Author Bio(s)

James Loucky has worked with Maya families in highland Guatemala since the 1970s, and thereafter with Central American and Mexican-descent communities in the United States, as well as on U.S.-Mexico border issues. Following graduate and post-graduate work at UCLA, he began work as anthropologist at Western Washington University, in 1990. His humanitarian and applied commitments are evident in child and family advocacy, as well as collaborative involvement around protections and rights to move in a world of mounting political and planetary challenges. In addition to co-developing the online journal “Maya America,” he speaks and writes about the Maya diaspora, provides expertise in political asylum cases, and works to support indigenous cultural determination and environmental restoration efforts. Katie Goger received her bachelor’s degree in social sciences from California Polytechnic State University and her master’s degree in anthropology from Western Washington University in 2012. She currently is completing her Master of Social Work at Boise State University with anticipated completion in fall 2020. She has over ten years of experience providing evidence-informed parenting prevention and intervention programs, specifically to tribal communities. She continues her work in supporting Indigenous families in her position as a parenting specialist at Lummi Nation Behavioral Health in Bellingham, Washington. Specific interests include participatory action research, separated parenting, intergenerational trauma, parent-child attachment, and mindfulness approaches for children and families.

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Maya, migration, transnationalism, displacement, family separation


Migration between Central America and countries to the north has increased in scale as well as in contentiousness as a political challenge. Too often, those most involved are peripheral to public discourse and policies. Today sizeable numbers of families, including indigenous Maya families, are participants not only in movement but as through separations across national borders and time. Evolving strategies for maintaining or recreating social cohesion amid disruptions of migration and resettlement involve parents as well as children. Drawing on experiences of families from one highland Guatemalan community, and comparative research into adaptive strategies of immigrant families in the United States, we argue for the necessity of acknowledging current realities and shifting familial challenges that characterize millions of people in North America today.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.