The Mayans Among Us conveys the unique experiences of Central American indigenous immigrants to the Great Plains, many of whom are political refugees from repressive, war-torn countries. Ann L. Sittig, a Spanish instructor, and Martha Florinda Gonzalez, a Mayan community leader living in Nebraska, have gathered the oral histories of contemporary Mayan women living in the state and working in meatpacking plants. Sittig and Gonzalez initiated group dialogues with Mayan women about the psychological, sociological, and economic wounds left by war, poverty, immigration, and residence in a new country. Distinct from Latin America's economic immigrants and often overlooked in media coverage of Latino and Latina migration to the plains, the Mayans share their concerns and hopes as they negotiate their new home, culture, language, and life in Nebraska. Longtime Nebraskans share their perspectives on the immigrants as well.
The Mayans Among Us poignantly explores how Mayan women in rural Nebraska meatpacking plants weave together their three distinct identities: Mayan, Central American, and American.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 216
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm
"The Mayans Among Us gives us a rare look at a Latinx subculture that often goes unnoticed in the mainstream media-the Mayans of Central America-in a place that very few people talk about-the Midwest."-Valerie Mendoza, Middle West Review -- Valerie Mendoza * Middle West Review *
"This book makes for a fascinating read. Sittig and Gonzalez help us understand the points of view of an almost invisible population. The stories of the Mayans, huge and heartbreaking stories, increase our moral imaginations. I wish this were required reading for all our politicians and policy makers. I recommend it to all who yearn to understand the America we live in today."-Mary Pipher, author of The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community
-- Mary Pipher
"Ann L. Sittig and Martha Florinda Gonzalez offer an instructive and significant depiction of the changes of work, religion, place, and life in small-town Nebraska."-Elaine Carey, associate professor of history at St. John's University and author of Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime
-- Elaine Carey
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