The Maya Diaspora

The Maya Diaspora : Guatemalan Roots, New American Lives

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Maya people have lived for thousands of years in the mountains and forests of Guatemala, but they lost control of their land, becoming serfs and refugees, when the Spanish invaded in the sixteenth century. Under the Spanish and the Guatemalan non-Indian elites, they suffered enforced poverty as a resident source of cheap labor for non-Maya projects, particularly agriculture production. Following the CIA-induced coup that toppled Guatemala's elected government in 1954, their misery was exacerbated by government accommodation to United States \u0022interests,\u0022 which promoted crops for export and reinforced the need for cheap and passive labor. This widespread poverty was endemic throughout northwestern Guatemala, where 80 percent of Maya children were chronically malnourished, and forced wide-scale migration to the Pacific coast. The self-help aid that flowed into the area in the 1960s and 1970s raised hopes for justice and equity that were brutally suppressed by Guatemala's military government. This military reprisal led to a massive diaspora of Maya throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America. This collection describes that process and the results. The chapters show the dangers and problems of the migratory/refugee process and the range of creative cultural adaptations that the Maya have developed. It provides the first comparative view of the formation and transformation of this new and expanding transnational population, presented from the standpoint of the migrants themselves as well as from a societal and international perspective. Together, the chapters furnish ethnographically grounded perspectives on the dynamic implications of uprooting and resettlement, social and psychological adjustment, long-term prospects for continued links to migration history from Guatemala, and the development of a sense of co-ethnicity with other indigenous people of Maya descent. As the Maya struggle to find their place in a more global society, their stories of quiet courage epitomize those of many other ethnic groups, migrants, and refugees more

Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 152.7 x 228.3 x 53.6mm | 1,268.99g
  • Temple University Press,U.S.
  • Philadelphia PA, United States
  • English
  • 6 tables, 5 maps
  • 1566397952
  • 9781566397957

Review quote

"This fine collection of 16 essays explores many different aspects of that exodus from Guatemala."-Choiceshow more

About James Loucky

James Loucky is an Associate Professor teaching anthropology, Latin American studies, and international studies at Western Washington University. Marilyn M. Moors is Professor emerita from Montgomery College, National Coordinator of the Guatemala Scholars Network, and an adjunct professor teaching anthropology and gender studies at Frostburg State University.CONTRIBUTORS: Deborah Billings, Allan F. Burns, Nestor P. Rodriguez, Michael C. Stone, Clark Taylor, Nancy J. Wellmeier, and the more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgments1. The Maya Diaspora: Introduction James Loucky and Marilyn M. Moors2. Survivors on the Move: Maya Migration in Time and Space Christopher H. Lutz and W. George Lovell3. Flight, Exile, Repatriation, and Return: Guatemalan Refugee Scenarios, 1981-1998 Catherine L. Nolin Hanlon and W. George Lovell4. Space and Identity in Testimonies of Displacement: Maya Migration to Guatemala City in the 1980s Antonella Fabri5. Organizing in Exile: The Reconstruction of Community in the Guatemalan Refugee Camps in Southern Mexico Deborah L. Billings6. Challenges of Return and Reintegration Clark Taylor7. A Maya Voice: The Maya of Mexico City Domingo Hernandez Ixcoy8. Becoming Belizean: Maya Identity and the Politics of Nation Michael C. Stone9. La Huerta: Transportation Hub in the Arizona Desert Nancy J. Wellmeier10. Indiantown, Florida: The Maya Diaspora and Applied Anthropology Allan F. Burns11. A Maya Voice: The Refugees in Indiantown, Florida Feronimo Camposeco12. The Maya of Morganton: Exploring Worker Identity within the Global Marketplace Leon Fink and Alvis Dunn13. Maya Urban Villages in Houston: The Formation of a Migrant Community from San Cristobal Totonicapan Nestor P. Rodriguez and Jacqueline Maria Hagan14. A Maya Voice: Living in Vancouver Zoila Ramirez15. Maya in a Modern Metropolis: Establishing New Lives and Livelihoods in Los Angeles James Loucky16. Conclusion: The Maya Diaspora Experience Marilyn M. MoorsEpilogue: Elilal/Exilio Victor D. MontejoReferencesAbout the ContributorsIndexshow more