Thursday, January 20, 2011
This is a blog that will record observations and images from my 10-month stay in Guatemala. I am here as a Fulbright scholar, teaching anthropology one day at week at the Universidad del Valle and also conducting research in several small towns and rural communities in the department of el Quiché in the altiplano occidental (western highlands) of Guatemala. My research looks at the impact of migration on "sending communities" and also at the intersections of race, gender and class as they affect the lives of indigenous women in these communities. My research began at the "other end" of the migration chain -- in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where a 2007 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on the MIchael Bianco factory shed a spotlight on the existence of substantial community of Maya-K'iche' migrants, who provided much of the (underpaid) labor for some important sectors of the local economy. I have made three previous trips to Guatemala, visiting the families and communities of Maya who currently live in New Bedford, Providence and nearby areas.