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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Loucky, James

Second Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Third Advisor

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

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Women--Guatemala--Aguacatan--Social conditions; Women--Guatemala--Aguacatan--Attitudes; Families--Guatemala--Aguacatan--Social conditions; Transnationalism--Social aspects; Emigrant remittances--Guatemala--Aguacatan; Guatemalans--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Guatemalans--Emigration and immigration; United States--Emigration and immigration

Geographic Coverage

Aguacatán (Guatemala); Whatcom County (Wash.); United States




masters theses




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