Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Mayan Journeys: The New Migration from Yucatán to the United States

Wayne A. Cornelius, David Scott FitzGerald, and Pedro Lewin Fischer, editors
Mayan Journeys: The New Migration from Yucatán to the United States
ISBN: 978-0-9702838-8-7
ISBN: 978-0-9702838-9-4
2007/257 pages/LC: 2007033246
CCIS Anthologies, Vol. 4
Distributed for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego

“Deepens our understanding of the emergence of Yucatán as a region of emigration, as well as the growth of immigration among indigenous peoples.... Vignettes and interviews provide good evidence that migrants, as well as those who stay at home, are increasingly sustained as well as changed by the growing web of relationships and knowledge associated with migration. The book can also contribute to wiser U.S. immigration policy.... Research-grounded case studies such as this contribute vital insights for addressing international human movement more sensibly.” —James Loucky, Contemporary Sociology


Yucatán, an impoverished state in southern Mexico, has recently emerged as a significant source of US-bound migrants. Why did this state's indigenous population wait so long to enter the migration stream, and how do their experiences differ from those of earlier more traditional migrants?

Mayan Journeys explores how internal migration to southern Mexico's tourist resorts serves as a springboard for international migration and how the new migrants navigate enhanced obstacles at the US-Mexico border and enter the US labor force. Drawing on an extensive 2006 survey of migrants and potential migrants in Tunkás, Yucatán, and its satellite communities in Southern California, the authors provide new evidence of the failure of US border enforcement to deter undocumented migration from Mexico.


Wayne A. Cornelius is director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS), University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  David Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in US-Mexican Relations, professor of sociology at UCSD, and co-director of CCIS. Pedro Lewin Fischer is a researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Yucatán.


  • Yucatán as an Emergent Migrant-Sending Region—P. Lewin Fischer.
  • Tunkás: A New Community of Emigration—T. Silva, A. Niño, and M. Solís Lizama.
  • The Contemporary Migration Process—A. Martell, M. Pineda, L. Tapia.
  • The Interface Between Internal and International Migration—A. Rodríguez, J. Wittlinger, and L. Manzanero Rodríguez.
  • Impacts of US Immigration Policies on Migration Behavior—A. Kimball, Y. Acosta, and Rebecca Dames.
  • Tunkaseno Settlement in the United States—A. García and A. Barreno.
  • Stay-at-Homes: Why Some People Don't Migrate—G. Castillo, Z. Jiménez-Pacheco, and P. Pasillas.
  • Migration and Local Development—J. Rodríguez de la Gala, V. Molina, and D. García.
  • Migration and Ethnicity—B. Lyman, M. J. Montuy, and E. Tejeda Sandoval.
  • Migration and Religion—P. Guzmán, Z. Jiménez-Pacheco, and O. Ramos.
  • Migration and Health—S. Prelat and A. Maciel.
  • Migration and Political Participation—I.B. Ruiz Alonso, M. Jovanni Sarria, and A. Severo Vázquez.