Vulnerabilities and Resistance: Intersections of land access, gender and migration in rural Guatemala


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




This dissertation project scrutinizes the intersectional roles of land access and gender in migration decisions and outcomes in the western highlands of Guatemala. In this context, how families leverage landholdings for migration is central to livelihoods, agrarian change, debt and situated meanings of land. Integral to the project is a collaboration with groups of predominately Maya K’iche’ women with transnational migrant family members who are seeking to understand both the gendered vulnerabilities produced by structural marginalization and intensifying migration enforcement, as well as the possibilities for collective resistance. This study integrates quantitative land tenure surveys and family-level land ethnographies, with elements of community engagement. Elevating voices from communities of origin, with a focus on how women are organizing, is central to the co-production of knowledge on social relations, mobility and the environment.