“The Stress Along the Way”: Medicalization and Transit Migration

by Kristin Yarris and Heide Castañeda

This month, Youth Circulations features a series of conversations between two migration scholars, Heide Castañeda (University of South Florida) and Kristin Yarris (University of Oregon). In this series, Drs. Castañeda and Yarris creatively and critically examine representations of the circulation of Central American and Mexican migrants through what they describe as “a zone of transit” in Western Mexico. Their research is funded by The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and is a collaboration with Dr. Juan Manuel Mendoza of the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa.

Kristin Yarris:
Several participants in our project on Transit Migration through Mexico’s Pacific Routerecently attended a workshop offered by two organizers with Doctors without Borders-Mexico (Médicos sin Fronteras, or MSF). While MSF doesn’t have a field site where we work, they do partner with migrant shelters–particularly those in the south and north of Mexico– where they attend to the physical and mental health needs of migrants traveling through Mexico to “El Norte,” or the USA. In our field site, during this workshop, MSF was seeking to train local NGO staff and others working to protect the health and safety of migrants in transit, teaching people to recognize the signs of mental distress, and discussing appropriate responses. Read more at YouthCirculations…