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Mexicanos in Oregon

Their Stories, Their Lives

Erlinda V. Gonzales-Berry and Marcela Mendoza

6 × 9 inches. Black & white photographs. Tables. Index. 296 pages.

2010. ISBN 978-0-87071-584-6. Paperback, $22.95.

This important volume sheds new light on the stories and lives of mexicanos in Oregon: why migrants come to Oregon fields, construction sites, and warehouses, what their experiences are when they settle here, and how they adapt to life in the United States.

Drawing from the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology, gender and cultural studies, building on the work of earlier scholars, and providing new and original research, Gonzalez-Berry and Mendoza present a comprehensive view of the experiences of the Mexican-origin population in Oregon.

The number of Latinos residing in Oregon has increased dramatically in the last two decades, leading to increased diversity across the state, particularly visible in the public school system, in the agricultural fields, and in the service occupations. This, however, is not a new phenomenon. There has been a settled Mexican-origin population in Oregon since the mid-nineteenth century.

Mexicanos in Oregon explores this history of migration and settlement of mexicanos, highlighting their sustained practices of community building, their struggles for integration, and their contributions to the economic and cultural life of the state. Using archival records, primary and secondary scholarly works, demographic statistics, and personal testimonies, Gonzales-Berry and Mendoza create a picture of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions that have shaped the lives of mexicanos. The blend of scholarly research and individual stories reflect the very human dimension and complex forces that make up the whole story of Mexican migration and settlement in Oregon.

Mexicanos in Oregon is a major contribution to the general understanding and appreciation of the stories and lives of Mexican-origin immigrants. It is a vital resource for immigration scholars, historians, students, and for all Oregonians.

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