Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán

Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán: From Local to Transnational Civic Engagement

Xóchitl Bada
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 242
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wq9p7
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  • Book Info
    Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán
    Book Description:

    Chicago is home to the second-largest Mexican immigrant population in the United States, yet the activities of this community have gone relatively unexamined by both the media and academia. In this groundbreaking new book, Xóchitl Bada takes us inside one of the most vital parts of Chicago's Mexican immigrant community-its many hometown associations.Hometown associations (HTAs) consist of immigrants from the same town in Mexico and often begin quite informally, as soccer clubs or prayer groups. As Bada's work shows, however, HTAs have become a powerful force for change, advocating for Mexican immigrants in the United States while also working to improve living conditions in their communities of origin. Focusing on a group of HTAs founded by immigrants from the state of Michoacán, the book shows how their activism has bridged public and private spheres, mobilizing social reforms in both inner-city Chicago and rural Mexico.Bringing together ethnography, political theory, and archival research, Bada excavates the surprisingly long history of Chicago's HTAs, dating back to the 1920s, then traces the emergence of new models of community activism in the twenty-first century. Filled with vivid observations and original interviews,Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacángives voice to an underrepresented community and sheds light on an underexplored form of global activism.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-6494-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xx)
  5. CHAPTER 1 MIGRANT GENEROSITY AND TRANSNATIONAL CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
    (pp. 1-23)

    Uptown, Chicago, December 18, 2010. Fifty members of El Rincón de Dolores hometown club have gathered with friends and families for aposada, a traditional Mexican pre-Christmas celebration. In a small party room adjacent to the pancake restaurant of Hugo,¹ a former club president, they’re preparing to sing the verses that reenact Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage.

    Each member has brought a dish for the potluck. The event includes a raffle to collect funds to finance a computer center with free Internet access in the Catholic parish of the village of El Rincón de Dolores, Michoacán. After singing, families line up...

  6. CHAPTER 2 THE TRANSFORMATION OF MEXICAN MIGRANT ORGANIZATIONS
    (pp. 24-52)

    On June 2, 1928, Mexican presidential nominee José Vasconcelos gave a speech at Jane Addams’s Hull House on Chicago’s Near West Side. Vasconcelos’s appearance was sponsored by the Ignacio Zaragoza mutual aid society.¹ The meeting did not attract a large crowd because the playDon Juan Tenoriowas being held simultaneously somewhere else. Only fifty people from different mutual aid societies showed up to listen to Vasconcelos, disappointing the organizers, who were expecting that more of its eighty members would be in attendance.² Vasconcelos spoke about Mexico’s corruption, nepotism, and patriotism. He encouraged Mexicans to return to Mexico and to...

  7. CHAPTER 3 GENEALOGIES OF HOMETOWN ASSOCIATIONS
    (pp. 53-80)

    Previous studies on transnational communities have addressed the multiple civic engagements of Zacatecan hometown federations in Southern California, the transnational lives of Poblano migrants in New York, and the transnational topographies of Oaxacans from San Juan Mixtepec across Mexican-U.S. geographies. These studies offer a clear picture of the different political and geographical scales in which transnational social spaces are created.¹ The majority of studies on Mexico-U.S. civic binationality conclude that the increased visibility of Mexican hometown associations (HTAs) and federations in the new millennium is the consequence of a drastic change in Mexico’s foreign policy toward its diaspora first implemented...

  8. CHAPTER 4 MIGRANT CLUBS TO THE RESCUE
    (pp. 81-107)

    April 28, 2010, 6:30 P.M. Migrant club leaders take their seats in the conference room at the Mexican consulate in the West Loop neighborhood in Chicago. The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 P.M., but organizers decide to wait a little longer to accommodate those stuck in traffic; they expect 120 leaders from Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The meeting has been organized by the Chicago office of the Mexican Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL) to offer an update on the Three-for-One Program and to encourage recently created clubs to submit new projects. Luis Mejía Guzmán, SEDESOL’s undersecretary of human...

  9. CHAPTER 5 PARTICIPATORY PLANNING ACROSS BORDERS
    (pp. 108-135)

    On a sultry summer morning in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood in 2010, the conference room at Casa Michoacán is bustling. The governor of Michoacán is about to inaugurate the meeting of the Project Evaluation and Migrant Affairs Committee (COVAM),¹ and the media wants to capture the moment. This is the first time that this committee has met outside of Morelia, and migrant hometown association (HTA) representatives from Alaska, California, and Texas are seated across the table, anxious to begin the session. I notice several paintings adorning the walls, including a wall-size rendition of Frida kahlo.

    After the governor leaves the room,...

  10. CHAPTER 6 EXPANDING AGENDAS AND BUILDING TRANSNATIONAL COALITIONS
    (pp. 136-162)

    In 2011, more than a decade after the creation of the Federation of Michoacán Clubs in Illinois (FEDECMI), Casa Michoacán bustles with activity, reflecting its motto: “Opening Borders, Uniting Communities.” In February, it hosted a meeting with Linda Machuca, one of the first Ecuadoran migrants to win a seat in Ecuador’s congress representing migrants living in North America. Machuca was visiting Chicago to inform constituencies about recent constitutional amendments to recognize Ecuadorian citizenship as universal and respect the rights of all foreigners living in Ecuador. In April, Virginia Martinez, the legislative attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 163-186)
  12. REFERENCES
    (pp. 187-210)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 211-220)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 221-222)