The Roots of Mexican Labor Migration

By Alexander Monto | Go to book overview

11
Migrant to Minority: Migrant Life in Salinask

ARRIVING IN SALINAS

In Salinas, labor migrants from Chaudan live almost exclusively in the established Hispanic neighborhoods described in the Chapter 10. Since most stores, offices, and churches in these neighborhoods have Spanish-speaking staff, a migrant need never learn English. These barrios buffer, and also isolate, the migrant from the wider community. Migrants are largely restricted to such neighborhoods by lack of English, lack of funds, and discrimination. Since the friends or kin with whom Chaudan's migrants are housed mainly live in such neighborhoods (see Table 11.1), the migrants usually do not look elsewhere.


TABLE 11.1
Living Arrangements in the U.S., Last Migrant Trip (N = 58)
Persons with whom migrant lived
Immediate familyExtended family6
_________Friends28
Sister5
Brother4Impersonal situation
Children4_________
Parents2In a camp4
Husband1With co-workers2
Total, immediate family16Lived alone2
Source: Migrant Survey, Chaudan 1988 (details in Chapter 4).

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