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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Leaving Lima Behind

Leaving Lima Behind

The Immigration of Peruvian Professionals to Miami

(p.344) 26 Leaving Lima Behind
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Elena Sabogal

NYU Press

In the 1990s, the arrival in Miami of many older, highly trained Latin American professionals who did not have legal status or English language skills challenged our understanding of what we knew about the experiences of middle-class immigrants in the United States. This chapter discusses the economic and political circumstances that led middle-class Peruvian professionals to leave their country in search of better opportunities in Miami. Using in-depth interviews conducted over a fifteen-year period, this study shows how these professionals reconciled their personal identities and professional backgrounds to overcome the initial challenges they encountered. These immigrants viewed their lack of legal status and language skills as only temporary and were confident that their economic and social capital, coupled with their educational backgrounds, would eventually allow them to regain the lives they had left behind. Within twenty years of their arrival in Miami, they were able to secure legal status and are now once again leading successful professional lives

Keywords:   Peru, Latin American immigrants, Miami, class, social capital, legal status, language skills

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