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Fieldwork in Ecuador in the Time of “Cholera:” Contagion in National Disasters

Donna Dwiggins

Ecuador experienced a great deal of turmoil in 1999 from floods provoked by El Nino (along with several volcanoes threatening eruption, provoking geophysical tremors) and severe economic problems with resultant political tremors. This article is a personal narrative of the human turmoil, mitigating behaviors, and coping strategies that I observed and experienced among middle-class urban residents of Quito and rural indigenous protestors. I draw upon knowledge of similar national economic and political disasters that I gained first-hand in other South American countries. I invoke the sense of immediacy I actually experienced at the time by drawing directly from my journal entries penned daily as events unfolded in Ecuador, followed by analysis and comment.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 22, Spring, 2002 pp 39 – 57

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