Literacies, languages and developments in Peruvian Amazonia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter investigates the relationship between literacy and development in a bilingual society in the Department of Madre de Dios in south-eastern Peru, a region of lowland tropical rainforest bordering with Brazil and Bolivia. It examines different and contested development discourses and practices and the conceptualisations of and expectations for literacy embedded in them. The Harakmbut peoples are currently implementing two development projects, which are conceived within the discourse of the indigenous movement for selfdetermination. These projects, one concerned with establishing intercultural bilingual education in the primary school and the other an integrated sustainable development strategy are shaped by the Harakmbut people’s aims for their selfdevelopment and by deteriorating political and environmental conditions pertaining in Madre de Dios. The projects have different implications for the sustainability and development of literacy practices in Harakmbut-a predominantly oral language-and Spanish.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiteracy and Development
Subtitle of host publicationEthnographic Perspectives
EditorsBrian V. Street
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780203468418
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-23451-1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001

Publication series

NameLiteracies series

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