Vicos Project

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Vicos Project

Vicos Project, a controversial experiment in applied anthropology in the 1950s and the 1960s in the department of Ancash, in the north—central Andes of Peru. In 1951, Cornell University—based scholars, under an agreement with Peruvian authorities, rented the publicly owned hacienda of Vicos with the intention of improving the lives of the peasants and conducting research. Storerooms, a school, and a clinic were built; basic medical care was provided; and modern agriculture and marketing techniques were taught. In 1962, the estate was sold to the peasants. Some scholars have questioned the objectives and/or results of the Cornell—Peru Project. The Vicos experiment influenced the 1969 agrarian reform.

See alsoAnthropology .


Henry F. Dobyns, Paul L. Doughty, and Harold D. Lasswell, eds., Peasants, Power, and Applied Social Change (1971).

Barbara D. Lynch, The Vicos Experiment: A Study of the Impacts of the Cornell-Peru Project in a Highland Community (1982).

William W. Stein, "Reflexiones críticas sobre el Proyecto Peru—Cornell," in Revista del Museo Nacional (Lima), 48 (1986–1987): 287-316.

Additional Bibliography

Stein, William W. Deconstructing Development Discourse in Peru: A Meta-ethnography of the Modernity Project at Vicos. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2003.

                                      Charles F. Walker