Based on ethnographic, participatory research in two Salvadoran villages, this article analyzes how features of the sociocultural setting bred discord and mistrust among the participants in an adult literacy program and other community residents, thereby undermining the program's goal of equipping campesinos to work together to improve their lives. The theoretical framework incorporates critical theories of adult education emphasizing communal learning and action (i.e. solidarity). The article examines how local conditions - namely, the history of land tenure, the legacy of the Salvadoran civil war, social isolation (particularly for women), interpersonal conflicts, gossip and rumors, beliefs in hechiera (sorcery), religious divisions and preferencias (class-based favoritism) - discouraged trust and community participation, and shaped program implementation and relationships among learners. To foster cooperation and participation in educational programs, especially in conflictual settings, educators must recognize and counteract local sources of fear and mistrust, and seek to build relationships of trust among learners.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||31|
|Journal||International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education|
|State||Published - Jul 2007|
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