essentially heterogeneous institution, this paper suggest as its main hypothesis that this institution is the origin of other mechanisms in the interaction of the members of the communities. First, the community institutions promote the participation of the largest number of people. Second, interactions’ scenes are constantly created and recreated by the community members. Third, the roles’ rotation, as a product of a tacit agreement into community members, is fundamental in assuring social participation. The proposal is structured in three parts: the composition of the cargo system as a continuum that explains the differences between individual and collective behaviour; the idea of community as a fundamental concept in understanding the cargo system;as a conclusion; the idea of a communitarian project becomes the common characteristic of all the communities (native or non-native) in the Mesoamerican area.