This research aims to investigate how community members’ demographic factors affect their perception of and sentiments towards the community of La Parguera, Puerto Rico. A once thriving fishing village on the Southwestern Coast, Parguera has now become a bustling tourist hub due to its distinctive Bioluminescent Bay and mangrove cays; the shift in the dominant industry has also brought about significant social change, favoring those involved in tourist development. The study is informed by literature on the consequences of tourism in Puerto Rico and Parguera and incorporates the theories of Alienation, Capital and Communitarian Solidarity as frameworks through which we can understand and analyze the effects tourism has had on La Parguera. Through an ethnographic approach, this study determines which demographic factors may serve as indicators of positive or negative perceptions of a community’s progress; ultimately, those with greater investment in Parguera’s history view changes as divisive and unsustainable, while those with tourist involvement view the change as progressive and necessary for economic vitality. This study concludes with a recommendation for an inclusive moral model the community can adopt for a more sustainable, dynamic future.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Place and Environment | Tourism


community, tourism, development, La Parguera, Puerto Rico, fishing village, community perception

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Amy L. Melena