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Chicanx in Paradise: Deportee Enclaves in Canc�n


How do deportees navigate a return to Mexico after removal? What challenges do they face in Mexico

upon return and how do many of them end up in Canc�n working in the tourism industry? In this

research study, I interview ten deportees, part of a growing community in Canc�n who work in the

tourism industry as intermediaries between American tourists and the Mexican businesses that cater

to them. The ten men and women who I interview each detail a harrowing journey through Mexico

in search of employment opportunities and a sense of security while experiencing discrimination and

culture shock after being returned to a country that they see as foreign. These men and women detail

a deed sense of alienation and rejection in Mexico but are forced to find ways in which to survive in

their new context. Deportees make use of social networks in order to migrate within Mexico, to find

housing, employment, and a sense of belonging in a country that is foreign to them. However, the

human capital they have acquired after spending a significant amount of time in the United States has

given them the possibility to convert that capital into economic opportunity in a city like Canc�n. The

opportunities open to them as intermediaries between a significant tourist population and the hotels

and businesses that cater to them, while commissioned based, offer deportees a chance to be paid in

dollars and find ways in which they can capitalize on their knowledge of the English language and

American culture in order to extract money from that industry. There is a growing number of

deportees who make up these communities in Canc�n and while the members of these communities

live in states of precarity and danger, deportees continue to migrate there in search of work.

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