map of honduras

Dr. William Loker
Applied Anthropologist

Fieldwork in Honduras image of hands holding the earth

Slide Show
Maps of Region
Links to Honduras
& Related Sites
Publications Curriculum Vitae

El Cajon Data

Copán Valley
Power Point
(in English and en español)



Anthropology Dept


Welcome to Bill Loker's web site. The idea behind this site is to give you an idea of the kind of anthropological research I do and provide some links and ideas to follow-up if you are interested. The site has images and some explanatory text that explain what I have been up to lately. You can go straight to the images if you want by clicking on the topics to the left. If you want some background, read on. . . . . . .

El Cajon Research

I have been working in the same area of rural Honduras off and on since 1981. I call this area the "El Cajon region," though no one who lives there calls it that. The area is in the immediate vicinity of the resorvoir created by the El Cajon dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in Central America and one of the ten highest dams in the world. The dam was completed in 1984, so I have some before and after experience in the region. I was there when the dam closed and began flooding people out in 1984, then returned ten years later in 1994 to begin studying how the dam had affected life in the area around the reservoir. I have been back to the area in 1997 (for six weeks) and in 1998 (for six months). What started out as a "social impact" study, has now broadened to include rural social and economic change in general, using a political ecology framework. If you want to know what that means, read on . . . . . .

Enter El Cajon slide show arrow

Copán Valley Research

My current research (2000-present) is focused on contemporary environmental change in the Copán Valley of Honduras. The research is examining several inter-related trends and processes affecting the environment in the region: the rise and fall of flue-cured tobacco in the region; the evolution of a local ethnopolitical movement (Consejo Nacional Maya Chortí de Honduras, CONIMCHH); the spread of coffee production in the region and attempts by local farmers to enter the Fair Trade and organic markets, and; the rising importance of tourism in the Valley. The research combines standard anthropological methods; formal and informal interviews, participant observation, documentary sources, plus the incorporation of time series arial photography and satellite imagery to document patterns of land cover and land cover change. Publications of this research are beginning to appear (as of 2004), but for a priliminary look at the research results, consult the various power point presentations on this web site. This research has been supported by CSU, Chico, the National Geographic Society, Asociación Copán and the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia.