About the talk:

This presentation examines the complex forces of neoliberalism that shape forced international migration from Guatemala to the U.S. Moreover, the talk draws on the work of Latin American Dependency Theory that examines migration through the prism of uneven development between core and peripheral capitalist economies. The presentation argues that the study of Guatemalan migrants from multiple racial groups (Maya and ladino) within U.S. labor markets provides a material explanation for how members of this population experience forms of exploitation and racialization as a Latinx subgroup. The research is based on approximately 200 face-to-face surveys, 30 qualitative interviews, and over three years of active participant observation in the Greater Los Angeles region with grassroots organizations.

About the speaker:

Julio Orellana is an interdisciplinary social-science scholar whose primary areas of research are Central American studies and Latinx studies. Julio’s investigation uses mixed methods to examine international migration from Guatemala and migrant politics in the Greater Los Angeles region. His book manuscript, Maya and Ladino Guatemalan Labor Migrants and Civil Societies within Southern California’s Political Economy, examines the rise of indigenous and non- indigenous (ladino) Guatemalan migrants in Greater Los Angeles and the social conditions that have created their civic associations. Currently, Julio is a 2023-2025 University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Barbara. Julio earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside.

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