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From Preparación to Adaptación: Language and the Imagined Futures of Maya-Speaking Guatemalan Youth in Los Angeles

Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL,volume 50)

Abstract

Scholars acknowledge that Indigenous Latinx immigrants’ complex process of adapting to life in the United States, or incorporation, differs from that of their non-Indigenous counterparts. Understanding these differences is especially important as arrivals of Indigenous refugees and asylum seekers from Central America have increased steadily over the past decade and intensified in the last few years. Among them are undocumented, unaccompanied youth, whose migration to the U.S. reached a historic high in 2014 and has persisted into the present (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2020). Guatemalans make up the largest segment of the unaccompanied minor migrant population arriving from Central America today. In 2019, Guatemalans made up about 41% of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 2020). Many come from rural, often predominantly Maya regions such as the Western Highlands (Stinchcomb & Hershberg, 2014). Their migration is due largely to a legacy of political and gang-related violence and economic instability in the aftermath of a civil war in which Indigenous Guatemalans were targets of ethnic cleansing.

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Correspondence to Stephanie L. Canizales .

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Canizales, S.L., O’Connor, B.H. (2021). From Preparación to Adaptación: Language and the Imagined Futures of Maya-Speaking Guatemalan Youth in Los Angeles. In: Warriner, D.S. (eds) Refugee Education across the Lifespan. Educational Linguistics, vol 50. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79470-5_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79470-5_6

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