Endurance of Transnationalism in Bolivia’s Valle Alto
Keywords:transnationalism, emigration, remittances, Bolivia
The increasing difficulty of return migration and the demands for assimilation into host societies suggest a long-term cutting of ties to origin areas—likely accentuated in the Bolivian case by the recent shift in destinations from Argentina to the US and Spain. Making use of a stratified random sample of 417 families as well as ethnographic interviews in the provinces of Punata, Esteban Arze, and Jordán in the Valle Alto region the authors investigate these issues. Results suggest that for families with greater than ten years cumulated foreign work experience, there are significantly more absentees and lower levels of remittances as a percentage of household income. Although cultural ties remain strong after ten years, intentions to return to Bolivia decline markedly. The question of whether the dimunition of economic ties results in long-term village decline in the Valle Alto remains an unanswered.
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