Diana Estefania Castillo Loeza

Contact Details


+52 (999) 2 49 27 43


Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Campus de Ciencias Sociales, Económico Administrativas y Humanidades
Km 1 Carretera Mérida Tizimín, Carretera Cholul

PhD Project Title

Public policy and agrobiodiversity: contribution to the sustainable development of rural households in the Yucatan

Abstract of PhD Thesis

In Mexico, rural sector development is a matter of public interest (CEDRSSA, 2016) and as such, the state must intervene through agricultural and social policies (Aguilar, 2010). In 2001, the Sustainable Rural Development Law was published, which defines it as: "The integral improvement of the social welfare of the population and of economic activities in the territory outside the nuclei considered urban in accordance with the applicable provisions, ensuring the permanent conservation of the natural resources, the biodiversity and the environmental services of said territory "(DOF, 2001).

Public policy operates through specific programs that focus on certain aspects of a larger social problem, in this case, the fight against poverty in rural areas, the loss of agrobiodiversity, the increase of agricultural production, among others (Aguilar, 2010). Although these social and productive programs have been created and implemented for several decades to promote rural development, empirical studies indicate that they have not achieved their various objectives in general (Loría Saviñón, 2007; Pérez Izquierdo et al., 2012; Yúnez Naude, Dyer Leal, Rivera Ramírez, & Stabridis Arana, 2017).

In Mexico, public policy programs for rural sector consider poorly the practice of traditional agriculture, which is a very important livelihood strategy of the rural hoseholds; e.g., in the Yucatan, mayan agriculture practices are still current. In contrast, public policypromote direct transfer programs to alleviate poverty and hunger. As a result, traditional agriculture has become a secondary activity in the rural households and is mostly carried out by older adults; in addition, the decrease in local agrobiodiversity in Mexico and also in Yucatan has been documented (Aguilar Castillo, Torres Pimentel, Medina Méndez, & Nava Padilla, 2015, Castilla Martínez, 2013).

This research project seeks to explain what the contribution of public policies to the sustainable development of the rural households of the Yucatan. The methodology used in the project is the mixed methods and the design is a sequential explanatory design (Creswell, 2009), with a quantitative and a qualitative phase. It is worth mentioning that, at present, quantitative data have already been compiled and analyzed descriptively; and qualitative data are being collected and analyzed.

Area of Interest

Regional sustainable development; Agrobiodiversity; Agroecology; Rural studies: Rural development, gender and agriculture, traditional agriculture; Public policy

Educational Background

2002 - 2007

Bachelor’s in Marketing and International Business, University Autonomous of Yucatan, Mérida (UADY)

2014 - 2016

Master’s in Business Planning and Regional Development, Technological Institute of Merida (ITMérida)

Thesis dissertation: “Proposal of planning with sustainable perspective of the investigation at the Technological Institute of Merida”


Professional Experience


Pronatura, an environmental organization with a long and recognized trajectory in Mexico and whose mission is to conserve the flora, fauna and priority ecosystems, promoting a development of society in harmony with nature

Social/Political Activities

  • Member of “Colectivo Bebidas Sagradas”, a group of academics of several regions of Mexico that voluntarily promote the rescue and use of tradional beverages and the agrobiodiversity related with its production


  • 2014-2016: CONACYT scholarship for PhD degree, UADY, 2017 and  Master’s degree, (ITMérida)
  • 2015: Selected to Attend to the Course "Interdisciplinary research in socioecosystems and sustainability" by the thematic partnership of CONACYT Socioecosystems and Sustainability in Morelia, Michoacán, Mex


'Effects of Public Policy and University Social Responsibility on the agrobiodiversity of rural households in Yucatan'. In Social Projects. Social Construction of knowledge its impact evaluation.

'Importance of scientific research in a Higher Education Institution for the sustainable regional development'. In Regional Development Facing Global Environmental Change and the Transition to Sustainability.

'The role of Higher Education Institutions in the knowledge networks', In Advances and perspectives of innovation, research and linking.