The Remittance Landscape
|Author||Sarah Lynn Lopez|
|Publisher||University of Chicago Press|
|Release Date||12 January 2015|
|Rating||4/5 from 21 reviews|
Crossing anthropology with urban studies and architecture, this is the first book to explore how Mexican migrants are building houses and other structures in Mexico with the money they earn in the US. The author defines this as the development of remittance space, a phenomenon that is changing the landscapes and economies of villages and towns throughout Mexicoand, not incidentally, of several US cities as well, including LA and Chicago. While remittance building is not unique to Mexico, the remittance corridor from the US to our southern neighbor is the largest in the world: a flow of about 22 billion dollars in 2010 alone. Lopez has identified a correspondence between this monetary flow and the construction boom in rural Mexico. In fact, she proposes that a Mexican s capacity to build in rural villages itself motivates migration and changes social and cultural life for migrants and their families. Through careful ethnographic and architectural analysis, Lopez brings migrant hometowns to life and positions them in larger critical debates about migration. The research was conducted on both sides of the border: Lopez worked and lived with migrants in Los Angeles and Chicago, and she pursued her subject throughout the south of Jalisco, not far from Guadalajara. This is a dangerous area: drug wars are raging, and it takes courage and care to spend time there, a matter covered in the book."