Walking (or more accurately hiking…) Around the Community

During initial interviews in Chaguite, it was realized that the concept of community was little more than a common name for a common region.  Community-level social infrastructure was minimal. A key reason for this lack of community organization was lack of communication between residents. This was highlighted by the fact that “many residents noted that they are not in communication with anyone and that they must rely on themselves and God” (Aday, forthcoming). As stated in my abstract, the independent variable of this study is the level of community organization and this will be used to try to determine the dependent variable: the effectiveness of resource implementation (the dependent variable).

From walking around in the community it is easy to see and feel (especially in your legs and glutes) why communication is lacking. The community is located on a mountain side and other than a main road that runs through Chaguite, one must rely on winding, inclined paths to reach houses that are located away from the road.

DTRA was originally defined to, and has only been used to, measure REorganization of a community social structure; however, in Chaguite, DTRA is being used to measure the growth of an initial community structure. In all previous studies which utilized DTRA, community-level social infrastructures existed prior to the disasters. Being in the community helped me to understand the lack of community structure and how DTRA analysis can be used in a new way.


     Aday, D. P., Weeks, J. K., Sherman, C.E., Marty, R. A., & Silverstein, R. L. In Press. “Community engagement: Conceptual and

methodological foundations.”