Haitian Migration and the Changing Context of the Transition to Adulthood

Jessica Heckert, Pennsylvania State University

The Haitian migration experience sits at the intersection between dramatic economic transformations in the Caribbean basin and the transition to adulthood within the Haitian family system. This paper examines youth migration experiences and illustrates how pathways to adulthood demonstrate both change and stability over time. It employs data from 22 semi-structured interviews with Haitian youth aged 15 to 27 during the summer of 2010 and the 2005-2006 Haitian Demographic and Health Survey. Analyses examine Haitian youth’s migration experiences, the potential opportunities and risks created by migration, and how migration remains a fundamental aspect of the transition to adulthood in a dynamically changing context. Preliminary findings reveal a new migration regime for rural Haitian youth. Financial independence remains the primary motive, but education and employment opportunities are the preferred mechanism whereby the well-established path of agricultural labor migration is less favored.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 3