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Fire in the CanyonReligion, Migration, and the Mexican Dream$
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Leah M. Sarat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814759370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814759370.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Fire in the Canyon

Leah Sarat

NYU Press

This book explores how the issue of migration intertwines with religion and ethnicity across the U.S.-Mexico border. Drawing on qualitative, semi-structured interviews combined with informal conversations and extensive participant observation in El Alberto, Mexico City, and in Phoenix, Arizona, the book examines the complex story of immigrants turning to religion as they cross the border in pursuit of a better life. It links Pentecostalism in El Alberto, an Otomí community located several hours north of Mexico City, to the challenges of the undocumented journey and the daily fabric of cross-border life. It argues that even religion is no longer enough to help potential migrants navigate the complex choices they face. This introduction provides an overview of the Caminata Nocturna, a U.S.-Mexico border crossing simulation that invites tourists to become an undocumented migrant for a night, as well as El Alberto, the methodology used in the study, and the chapters contained in this book.

Keywords:   migration, religion, ethnicity, U.S.-Mexico border, El Alberto, immigrants, Pentecostalism, Mexico City, Caminata Nocturna, border crossing

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