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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Stevenson, Joan C.
Hammond, Joyce D., 1950-
The Maya from highland Guatemala are now involved in transnational migration that separates families. Most commonly men migrate first to the United States, leaving women and children behind. This leads to new challenges for women and children in Guatemala who must adapt to male absent households. One such community that faces these challenges is Aguacatán, Guatemala. The women in the Guatemalan homeland community, Aguacatán, are often married to men who have immigrated to the United States. Whatcom County, Washington is the destination for many families from Aguacatán due to both conflict within Guatemala and the need for families to give their children a better life. Local relationships with Aguacatecos in Whatcom County allowed for a visit to Aguacatán. Twenty-five women were interviewed regarding their "indirect" migration experiences, measured here as how connected they were to their husband, e.g., frequency of communication and remittances from husband, and connectedness with their local community and their perceptions about the impacts on family. Family resilience framework provides the structure for the analysis. Successful coping was defined as having a consistent world view that included good communication with partner and connections to community. The most resilient women received consistent remittances, talked more often to husband, and exhibited the extra resources to connect with their community.
Western Washington University
Aguacatán (Guatemala); Whatcom County (Wash.); United States
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Fawell, Katie M., "Resiliency strategies in transnational families: case study with highland Guatemalan women" (2012). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 223.