7 Billion Humans | Immigration: Rapid Indigenous Migration | Huastec Village, Mexico

Rapid Indigenous Migration | Huastec Village, Mexico

Indigenous migration is particularly prevalent in this area of Mexico. The main reason for migration is climatological phenomena: droughts, frosts, and hurricanes.

At one time the Huastec population (indigenous Mexicans from the states of Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas, along the Pánuco River and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico) was estimated at one million, but today they number about 150,000.  The origin of indigenous migration is tied to that of the industrialization process followed in Mexico since the 1940s and to the quick transformation of an agriculturally based economy to an urban, industrialized economy.

This rapid change lowered the level of agricultural production in the indigenous areas, making them even more marginal, and favored investments in the northwestern part of the country where commercial agriculture began to rapidly develop (with concomitant needs of transport, credit, improved seed varieties, fertilizers, farm machinery, etc.).

The Northern regions immediately became poles of attraction for the indigenous labor force, especially after 1980. There was already a tradition of migration among some indigenous communities related to religious feasts, like Maya communities in Yucatan that periodically traveled to visit sacred sites. Among the Zapotecs and Mixtecs in Oaxaca, migration was linked traditionally to the commercial activities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This migration, initially characterized by the migration of a single male member of the household, was reinforced through time and slowly began to include brothers, sons, and kinfolk, until it became a mass migration that includes women as well.

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