Through the use of semi-structured interviews this study will look at the immigration experiences of Central American women who have migrated overland without permission to enter the United States of America. The central research question is; what are the immigration experiences of Central American women who travel overland without permission? I plan to research the experiences of women from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. I will assess both Central American women's experiences with trauma during immigration and what coping mechanisms they used on the journey as well as any other themes that are presented in the interviews.
Women’s immigration experiences contain vital information about how they endured the journey and what the experience was like for them. It will highlight the strengths of this doubly vulnerable population. Therefore, my secondary research questions are; what are the coping strategies and strengths of female Central American immigrants? And what are their experiences with trauma during the immigration journey?
During the summer I would like the research assistant to help with several facets of the research process. The student will help the research transcribe the interviews, code them, and to analyze the results. The student will also gain knowledge about the subsequent writing process and the possibilities for articles and other publications that come from the research. The interviews will be done in Spanish as well as English and the student should be a native, fluent speaker of Spanish that feels comfortable typing in Spanish. This process will allow for the student to gain first hand experience in the process of research as well as demonstrate the importance of the research and the invaluable information it will provide.