Poverty and Unequal Development in Central America

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 56
Oral Presentation
Ignacio MEDINA-NUÑEZ , Latin American Studies, University of Guadalajara, México, Guadalajara, Mexico
The five Central American countries analyzed in this paper (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) have a very uneven level of development where it excels Costa Rica, which some have considered the Switzerland of America, for having a great democratic stability and a good standard of living of the people that attracts the migration of his poorer neighbor Nicaragua. The rest of the countries (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua) have very low levels of human development that join Bolivia and Haiti as the continent's poorest nations.

This paper provides a brief overview of the emergence of the Central American countries showing different political trends in the twenty-first century governments and offering also a diagnosis of the situation of poverty. The causes are not natural but due primarily to historical internal social groups that have taken for themselves the social wealth of the nation and due also to uneven development scheme where transnational corporations in industrialized countries, especially through the extractive model, have taken over the natural resources of the region. To escape poverty, it is necessary the effective political will of governments, with the awareness that the inequality is not a manifest destiny of nature but a work of men; a best strategy is not only giving a fish to the poor but teaching them how to fish. It is necessary a public policy of redistribution of social wealth but primarly the effort in education with creation of capacities.