High up in the Cuchumatanes sierra, Maya Mam communities have safeguarded their customs and traditions for centuries. Nevertheless, exploitation, violence, exclusion, discrimination, and the ever-present effects of globalization, continue to force men and women out of their communities and into the risky venture of migration to El Norte.
But what effects do such mass departures have in local culture? What are the social and economic impacts of migration? What are the psychosocial consequences of deportation from the United States? The annual festival in Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Guatemala, gives us a glimpse of what life is like in an indigenous community in a 21st century remittance republic.