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Strengths and Resilience of Migrant Women in Transit: an Analysis of the Narratives of Central American Women in Irregular Transit Through Mexico Towards the USA

Journal article
Authors M. C. Lemus-Way
Helena Johansson
Published in Journal of International Migration and Integration
ISSN 1488-3473
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Social Work
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12134-019-00690...
Keywords Central America, Female migration, Resilience, Strengths perspective, Transit migration
Subject categories Social Work

Abstract

This study departed from the idea that all people, including those hardest hit by adversity, have strengths and resiliencies. It posed the question on how a particularly vulnerable group, Central American migrant women in irregular transit through Mexico, used their strengths and resilience to reach the border with the USA. Past research has failed to address the issue of strengths and resilience in Central American migrant women, instead, much attention has been placed on the risks and vulnerabilities of this group. This research started from the strengths perspective and resilience theories to address the issue of skills and abilities of migrant women in transit through Mexico. Specifically, it was about discovering the women’s strengths, knowing how they used them to face and overcome the adversities of the journey and how they made sense of them. For this purpose, 10 narrative interviews were conducted in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, and microethnographic work was done with these women. The results of this research indicated that these migrant women are possessors of internal and external strengths; the first is related to their religious beliefs, courage, endurance and goal setting and the second with the support received from people, institutions, and their families. It was concluded that thanks to the combination of all these strengths, these women were able to successfully reach the border with the USA. © 2019, The Author(s).

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