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From Gustavo Arellano's September 30th "Ask a Mexican" column in the OC Weekly, I learned about this interesting article by Valeria Godines on how indigenous migrants from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have moved to Arandas, Jalisco, to take the place of workers who have migrated north to California.
Chiapan Indians stoop in the red-dirt fields in central Mexico to tug at weeds surrounding the ice-blue agave plants used to produce tequila.
Nearly 1,600 miles away, Arandas migrants in Orange County, Calif., stoop to pound nails and lay bricks, erecting houses.
In the chain reaction of migration, one group's departure paved the way for the other's arrival. When the workers from Arandas migrated, they left a job market that is increasingly attracting displaced Indians from the war-torn forests of Chiapas. The Chiapans can earn twice as much in the agave fields as they can at home...
Hernandez suspects that the Chiapans, who until now have not migrated in mass numbers to the United States, eventually will move north. And there will always be workers to replace them.
Who replaces the Chiapans in southern Mexico when they come to Arandas to work?
"Their wives. And the Guatemalans," he says.