Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



A land distribution program in the community of Parcelas Gándaras in Cidra, Puerto Rico, transformed the lives of formerly landless workers. Examination of the working conditions and social relations of workers before the program (1890s–1945) and their economic strategies, migration, and networks after becoming small landholders (1945–1960s) shows how they used their land to accommodate their practices of everyday life and their tactics of survival. Local ruling groups became hegemonic through the establishment of land distribution communities. The habitus of the new landholders expressed the ways in which they engaged in economic, social, and political activities shaped by the new urban space established by land distribution. In the process, recipients of land shaped the program to fit their everyday life, while the colonial state became hegemonic.


This work was originally published in Latin American Perspectives, available at



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.