Latina Lista: Anthropologist Honored for Work Studying Undocumented Migration


To some of his academic colleagues, Professor Jason De León’s work in the Sonoran Desert is nothing more than trash collecting. They don’t see the value in what this University of Michigan anthropologist is doing by collecting the discarded water jugs, shoes, rosaries and other items left behind by migrants on their perilous way to El Norte.
Yet, to De León, the old adage — “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” — couldn’t ring any truer. In each pair of worn out shoes or abandoned backpack or wrinkled photograph, De León sees a wealth of information about the kinds of people who would risk their lives to come to the United States.
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