Aquí in the midwest [here in the midwest]

Ann V. Millard, Jorge Chapa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Apple pie and enchiladas symbolize a new combination in the dynamic contemporary encounter of peoples and cultures in the rural Midwest. In the late 1980s, Latinos began to pour into Midwestern villages and towns, living there year-round, working, going to school, attending church, and generally becoming members of local communities. Although some of them work in agriculture-related industries, the newcomers are permanent residents, not the migrant workers familiar in much of the rural Midwest. Latinos settle in the region to raise their income by working year-round instead of seasonally or, in some cases, for higher hourly wages and better benefi ts than they fi nd elsewhere. Some of the newcomers also mention seeking a place to live where their children can attend school and the family can live in peace. Some workers come directly from Mexico, informally recruited by factories through employees' social networks. Others come from the southwestern United States and, in some cases, visit the Midwest as migrant farmworkers before settling there to live year-round. Their employers range from small family-owned companies to huge multinational corporations. Anglos and Latinos easily enjoy one another's culture when it comes to food-apple pie and enchiladas-giving an impression of smooth social integration, that all is well in the new social encounter. Our research, however, fi nds many problems, especially prejudice against Latinos, as it shapes their low-income niche in local economies and disrupts neighborhoods, schools, and churches. Our analysis explains the causes and consequences of the Latino infl ux and points out successes and failures of rural Midwestern communities in accommodating the newcomers. This volume presents research by a bilingual team of sociologists and anthropologists comprised of Anglos and Latinos. Our demographic analysis quantifi es the extent of the Latino infl ux and its relationship to rural population trends. Our ethnographic studies of clusters of rural communities in Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio explore the human dimensions of the process of change, particularly regarding interactions of Anglos and Latinos in daily life and their division of labor in local economies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApple Pie and Enchiladas
Subtitle of host publicationLatino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780292702776
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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