Life Stories from Guanajuato

/ /

David Sandell

David Sandell, associate professor of anthropology

A decade after writing about migration experiences in central Mexico, anthropologist David Sandell returned to collect stories about life in agricultural work. With a just completed doctorate in 2004, Sandell moved to the Mexican state of Guanajuato, where he lived in a small village in the agricultural region near Léon. In 2014, the anthropologist returned to gather life stories of octo- and nonagenarians.

Villagers wanted their stories recorded so their children and grandchildren would have access to them, said Sandell, associate professor of anthropology. “They felt that the younger generations … were forgetting about where they came from, what is of value to them.”

The anthropologist wanted to understand how villagers cultivated a feeling of wholeness from a lifetime of agricultural labor and poverty. Sharing their experiences in stories “makes them feel complete,” said Sandell. His research could provide, “perhaps for the only time in their [lives], a venue in which their voices can be heard.”

– Caroline Collier

Read more at Endeavors Magazine