Increasing attention has been given to participatory methods in agricultural research and rural development. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) has become popular among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and applied researchers in development. This paper analyzes PRA with respect to its usefulness for NGOs, drawing upon the outcomes from two experimental PRA workshops conducted with a Chilean NGO. Emphasis is given to discussing farmer participation in PRA and its empowerment effects. It is argued that PRA is potentially empowering if it is situated within broader long-term social and political strategies guiding the interactions between rural community and external organization.