Erin Araujo


Office: CHAT Lab, CS Portable
Telephone: (709) 864-7417
Fax: (709) 864- 3119


Dr. Josh Lepawsky


Dr. Dean Bavington

Dr. Stephen Healy

Thesis Title


Research Description

My research focuses on action research in the creation of an anarchist heterodox decolonial feminist economic project in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. The small economy of moneyless exchanges, called El Cambalache (The Swap in English), is women-lead/created. The project acquires things that people no longer need and abilities, knowledge and services that people want to share. This includes discarded laptops, cell phones, other electronics, clothes, toys, kitchen items, just about anything. Services arrive through trades, swaps, workshops, parties, the joy of sharing and collective work. Then new machines, communities and diverse social relationships grow and expand. New cambalaches are opening in other states in Mexico. We aim to dismantle capitalist practices and beliefs around use and value. In the project everything has the same value because we deal with discards, sharing and need. Goods and services are valued horizontally for their use, beauty and fulfilment of needs. As a practice in degrowth, El Cambalache does not produce new goods, the project repairs and reclaims machines, goods, spaces and ourselves. The project has become an experiment not only in dismantling capitalism and diversifying the kinds of economic interactions that we may enact, it also serves as rule-based organizing space for activism which may be as big or small as having a place to fall back on and as large and/or ephemeral as a space for mobilization. The core of the project grows out of Tseltal, Tsotsil, Chiapanecan, Mexican and foreign ways of thinking about a decolonial economy, for that reason our inter-actions are key in creating a new environmental and economic politics. The project explores Action Research methods; Action Based Community Development as praxis and anarchist decision-making techniques such as consensus decision-making.


Araujo, E. (2017). “Resource-full Organized Communities Undermine Systems of Domination: How the Poor Rise Up in San Cristobal de las Casas.” In (Eds) Truscello, M. and Nangwaya, A. Why Don't The Poor Rise Up? AK Press

Lepawsky, Josh, Erin Araujo, John-Michael Davis, and Ramzy Kahhat. 2017. ‘Best of Two Worlds? Towards Ethical Electronics Repair, Reuse, Repurposing and Recycling’. Geoforum 81 (May): 87–99.

Araujo, E. (2016). “Consensus Decision-making as a Research Method for Generative Justice: empirical practices from a money-less economy in Chiapas, Mexico”. Teknocultura. Vol 13:2

Araujo, E. 2016. Collective Exchanges: Reflections from a decolonial feminist moneyless economy in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. International Journal on Sociology and Social Policy.

Araujo, E. 2016. "Building an alternative economy as decolonial praxis". In Eds Palomino-Schalscha, M and Gombay, N. The Politics of Indigenous Spaces: Forging Indigenous Places in Intertwined Worlds. Routledge.

Araujo, E. 2016. "What do we Resist when we Resist the State?". In eds. Lopes de Souza, M; White, RJ; and Springer, S. Theories of Resistance: Anarchism, Geography and the Spirit of Revolt. Rowman and Littlefield International

Araujo, E. 2015. Exchange and refurbish: practicing decoloniality through rethinking discards and degrowth. Society and Space.

Trailer for Documentary- Inter-Change Value


Research Interests

  • Alternatives to Capitalism and Developing Alternative Economies
  • Anarchist Geographies
  • Community Building
  • Decoloniality studies
  • Participatory Action Research and Asset Based Community Development
  • The Americas

Professional associations and networks

Member of the Community Economies Research Network (CERN)

Founder of the Geographic Anarchist Research Network (GARN)

Society of Women Geographers, member since 2007

Association of American Geographers, member since 2007


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000