Hometown Associations and Development: The Case of El Salvador

Paul, Alison


This paper explores the formation of HTAs and examine the factors that led to their emergence as possible actors in development in origin communities drawing upon work with five Salvadoran HTAs in the Greater Washington, DC area. The paper studies how these organizations have engaged the interest of development agencies and practitioners and their strengths and weaknesses as new actors in the private-public sphere. The field research was undertaken between July 2003 and December 2004 and the authors conducted interviews with members of HTAs, participated in meetings, visited home town communities, and collected data on migration and remittance practices from 120 Salvadoran residents in Greater Washington, DC. The paper provides a brief case study of El Salvador’s experience with migration and HTAs, and concludes with some recommendations for further research and best practices for encouraging HTAs’ active and effective engagement in the development process.