Kristen Hudgins
2009 Valene Smith Winner

smith_hudgins.jpgKristen Hudgins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her poster examined the effects this strategy has had upon the cooperative groups and the larger batey community looking at the role of service-learning as development, voluntourism initiatives, and issues of maintainability. The poster comes out of the larger dissertation project which focuses on an agricultural and largely immigrant Haitian community, or batey, in the Dominican Republic. Batey Voluntad has adopted the strategy of using poverty and development tourism to negotiate and meet its development goals and needs. Although at times problematic, these groups generally provide an economic boon for the community both on the household and community group level through home-stays, development projects, and attendance of events such as cultural ceremonies. In light of the relative absence of state development within the batey, the use of poverty tourism as a development strategy brings into focus issues of dependence, sustainability, and prospects for growth. Krissy’s been working with Haitian women’s cooperatives in Batey Voluntad with their projects for documentation and a rotating microcredit fund.

 

Melissa Stevens
2009 Valene Smith Winner

smith_stevens.jpgMelissa Stevens is a PhD student at the University of Maryland in Cultural Anthropology. Her research interests include community-based tourism, local participation in development, and the political economy of tourism and sustainable development. While earning her Master of Applied Anthropology degree at the University of Maryland, she worked with Counterpart International to plan a community-based tourism project in Vietnam. Her research examined the effects of power disparities between stakeholder groups on the ways in which community-based tourism concepts such as "community" and "participation" are operationalized. She plans to explore the same issues at an East African site in her dissertation research.

 

Sarah Taylor
2009 Valene Smith Winner

smith_taylor.jpgSarah Taylor is a doctoral student of cultural anthropology at SUNY Albany.  She received her MA in Applied Anthropology from CSU Long Beach, and her thesis is titled Gracias a los Gringos: Negotiating Tourism and Community Development, and is based on research in the village of Ek’Balam, Yucatán.  Sarah began work in Ek’Balam as an undergraduate in 2004 and plans to continue her dissertation fieldwork there.  The main research foci include the actual and potential role of “community” in community-based tourism development, participatory research design, and the shifting household economic strategies employed by residents as they negotiate with the arrival of tourism in their daily lives.