Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Simone Delerme

Second Advisor

Catarina Passidomo

Third Advisor

Andy Harper

Relational Format



This thesis contextualizes the lived experiences of two agricultural guest workers who I work with in Kentucky. Beginning in 1917, the history of agricultural guest worker programs in the United States is detailed up until today with the H-2A visa program. The first chapter pro-vides this history and pays close attention to the impact of the liberalization of Mexico’s econo-my and integration into the larger agricultural market between the US and Canada. In chapter two, census data of Kentucky and the county that the farm is located, provides a background on the Latino population. This chapter focuses on the growth of the Latino population in the South-east and the transnational practices that circular migration brings with these Latino migrants. The final section of chapter two includes the narratives of other migrant workers from the previous research conducted within this population. The third chapter focuses on the stories from my coworkers in Kentucky and their lives in the US and in Mexico. Themes that emerge from the stories of migrant farmworkers in this thesis include transnational practices, push/pull factors, and upward mobility.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024