Sarah Lynn Lopez: The Remittance Landscape – Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Sarah Lynn Lopez, a professor of architecture at the University of Texas at Austin documented remittance architecture that’s changing the face of rural Mexico. Here is an interview with the author on latinousa
Migrants that come to the U.S. usually send back cash dollars, called remittances, to help their families back home. In the case of Mexican migrants, for example, the World Bank reported they sent more than 22 billion dollars back to Mexico from the U.S. in 2012. Yet many migrants are also thinking about returning to their home countries. They start saving their remittance money to build themselves dream houses for the day they’ll finally return. These homes have have elements of American-style architecture, and they reflect the migrants’ experience of living in the U.S.
Mexican migrants are also especially known for their hometown associations, groups that pool their money to invest in larger infrastructure projects often supported by the Mexican governments’ Tres por Uno project.