Rooted in his experience with a project in Costa Rica, Carlos Brenes Castillo attempts to introduce a pedagogic development process which serves to reconcile the existing tension between 'top down'and 'bottom-up' perspectives and approaches to rural development. Where the first is held and practiced by external agents and the latter by internal, or local, actors, his starting point is an exploration of the respective and interactive dynamics between rural communities and foreign development institutions. An emphasis is placed on a pedagogy which perceives the project as a process, and the importance of creating space for collective learning is highlighted. This, with the objective of realising a development process that reconciles and respects both humans and their natural environment. Chapters include: A point of departure: between them and us; The stage: a conditioning social context; Process' design and negotiation; Participatory Rural Rapid Appraisal with a gender focus; FODA: Studying a community's strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats, an analytical tool for community development; About the participatory planning process; Community consultation: a means of exercising local democracy; Proposal (?) development: a foundation for local agendas; Development plan: building partnerships (?); From external financing to economic self-sufficiency.