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This study departed from the idea that all people, including those hardest hit by adversity, have strengths and resiliencies. It posed the question on how a particularly vulnerable group, Central American migrant women in irregular transit through Mexico, used their strengths and resilience to reach the border with the USA. Past research has failed to address the issue of strengths and resilience in Central American migrant women, instead, much attention has been placed on the risks and vulnerabilities of this group. This research started from the strengths perspective and resilience theories to address the issue of skills and abilities of migrant women in transit through Mexico. Specifically, it was about discovering the women’s strengths, knowing how they used them to face and overcome the adversities of the journey and how they made sense of them. For this purpose, 10 narrative interviews were conducted in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, and microethnographic work was done with these women. The results of this research indicated that these migrant women are possessors of internal and external strengths; the first is related to their religious beliefs, courage, endurance and goal setting and the second with the support received from people, institutions, and their families. It was concluded that thanks to the combination of all these strengths, these women were able to successfully reach the border with the USA.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.