Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schewe, Becky

Committee Member

Hoffman, David

Committee Member

Copeland, Toni

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This thesis uses gender as a lens of analysis for understanding the motivations of internal migrants in their decision to move to the 10 kilometer buffer zone of Carara National Park in Costa Rica. The thesis is in reaction to Wittemyer et al.’s (2008) article that statistically demonstrates that population levels at the borders of study selected national parks and protected areas across Africa and Latin America are growing due to in-migration. The study is composed of 30 interviews with Costa Rican migrants who live in three communities inside Carara’s buffer zone. This study used cultural consensus analysis and semi-structured interviews to elicit responses around their motivations to migrate. This study concludes that men and women migrate for similar reasons. Both men and women are influenced to migrate by their desire to access coastal development and the lifestyle amenities associated with living an ecologically rich and tranquil area.