Latinas on the Border and La Vista Grande: The Common Ground of Displacements and Breakthroughs


Victor Ortiz

Document Id: WP-45

This article compares the responses to globalization by a Latina entrepreneur and a Latina labor advocate in the border city of El Paso, Texas. The two cases illustrate contrasting, yet inevitably related responses to the polarization generated by the ongoing process of international economic integration. As the local economy of that city becomes more immediately linked to global markets, business opportunities for new entrepreneurs coincide with massive displacement of garment workers, most of whom are Latinas. This article, beyond rigid ideological demarcations or automatic denunciations, uses ethnographic descriptions to contextualize the two involvements in reference to the sweeping magnitude of ongoing changes. The changes concern new economic parameters, suggesting class and gender reformulations as well as new avenues for local interventions.

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