Emigrants' Stories of Foreign Aid and their Reasons for Emigration: Guatemalans on the Move

Monica Spohn

Resumen


This single instrumental case study was designed to learn about emigrants’ reasons for emigrating, situated within the challenges and available opportunities in their home country of Guatemala. Eight emigrants (two women and six men) were interviewed to better understand their personal experiences and to examine the role of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) investments, Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and Guatemala’s domestic conditions and development in participants’ decisions to emigrate to the U.S. The study was guided by the following central questions: (1) How do emigrants explain their reasons for leaving? (2) What motivates emigration in Guatemala’s domestic conditions? (3) And how are these reasons related to U.S. policies, if at all? Data were drawn from multiple sources. The literature on Guatemala’s history and current USAID investments and impacts provides an understanding of the present context in Guatemala for emigration, and interviews with emigrants in the U.S. and Guatemala provide data on personal experiences with emigration. Primary findings were that significant economic hardship and lack of opportunity motivated emigrants’ decisions to go to the U.S. All participants, except for one, had received no development aid, and for the one who had received aid, it did not factor into his decision to emigrate. Half of the participants indicated that they would not have emigrated if development programs had offered educational opportunities and jobs.

Referencias


Aguilar-Støen, M., Taylor, M., & Castellanos, E. (2016). Agriculture, land tenure, and international migration in rural Guatemala. Journal of Agrarian Change, 16(1), 123-144. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12091

Amin, S. (1990). Delinking: Towards a polycentric world. London: Zed Books.

Arriola, Q. G., López, R. C. V., Privado, C. M. A., Velásquez, A. L. E., & Cruz, M. A. (2016). Más allá del conflicto, luchas por el bienestar [Beyond the conflict, struggles for welfare]. Guatemala: Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo.

Barrett, A. N., Gibbons, J. L., & Peláez Ponce, A. V. (2014). “Now I can help someone”: Social remittances among returned migrants in highland Guatemala. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 3(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1037/ipp0000010

Barquin, E. (2014). Guatemala: entorno financiero nacional 2014-2015. Retrieved from https://www.banguat.gob.gt/Publica/conferencias/cbanguat431.pdf

Beachy, B. (2014). CAFTA and the forced migration crisis. Retrieved from http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2014/09/cafta-and-the-forced-migration-crisis.html

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Cabrera, M., Lustig, N., & Morán, H. E. (2015). Fiscal policy, inequality, and the ethnic divide in Guatemala. Washington, DC: CGD.

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cooperative for Education. (2015). Guatemala country profile. Retrieved from http://www.coeduc.org/guatemala/profile.html.

Dichter, T. W. (2003). Despite good intentions: Why development assistance to the third world has failed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Davis, S. (2007). Migration, remittances, and ethnic identity: The experience of Guatemalan Maya in the United States. In D. Naraya-Parker, & P. Petesch (Eds.), Moving out of poverty: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on mobility (pp. 333-350). Washington, DC: The World Bank.

Ellerman, D. P. (2006). Helping people help themselves: From the World Bank to an alternative philosophy of development assistance. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Easterly, W. (2006). The white man's burden: Why the West's efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good. New York, NY: Penguin Press.

Gibbons, J. L., & Luna, S. (2015). For men life is hard, for women life is harder: Gender roles in Central America. In S. Safdar, & N. Kosakowska-Berezecka, (Eds.), The psychology of gender & culture (pp. 307-325). New York, NY: Springer.

Goldsmith, A. (2001). Foreign aid and statehood in Africa. International Organization, 55(1), 123-148. https://doi.org/10.1162/002081801551432

Hendrix, S. (2002). Lessons from Guatemala: Renewing US foreign policy on the rule of law. Harvard International Review, 23, 14-18.

Isakson, S. R. (2014). Maize diversity and the political economy of agrarian restructuring in Guatemala. Journal of Agrarian Change, 14(3), 347-379. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12023

Klees, S. J. (2010). Aid, development, and education. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 13(1), 7-28.

Krznaric, R. (2004). The limits on pro‐poor agricultural trade in Guatemala: Land, labour and political power. Journal of Human Development, 7(1), 111-135. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649880500502144

Moran-Taylor, M. J., & Taylor, M.J. (2010). Land and Leña: linking transnational migration, nature resources, and the enviroment in Guatemala. Population & Environment, 32(2-3), 198-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-010-0125-x

Moyo, D. (2009). Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Reeves, R. (2006). Ladinos with ladinos, indians with indians: Land, labor, and regional ethnic conflict in the making of Guatemala. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Riddell, R. (2007). Does foreign aid really work? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Samoff, J. (2009, July). The fast track to planned dependence: Education aid to Africa. Paper presented at the International Political Science Association XXI World Congress, Santiago, Chile.

Schlesinger, S. C., & Kinzer, S. (2005). Bitter fruit: The story of the American coup in Guatemala. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Shriar, A. J. (2014). Theory and context in analyzing livelihoods, land use, and land cover: Lessons from Petén, Guatemala. Geoforum, 55, 152-63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.06.002

Smith, J. (2006). Guatemala: Economic migrants replace political refugees. Retrieved from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/guatemala-economic-migrants-replace-political-refugees.

Smith, T. J., & Little, W. E. (2009). Mayas in postwar Guatemala: Harvest of violence revisited. Tuscaloosa, AL: University Alabama Press.

Smolarek, B. (2007). Causes and effects of Guatemala immigration to the United States. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Journal of Undergraduate Research, 10, 1-5.

Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

U.S. Government. (2016). Guatemala foreign assistance. Retrieved from http://beta.foreignassistance.gov/explore/country/Guatemala

World Bank. (2003). Poverty in Guatemala. World Bank country study. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/377341468771350952/Poverty-in-Guatemala

World Bank Group. (2017). Guatemala. Retrieved from http://data.worldbank.org/country/guatemala

Zong, J., & Baralova, J. (2015). Central American immigrants in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/central-american-immigrants-united-states




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11144/Laveriana.upsy16-5.esfa

Métricas de artículo

Cargando métricas ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.




Copyright (c) 2017 Monica Spohn

Licencia de Creative Commons: Esta obra está registrada bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento 4.0 Internacional. Creado a partir de http://revistas.javeriana.edu.co/.