Much of the produce that Americans eat is grown in the Mexican state of Baja California, the site of a multibillion-dollar export agricultural boom that has generated jobs and purportedly reduced poverty and labor migration to the United States. But how has this growth affected those living in Baja? Based on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, Made in Baja examines the unforeseen consequences for residents in the region of San Quintín. The ramifications include the tripling of the region’s population, mushrooming precarious colonia communities lacking basic infrastructure and services, and turbulent struggles for labor, civic, and political rights. Anthropologist Christian Zlolniski reveals the outcomes of growers structuring the industry around an insatiable demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. He also investigates the ecological damage—"watercide”—and the social side effects of exploiting natural resources for agricultural production. Weaving together stories from both farmworkers and growers, Made in Baja provides an eye-opening look at the dynamic economy developing south of the border.
This post is published in conjunction with the 2019 American Anthropological Association conference in Vancouver, Canada. Check for other posts from the conference, and if you are attending #AAACASCA2019, don’t miss Christian Zlolniski’s panel “Familiar Strangers: …Read More >