Mexican hometown associations in the US: Migrants as emerging actors in development
Essay from the year 2003 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: Middle- and South America, grade: Honours, Dublin City University, 28 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Many Latin American governments are more and more interested in obtaining some benefits from the fact that an increasing number of their citizens leave the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere. In the case of Mexico, David Hernández goes as far as to state that President Fox has virtually initiated an 'emigrant hunt' in order to attract valuable foreign exchange.1 Looking at it from a migrant's perspective, there has been a long tradition of maintaining families back home by means of remittances. Within this context of remittances, a new phenomenon has emerged during the last decade: Collective remittances for development projects, which are co-financed by migrant communities and the home state. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role Mexican Hometown Associations (HTAs) in the United States (US) play in terms of Mexico's communal or regional development; by doing so, I will focus on the issue of collective remittances. Firstly, I will look at the purpose of Mexican HTAs and how they evolved over time; this will be followed by an analysis of the role of the Mexican government in establishing and maintaining contacts with HTAs and in performing joint projects such as fund-matching schemes for developmental purposes. Subsequently, I will analyse a case study that exemplifies such a fund-matching scheme: the 'three-for-one' project of the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Lastly, I will examine the potential of transnational social movements in general and HTAs in particular with regard to the social, economic and political development of their home countries.
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