The Migrant Peacebuilding Project

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Making Progress

Posted by Sam Chase on July 9, 2013 at 12:50 AM

We are slowly but surely getting off the ground in Guatemala. The bureaucratic process of getting in touch with interested private sector businesses and other organizations which assist deported migrants can be difficult, but it is heartening to see that we are getting somewhere. We have already received offers from several companies which say they would be interested in hiring migrants, and next week we hope to meet some of the US government chartered planes which bring over 40,000 deported migrant workers to Guatemala yearly. Being able to meet with these people and offer what support we can is incredibly important, both in terms of assistance, and in terms of actually being able to talk face to face with people about their experiences with deportation. Hopefully we can provide a medium for some of these people share their stories and thoughts on migration, deportation, and stigmatization with a wider audience both in Guatemala and in the states. To this end, we plan to create a short video which will document some of what we have learned from our informants in both the business and deportee communities.

The group has also been reaching out to academic and media sources and have an upcoming radio interview which should afford us a really great platform to get the word out about combating stigmas in the workplace, as well as possibly connecting us with more individuals who have been deported who might be listening. We will also conduct a seminar about public perceptions of migrants at a local high school relatively soon.

Our team has also created a survey which is going allow us to gather data on migrants themselves, as well as measuring stereotypes and methods we can combat them. We plan to pass it out in malls, bus stations, and other public areas, and are aiming for 1000 responses which should be simultaneously feasible, and providing a large enough sample size for producing useable data. In designing the survey, Javier’s experience with political science research at Colby is proving invaluable; as is a fruitful meeting about research strategies we had with members of the Guatemalan think tank Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales (ASIES), a group which we are indebted to for providing us with very useful constructive criticism for improving the effectiveness of our study. That’s about all for the immediate future, I will be sure to post more updates when we have them!

 

Categories: Reconciliation (2013)

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