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Davis, Jason (2016). ¿Educación o Desintegración? Parental Migration, Remittances and Left-behind Children’s Education in Western Guatemala. Journal of Latin American Studies, 48(3), 565-590. PMCID: PMC5047708


Many Guatemalan parents migrate to the United States with the intention of returning earned income to improve the human capital prospects of their left-behind children. This laudable goal is achieved by many–arguably benefiting girls more than boys. However, negative international migration externalities including migration failure, familial abandonment, psychosocial harms and a culture of migration that disproportionally limits the educational prospects of boys need to be considered. Based on qualitative field interviews in western Guatemala with parents and educators, this article presents a nuanced view of economic migration and left-behind children’s education, capturing both its remittance-related benefits and parental absence harms.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Latin American Studies


Davis, Jason