Vazquez Enriquez, Emily Celeste: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Romance Studies
Project Title: 
New urban and cultural realities amid a humanitarian alert in the Mexico/United States and Mexico/Guatemala borders
Project Abstract: 
In 2016, migrant advocates from both the southern and northern borders of Mexico warned about an upcoming humanitarian crisis. During 2016 nearly 409 000 migrants tried to get to the US through Mexico. While the vast majority were Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty, by the second half of 2016 a dramatic increase in Haitian migrants was reported. Unable to cross to the US, and reluctant to go back to their homelands -where in most cases, only poverty and violence awaits-, thousands of migrants are now living in shelters that surpass their capacity by ten times or more. While many of them will risk their lives trying to cross the desert, many more will stay homeless  for an indefinite and most likely long-standing period. With the purpose of investigating the urban and cultural transformations produced by the migrants presence, this summer I will go to two of the biggest border towns in northern Mexico: Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. Interviewing migrants and gathering literature that documents their experiences are also part of the main objectives of my research.