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Footholds : Research for South America's Rural Poor

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University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta: 16mm.
"Shows the work of a number of Latin American research groups as they try to solve the problems of the Campesinos in South America. Campesinos are small landowners with limited technology and capital who find they can't compete with the highly-developed haciendas. The research groups seek to find solutions within the culture and expertise of the people being helped. Ancient crafts are revived and old crop rotating techniques are encouraged and expanded."


Online Database National Film Board of Canada.
"Indians, mestizos and the descendants of African slaves--these are the peasant farmers of Latin America, the campesinos. With only small plots of land, a few simple farm tools, and little access to credit, they are South America's rural poor. Victims rather than beneficiaries of modernization, unable to compete with the mechanized agribusiness, they are often forced to sell their farms, becoming landless laborers, or to migrate to overcrowded cities. Filmed on location in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru, Footholds documents the plight of the campesinos and examines how a network of Latin American research groups is investigating a host of issues and technologies integral to the campesinos' way of life. Farm implements, food, house construction, social organization, and communication are just a few examples of the subjects under study."

"Depuis 300 ans, les paysans latino-américains vivent dans un profond dénuement. Les grands plans de modernisation et les prétendues 'technologies appropriées' ont rarement eu un effet positif sur leurs vies. Plusieurs groupes de recherche d'Amérique latine tentent de corriger cette situation en mettant en oeuvre des modèles éducationnels adéquats et en démontrant comment les nouvelles techniques agricoles, ou la renaissance des anciennes, peuvent contribuer à améliorer le bien-être des paysans."