Mar 152011

The Economist (December 18-31, 2010) has a three-page article about migrant Mexican farmworkers, entitled “Fields of tears: they came to America illegally, for the best of reasons” (subscription required for web access).

This article is a great educational resource, offering dozens of possible debating points. It relates the adventures and misadventures of a young family from the state of Oaxaca, following them from their initial decision to leave for “El Norte” (USA) to their successive attempts to cross the border. They finally succeeded and “joined the vast undocumented workforce that undergirds America’s food supply”.

The Economist correspondent toiled alongside Mexican field workers as they picked strawberries in temperatures of up to 40 degrees C. (100 degrees F). The article goes on to consider the lifestyles of migrants, their access to services such as education and health care, and the degree to which they are welcomed by native-born Americans.

Looking at the life and motivation of a single family is a highly effective way of gaining familiarity with the multitude of issues related to the major flow of migrants from Mexico to the USA.

Previous posts related to Mexico-USA migration:

Migration between Mexico and the USA is the focus of chapter 25 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico. Ask your library to buy a copy of this handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography today! Better yet, order your own copy…


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