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Guatemalan Mobility: Understanding Indigenous and Ladino Migration Through a Critical Analysis of Key Literature 


The study of Guatemalan migration is an emerging field which has received a lot of scholarly attention in recent years due to the increase in Central American migration. Guatemalan migration, in particular, is oftentimes analyzed from a political perspective with less analytical attention on Indigenous migration. This critical review of the field of Guatemalan Studies attempts to understand how the political unrest of the country has caused the migration of Guatemalans, by utilizing four key contemporary books that contribute to the emergent field of Guatemalan Studies. The analysis of these four key books demonstrate that migration from Guatemala is not always caused because of political instability, there are different factors such as violence, gender norms, and economic instability that influences decisions to migrate. To some extent, these four contemporary books still lack indigeneity as a central focus of their framework. Indigeneity is often presented as a point of comparison but not necessarily as a central tenet. A focus on indigeneity allows for a better vantage point to understand how Indigenous migration functions within different forms of colonialism and settlement. 

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