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Chapter 8 At a Crossroads: Youth at the Intersection of the Family and the State

Transnational Migration, Gender and Rights

ISBN: 978-1-78052-202-9, eISBN: 978-1-78052-203-6

Publication date: 6 March 2012


In his first two months at the immigration detention facility, euphemistically called a ‘shelter’, Deruba consumed his daily lessons of vocabulary and math. ‘Good morning. My name is Deruba. What is your name?’ he would chant. ‘I am from Guatemala. Where are you from?’ ‘Good afternoon. How are you? I am fine’. He had only attended school for four years in Guatemala before his parents died in a bus accident forcing him to support his younger sister, Isura. ‘It was not a good time. We did not have anybody. No aunts, no uncles to help us. My grandparents died long ago. I don't even remember them. It was just me and my little sister’.5 Deruba, 13 years old at the time, and Isura, then 11 years old, lived on the streets of Livingston, Guatemala for over 2 years. He worked as a boat hand on boats [lanchas] transporting tourists to Livingston, painting cars at a small auto body shop and selling marijuana to young German and American tourists coming to soak up Livingston's bohemian environs.6


Heidbrink, L. (2012), "Chapter 8 At a Crossroads: Youth at the Intersection of the Family and the State", Aslaug Sollund, R. (Ed.) Transnational Migration, Gender and Rights (Advances in Ecopolitics, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 149-183.



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