Life of the Families of Mexican Immigrants in the US
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In the rural areas of Mexico, the men migrate to the United States to earn more money to take care of their families. But the families that are left behind are struggling financially, despite the money that is sent to them from their husbands.

Transcript


Life of the Families of Mexican Immigrants in the US Male: For me it's important, the money from there, because I don't work anymore and we are only three in the family, we are not many. Here there are no sources of work, people cannot support themselves and they want to find another way of life. So they leave to go to another country to change their way of life. Narrator: While jobs in the United States bring money back home, the absence of men has lead to the breakdown of family life. In Oaxaca's neighboring state of Veracruz, a fall in coffee and papaya prices recently forced the men to migrate. Lucretia and Alicia share a house in southern Veracruz while waiting for their husbands to return. Lucretia: Sometimes in the town meetings here there are no men. They leave because there are no jobs and the situation is very hard. We couldn't afford to get by; even now they earn very little. The first time that he left, he used to send us money but very little and now it's the same, he doesn't have a job. One day he works, the next he doesn't and also we don't hear from him. Sometimes he calls us once a month and I think that feels rather distant. I was thinking of going to help him out so I also could earn some money, but that’s not possible because I can't leave the children. And it is not easy because I think he's got another woman and he's going to stay there. Alicia: The children need their father a lot. It's very difficult because you don't get accustomed to it fully and now he has abandoned us and we don't know if he's going to come back. Cristina Guerrero: The main burden of migration falls on women and there is a social breakdown that is going to be accelerated. The people, for example the children or the husbands that come back have other customs and a different way of thinking. As a result, we don't even know if the drug addiction can get worse in this area, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. We've noticed that women are left as the head of the family but in this area women are not really accustomed to make decisions. It's not a culture that has educated them to make decisions to be independent. It is a huge responsibility the women are left with, because if the children behave badly or something like that then the blame falls on the women, because the women are seen as not doing their job properly. It’s not right, it's not fair.