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The resources below have been selected to support the University of Portland's Rural Immersion program. The annotations are drawn from a variety of review and summary sources.
Hellman, J. A. (2008). The world of Mexican migrants: The rock and the hard place. New York, NY: New Press.
In her groundbreaking book Mexican Lives, Judith Adler Hellman profiled fifteen Mexicans, both poor and rich, each of whom was struggling to survive the radical economic and political shifts of Mexico in the 1990s. The World of Mexican Migrants looks at the after-effects of these changes through the eyes of those who, no longer able to eke out even a modest living in their homeland, have come to the United States. In New York and Los Angeles, we meet, among others, construction workers, restaurant staff, sweatshop laborers, and street vendors. We encounter deliverymen who race through the streets to bring us our food. We hear stories of astonishing border crossings, including one man's journey riding suspended from the undercarriage of a train, and another's deadly three-day trek across the desert. Back in Mexico, Hellman visits family members of migrants who live on remittances from their husbands and relatives al Norte.
Mancuso, A. (Director). (2008). American harvest [DVD]. Rochester, NY: White Hot Films.
Examines the lives and issues of legal and illegal migrant agricultural workers and the American farmers who rely on them, in light of current United States immigration policy and anti-immigration sentiment.
YCTV (Television station : Yakima,Wash.) (Producer), & Monahan, P. K. (Director). (1988). Children of the fields an educational dilemma [VHS]. Toppenish, WA: Eastside Productions.
Illustrates the dilemma of migrant families who need their children to work with them to obtain a minimum family annual income. Children who rise to work at 3:00 A.M. find it difficult to attend classes when transportation is uncertain, and when they are tired.
Farquhar, S., Shadbeh, N., Samples, J., Ventura, S., & Goff, N. (2008). Occupational conditions and well-being of indigenous farmworkers. American Journal of Public Health, 98(11), 1956-1959.
Increasing numbers of indigenous farmworkers from Mexico and Guatemala have been arriving in the Pacific Northwest (indigenous people are not of Hispanic or Latino descent and migrate from regions with unique cultural and linguistic traditions). Multilingual project outreach workers administered surveys to 150 farmworkers in Oregon to assess health, occupational safety, and general living conditions. This study confirms the increasing presence of indigenous peoples in Oregon and characterizes differences between indigenous and Latino farmworkers' occupational and health needs.
Kandel, W., & Kao, G. (2000). Shifting orientations: How U.S. labor migration affects children's aspirations in Mexican migrant communities
. Social Science Quarterly, 81(1), 16-32.
This study explores how children's educational and migratory aspirations are affected by international migration -- within their communities, within their own households, and by themselves, as well as by their own interest in someday working or studying in the U.S. Methods. We use a unique data source consisting of 7,600 surveys from students in a migrant-sending Mexican state. We model the likelihood that children aspire to someday work in the U.S., study in the U.S., and attend university. Results. We find that family and individual migration experiences shape children's plans to work in the U.S. Children's plans to someday work in the U.S. are negatively associated with aspirations to attend university. However, family migration to the U.S. also increases children's desires to study in the U.S., and therefore has positive effects on their educational aspirations. Conclusions. Our results indicate that education in Mexico and migration to the U.S. may not complement each other as has been shown for internal migration. Rather, these two activities appear to provide distinct pathways to mobility, pathways which are inculcated primarily, but not exclusively, in the household.
National Center for Farmworker Health. (2004). About America's farmworkers. Retrieved January 5, 2010 from http://www.ncfh.org/?pid=4
Estimates of the farmworker population vary, but we know that each year a large group of workers and their families, between 3 to 5 million people, leave their homes to follow the crops. Population estimates are challenging to determine because agricultural labor requirements may vary greatly between the different phases of planting, cultivating, harvesting, and processing crops in any given area and these numbers may further fluctuate based on weather conditions. What we are certain of, is that farmworkers' labor is crucial to the production of a wide variety of crops in almost every state in the nation and despite the advances of technology; the agricultural industry continues to depend on this population of workers for its economic success.