Economic needs brought Latino migrant farmworkers to Michigan for seasonal work. However, some of these farmworkers, after years of migrant work, decided to settle down in Michigan. Why did they decide to settle out of the migrant stream, and why Michigan?
To tackle these questions, the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University implemented the Oral History of Latinos in Michigan Project (OHLM). Analysis of interviews with Latinos 50 years of age and older shows the migratory patterns of Latino agricultural workers and why they settled out in the state. Participants recount their life experiences regarding their reasons for settling out in Michigan. But more importantly, these interviews reveal the struggles and the processes of integration of Latinos in the Midwest. Through an analysis of these interviews, there is a new understanding of how language, culture, discrimination, among many other factors, influenced the community integration of Latinos in Michigan cities.
- Dr. Yoshira D. Macías Mejía, Postdoc, Julian Samora Research Institute, MSU
- Dr. Rubén Martinez, Director and Professor, Julian Samora Research Institute, MSU