This book is a collection of papers inspired by the work of Mary Elmendorf, a pioneer in applied anthropology and community development. Dr. Elmendorf spent much of her career studying the roles of women in Maya communities, as well as problems of health, community development, human rights and the environment. Unlike the classic festschrift that frequently is little more than a random assembling of papers united only by their being somehow related to the work of the honoree, this collection is intended as a unified work that will provide a detailed view of recent work on cultural ecology, biodiversity conservation, and development among the diverse communities inhabiting the Yucatan Peninsula. Thanks in large measure to Mary Elmendorf's work, this region has been an area of particularly creative and exciting projects. The editors of this volume are eager to share findings from these projects with a wider audience.
Written in a sophisticated, but accessible manner, this book will be of ready interest to cultural and biological anthropologists, development planners, international agencies and NGOs as well as any readers concerned about the problems of integrating development, biodiversity, and traditional lifeways in rapidly changing rural and small town situations.