Senior Project Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R., 1957-

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2000


River pollution, Oaxaca, Atoyac River


The following paper is the result of research I completed while living and studying in Oaxaca, Mexico on a foreign study program during Fall Semester, 1999. My project reflects an overall look at environment and development issues in Oaxaca state, as well as a detailed case study of a river in Oaxaca’s capital.

The foreign study program, titled “Semester in Oaxaca,” is run through Portland State University and focuses on Mexican history, archeology and environment and development issues. As part of the program we had three months of formal classes in which we studied these subjects in a broad look at all of Mexico. However, the real classroom was Oaxaca, and our studies were complemented with exploratory activities and fieldtrips. Even conversations in cafes and riding the crowded buses were part of the learning experience, as they helped us to understand what our professor Jack Corbett referred to as “complex Oaxacan social norms.”

My goal in Oaxaca was to gain a better understanding of the environmental problems there, and both my project and complementary activities helped me realize this goal. Field trips to Oaxacan pueblos allowed me to look at pollution problems on a small scale, and thereby gain a better understanding of the base of problems I noticed in the city. Also while in Oaxaca, 1 had the unique opportunity to attend the “Green Millennium Conference”, a meeting of world Green Parties. I was also able to attend a conference of the Environmental Educators of South-Southwest Mexico, and to visit a somewhat eccentric American ecology professor working on recycling projects in rural areas. While this paper only deals with pollution problems in the city of Oaxaca, it reflects what I learned from the whole experience of being in Oaxaca.


Environmental Sciences

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Water--Pollution--Mexico--Oaxaca de Juárez; Sewage disposal in rivers, lakes, etc.--Mexico--Oaxaca de Juárez

Geographic Coverage

Oaxaca de Juárez (Mexico)


student projects; term papers




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