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“Trabajando Duro Todos Los Días”: Learning From the Life Experiences of Mexican-Origin Migrant Families*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported in part by USDA/CSREES/NRICGP Grants 2001-35401-10215, 2002-35401-11591, and 2004-35401-14938 and by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (MIC 101897). Data were collected in conjunction with the cooperative multistate research project NC-223/NC-1011 Rural Low-income Families: Tracking Their Well-being and Functioning in the Context of Welfare Reform. Cooperating states are California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The first wave of data collection was conducted in 2000, the second in 2001, and the third in 2002/2003. The authors express their gratitude to Brooke Kelly who was a leading researcher of the project in the state of Michigan. Portions of this article were presented at the State of Michigan Interagency Migrant Services Committee Meeting held at Michigan State University on March 2005.

**José Rubén Parra-Cardona is an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program, Department of Family and Child Ecology, 3 D Human Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (parraca1@msu.edu).

Laurie Bulock is a doctoral student in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, 203 E Human Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (bulockla@msu.edu).

David R. Imig is a Professor in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, 203 E Human Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (imig@msu.edu).

Francisco A. Villarruel is a Professor in the Department of Family and Child Ecology, Kellogg Center, Garden Level, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (fvilla@msu.edu).

Steven J. Gold is a Professor, Associate Chair, and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Sociology, 316 Berkey Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (gold@msu.edu).

Abstract

Abstract: The agricultural economy in the United States has relied heavily on migrant farmworkers and, in particular, on Latinos. However, migrant families remain one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States. This research focuses on a subsample of migrant families of Mexican origin (n= 13), who participated in the Rural Families Speak multistate study. Qualitative findings described numerous challenges that Mexican-origin migrant families continue to experience. Results were also illustrative of the resilience of migrant families, which is influenced by specific Latino cultural values and is reflected in the successful adaptation of these families to the challenges associated with a migrant lifestyle.

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