Central American Women Migrants: A Feminist Exploration of Migrant Literature



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Central American women confront unique experiences in their countries that lead to their decisions to migrate to the United States. Their migration should be looked at through gendered perspectives due to the patriarchal structures that force them to migrate in search of better opportunity. Colonialism, postcolonialism and neocolonialism have continuously affected and stifled the role of women in Central America. The Northern Triangle of Central America, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, are plagued with poverty, violence, and corruption that hinder any progress for women. In order to gain liberties that they are not allowed to have in their home countries, women must break many chains that have suppressed their ability to think and act. Through migration, women connect with their spirituality, demand autonomy over their own bodies, and overcome familial trauma. In migrant literature, the Central American woman’s narrative is often placed in a supporting role. This negatively portrays the experience of women as secondary to men in importance. In the texts, "We Are Not From Here", "The Far Away Brothers", and "Enrique’s Journey", this is perceived through the supporting female characters. Through a gendered perspective, using feminist and postcolonial theory, I analyze the narratives of women migrants in order to understand the obstacles they face in Central America, the process of migration, and life as a new migrant in the United States. In the first chapter of this study, I address the background and history of the Northern Triangle in order to gain an understanding of its implications on women. In the second chapter, I address the topic of spirituality in relation to Central American women’s migration in "We Are Not From Here". In the third chapter, I focus on the portrayal of migrant women’s commodification in "The Far Away Brothers". In the fourth chapter, I concentrate on family disintegration and the trauma that ensues from it in Central American women and children in "Enrique’s Journey". At the end of the study, the gendered perspective to migration will provide clarity to the importance of women as primary characters in migrant literature and in the conversation of migration.



Literature, English, colo