Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program

Human Rights; Latin American and Iberian Studies

Project Advisor 1

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This thesis aims to provide context to the history of Guatemala and the different waves of migration that occurred during the Civil War until the present. Over all, the themes of family, migration, relationships and conflict will be revealed. We start at the Civil War because this was one of the biggest events in Guatemalan history that redefined its demographic, especially among Mayan people, but also with great respect to how many families, individual members and children would migrate during and after this tortured period in time. The effects of the war, as well as migration and its impact on family relationships is still felt today, both in Guatemala and in the U.S. Even though there is much more to Guatemalan history than its history of violence, it matters for connecting the migration patterns that we have seen, which still continue into the present.

The first chapter examines the psychological impacts of migration on children and their relationships with the migrated parents or other guardians. Next, the second chapter speaks more directly about American politics in a more contemporary setting during President Obama and President Trump’s presidencies, as well as detention centers, forced separation and militarization of the border, specifically keeping children in mind and what all of these different key elements mean for them. The third chapter examines a case study done in Houston, USA on Guatemalan families, and also the torn identities of young immigrant adolescents and intergenerational conflicts that arise as a result of growing up in a culturally diverse household. In each chapter, like in each step of crossing into a new country, there are new challenges one has to face that are both physical and mental.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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