Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 75
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the Colonial period, the Indians were awarded to the conquistadores,
the Spanish, in grants called the encomiendas. Under this system, the
Spanish were to convert the Indians to Catholicism in exchange for
labor or monetary tribute. Gibson (1966) contends that the encomienda
was merely "a device for transferring Indian wealth to Spanish hands,
in a procedure that was more orderly than outright looting of spoils."
Even though officially abolished in 1542 as the result of widespread
abuses, this system continued throughout the Colonial period and was
"the model for forced labor systems imposed on the Indians by succeed-
ing governments" (Dombrowski et al. 1970), only to be called by a
The present national economy of Guatemala is primarily based on
export agriculture which includes coffee, cotton, sugar, bananas and
beef, respectively, while it imports such consumption goods as foods,
clothing, domestic appliances, automobiles and medicines, as well as
intermediary goods and raw materials (Dombrowski et al. 1970). Im-
ports exceed exports, creating an unfavorable balance of tiade. Approx-
imately 65 percent of the total labor force of Guatemala is employed
in or engaged in agriculture. However, there is some light industry
which is almost exclusively concentrated in Guatemala City.
Guatemala's economic system has been described as typical "dual
economy" (Roberts 1978). This dual economy refers to the presence of
formal and informal sectors in the economic structure. The formal or
modern economic sector is based on capital-intensive activities and
capital accumulation (McGee 1971). For Guatemala, Roberts (1978)
uses the notion of the "size" of activity in defining the modern
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/88/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.