This article addresses the challenges faced by Mexican non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in attempting to perform their role as agents of development and empowerment among poor populations. Recently, NGOs have expanded and have gained a much greater capacity to respond to the problems of the poor populations. The issue at stake for many Mexican NGOs is that with their new-found capacities, they might reproduce a patron-client relationship with local communities. This article examines the redefiniton of NGOs goals and objectives and the changes in the relationship of NGOs with the state and the poor during the last three decades. It also discusses the effects of these changes on NGOs' methodology and approach in responding to the needs of disadvantaged communities.
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