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Problem Drinking and Transnational Mexican Farmworkers: Exploring Predisposing Factors in Their Homeland

  • To explore predisposing factors in the migrants’ homeland, Dr. Garcia and his colleague, Dr. Laura Gonzalez, currently a Research Scientist at the School of Social Science, University of Texas, Dallas, carried out a brief ethnographic study, “Problem Drinking and Transnational Mexican Farmworkers: Exploring Predisposing Factors in their Homeland,” in Guanajuato, Mexico (please see Map of Guanajuato). The state of Guanajuato, situated in Mexico’s central plateau region, is home to hundreds of thousands of migrants who work in U.S. agriculture and other industries on a seasonal basis. In Pennsylvania, migrants from Guanajuato account for 90 percent of the harvesters in the mushroom industry in Southern Chester County, where nearly 50 percent of the country’s mushrooms are produced. Funding for this project was obtained from a 1998-99 Academic Senate Grant from Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Universidad Iberoamericana, Campus Santa Fe; and the State of Guanajuato. Adriana Cortes, Director of the Fundacion Comunitaria del Bajio, A.C., a non-profit community organization, provided Drs. Garcia and Gonzalez, with lodgings, office space at the foundation, telephone service and e-mail access, and letters of introduction addressed to local authorities. Additional funding and assistance was supplied by Desarrollo Social del Municipio de Irapuato; the University of Texas; and the Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiories de Monterrey, Campus Irapuato.

    The following are available works on the research project:

    • Garcia, Victor. 1999 Problem Drinking and Transnational Mexican Farmworkers: Preliminary Findings on Predisposing Factors in their Homeland. 98th Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association, Chicago, IL.
    • Garcia, Victor and Gonzalez, Laura. 2001. Transnational Mexican Farmworkers and Problem Drinking: Ethnographic Observations of Alcohol Consumption in their Homeland. Human Organization (Under Revision)