International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

From Communities to the Cities: Reasons Why Indigenous People Migrate and Settle in Guanajuato, Mexico Perla Shiomara Del Carpio Ovando
Ricardo Contreras Soto, Daniel Vega Macías

Introduction: Internal migration has been one of the main factors of economic and social change in Mexico. Since 1940, continuous flow of migrants from the countryside to the city strengthened the national urban system, which currently accounts for close to 71% of the population. Indigenous population is actively involved in these migration movements, often in response to poor socioeconomic conditions in their places of origin. This research investigates the reasons for migration of indigenous groups living in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Methods: The research is based on qualitative in-depth face-to-face interviews to a non-random sample of a population. Fieldwork was conducted from June 2013 and June 2014 in the southeastern and northeastern of Guanajuato. Main results: The research shows that a poor living condition is the main reason why indigenous people migrate and settle in Guanajuato, many of them trying to escape from extreme poverty. Other issues highlighted in the research are family and school reasons. Conclusions: Even though the motives of internal migration of indigenous groups in México have numerous points of overlap with migrations in general, such as the search for better living conditions, one aspect that distinguishes it is the strategic use of the indigenous identity in order to function and deal with, in some way, spaces and experiences of discrimination or exclusion.

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