Mexico’s Climate Migrants are Already Coming to the United States
January 12, 2017
Grist - In December 1997, Nadia Flores-Yeffal awoke early in a small town in the state
of Guanajuato, in the heart of Mexico. She pulled on her shoes and followed a local
guide down a cactus-fringed dirt path, past old adobe houses intermixed with newer
construction. They walked for more than an hour, out of the small town where Flores-Yeffal
was spending a month to research her senior thesis, until they came to a rocky, snake-infested
hill. At the top, she found what she was looking for: the 100-square-foot garden plots
where local families farmed their staple crops. The rows of corn and beans were sparse
and dry; many of the plots were empty.
"It just looked really bad," Flores-Yeffal remembers.
The town, which sits on the river Lerma, was in the grip of a drought that would extend
through the early 2000s, drying up the river and the soil along with it. There was
no irrigation, few crops, nothing to eat. "In one day, as many as 30 people left,"
says Flores-Yeffal, who is now a population scientist at Texas Tech University and
an expert on the sociology of migration. In the words of local farmers, Flores-Yeffal
says, "It used to rain all of the time, and then all of a sudden it didn't."
Read the story here.