Circular Migration and Local Adaptation in the Mountainous Community of Las Palomas (Mexico)

  • Cascone N
  • Peña del Valle Isla A
  • Milan A
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Recent literature highlights the potential of migration as a part of successful adaptation strategies in the face of external stressors (Afifi et al., Migration and development, 2015; Bardsley and Hugo, Population Environ 32(2–3):238–262, 2010; Black et al., Nature 478(7370):447–449, 2011; McLeman and Smit, Clim Change 76:31–53, 2010; Tacoli, Environ Urbaniz 21:513–525, 2009). However, few studies have explored mobility patterns in mountain areas in the context of climate and environmental change (Kollmair and Banerjee, Drivers of migration in mountainous regions of the developing world: a review. Foresight: Migration and global environmental change driver review 9. Government Office for Science, London, 2010; Milan et al., Earth Syst Dyn 6(1):375, 2015a). This chapter explores the potential of circular migration programs as part of household strategies to diversify livelihoods and manage risks associated with environmental and climate change in Las Palomas, a village belonging to the municipality of Xichù, in Central Mexico. Additionally, this research examines various agricultural adaptation and capacity-building mechanisms which could heighten the resilience of Las Palomas. Based on primary qualitative data collected in December 2013, the results of this study suggest that well-conceived circular migration schemes could increase the adaptive capacity of Las Palomas to external stressors. In particular, the authors argue that sending one or more migrants abroad as a risk management strategy at the household level can allow the rest of the household to stay where they are and to increase their adaptive capacity through increased income and livelihood risks reduction. In addition, this chapter suggest several traditional agricultural methods through which households in Las Palomas could improve their resilience and eventually decrease their dependence on external sources of revenues such as remittances and governmental support.




Cascone, N., Peña del Valle Isla, A. E., & Milan, A. (2016). Circular Migration and Local Adaptation in the Mountainous Community of Las Palomas (Mexico) (pp. 63–83).

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