Hartwick Welcomes Mexican Immigration Expert

October 19, 2009

Hartwick College will welcome Paola Gutierrez Galindo, an accomplished community organizer from the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, Mexico, who will speak at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 23, in Eaton Lounge of Bresee Hall on the College campus. Her talk is titled “Why We Migrate: Stories of Mexico’s Displaced.” It is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Gutierrez Galindo’s talk will focus on exploring the roots of increased Mexican migration to the U.S. She works to respond to the causes and impacts of migration among indigenous communities in Oaxaca, a state that sends about 250,000 migrants north every year. She plans to offer the audience a rare insider’s perspective on the complex factors that have pushed so many to abandon her community and come live in the U.S.

“People aren’t migrating because they want to, seeking pleasure,” argues Gutierrez Galindo. “There are economic roots, the causes of poverty, that force people to seek work in the U.S.”

Gutierrez Galindo holds a degree in indigenous law and is working on a master’s degree that explores the impacts of migration on identity and family in Oaxacan indigenous communities. Her work with various non-governmental organizations has focused on creating alternatives to migration in Oaxaca.

Witness for Peace, the organization hosting Gutierrez Galindo’s tour, is a politically independent grassroots organization based in the U.S., with international offices in Colombia, Mexico, and Nicaragua. WFP’s stated mission is to “support peace, justice, and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The talk is sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor, the Pre-Law Program, and the Departments of Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish. For more information, contact Jason Antrosio, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Coordinator, at 607-431-4987 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030