restricted access Migration, Development and a New Rurality in the Valle Alto, Bolivia

The relationship between migration and development is often discussed but seldom empirically demonstrated. In this case study from Bolivia, we examine the impacts migration has had on the small sending-region of Valle Alto in the Department of Cochabamba. Using data collected from interviews, surveys, and field observation, the study identifies distinct migration patterns and remittance flows and how they contribute to the material development of this region. The study highlights the diverse destinations that emigrants seek to maintain remittance income, the circularity of such income, and the development of diasporic knowledge networks. In some instances, a new rurality is observed, in which small rural communities are perceived to have more material resources than older colonial towns. While the Valle Alto offers many examples of migration stimulating development, there is concern over the sustainability of some of these networks as circular migration, particularly between the United States and Bolivia, becomes more difficult and costly.