In recent years, the Institute for the Development of Maya Culture (Indemaya) has identified that municipalities considered pioneers in having migrant populations in the United States are now experiencing this phenomenon less frequently. The Yucatecan migration is more of a trickle, meaning individuals are leaving one by one.
This was revealed by the head of the state agency, Eric Villanueva Mukul, who explained that municipalities like Espita, Tunkás, and Cenotillo, to name a few, were known for having the first communities with populations in the United States due to migration. However, nowadays this happens less often as people prefer to go to the Riviera Maya.
He mentioned that currently, the southern municipalities are experiencing a higher migratory flow to the neighboring northern country. This is the case for Oxkutzcab, Peto, Ticul, Tekax, and Muna. This trend is more aspirational rather than due to lack of opportunities in their communities or surroundings.
“It’s aspirational to go to the United States, and Oxkutzcab is an example. It’s not a poor municipality; it has six thousand irrigated hectares. Fruit and citrus activities are good, but it’s not that it’s expelling people; it’s aspirational,” commented the state official. He added that those in the central region migrate less.
Villanueva Mukul mentioned that Yucatán doesn’t experience massive migrations. You won’t see a group of 20 Yucatecos going to the United States together, as seen with other Mexican states or other nationalities. Yucatecan migration is more gradual, one by one.
“I call it a trickle migration. What normally happens is that those from Akil take others from Akil. Personally, when I was there, I went to a bakery, and someone told me they had arrived 15 days ago, which means they already had a secured job when they left. That’s the constant,” he pointed out.