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Beyond the BorderlandsMigration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico$
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Debra Lattanzi Shutika

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520269583

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520269583.001.0001

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La Casa Vacía

La Casa Vacía

Meanings and Memories in Abandoned Immigrant Houses

(p.68) Three La Casa Vacía
Beyond the Borderlands

Debra Lattanzi Shutika

University of California Press

This chapter investigates the issues of home and homecoming and the structure of migrant emplacement and belonging through casas vacías, vacant or abandoned houses. The casas vacías is used to determine the influence of U.S.–Mexico migration in Mexican communities, and also takes many forms, from rural farm properties to urban mansions. They are most often described as a natural consequence of migrating and settling in the United States. The attachment to the homeplace is a symbol of resistance to the economic imperative to move for viable employment and indicates the immigrants' true desire: To live in their home community. The family house in Mexico is not simply a dwelling or an economic investment. The casa vacía can probably be a misnomer. These are not empty houses, but homes full of memory and meaning.

Keywords:   casas vacías, U.S.–Mexico migration, employment, home, homecoming, economic investment

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