The impact of immigration to the Oaxacan families
Written by Yolanda Peach
"I was only two years old when my father left," remembers graphic artist Daniel Hernandez. Like many Oaxacan men of rural origin, his father emigrated to the United States in the 1990s, searching for work. "We were never very close because I met him in person until I was 15 years old."
Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca is one of the states with the most extreme poverty. As a consequence, many people from Oaxaca consider migration as a way to improve their standard of living.
"I was only two years old when my father left"
This is the case of the rural Zapotec villages surrounding Hernandez hometown, such as San Lucas Quiaviní and San Marcos Tlapazola. For years, men left their homes searching for higher-paying work to the neighboring country to the north, mainly migrating to southern California within the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area and the Midwest, particularly Chicago. This gender imbalance in migration resulted in the majority of the remaining population now being women and children. "This experience has taught me to respect and value even more the women from my town, including my mom," says Hernandez.
"[This gender imbalance in migration] has taught me to respect and value even more the women from my town, including my mom"
In his work, Errante (Nomad), he explores the idea of people wandering from place to place with a nebulous and somewhat ambivalent plan. Our struggle to adapt to new customs, fit in a foreign society, dress differently, and even try different music. It is about an endless migration searching for our true identity, just like a bird searching for a destination, even if its heart remains rooted in its hometown.
In recent years, there has been a significant decrease in the migration flows of Oaxacans to the United States as a result of the economic recession and migration policies in the neighboring country.
In his work, Errante (Nomad), he explores the idea of people wandering from place to place with a nebulous and somewhat ambivalent plan.
Errante (Nomad) by Daniel Hernandez