Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



The migrant farmworker is an individual who has either elected to, or because of economic necessity, been forced to migrate into agricultural areas in search of seasonal employment ln such work related areas as harvesting, picking, and processing of fruits and vegetables. The purpose of this research is to document the social and economic conditions of migrant farmworkers on a national and state level, and to use this as a developmental framework from which future social planning efforts could be initiated. The research was conducted by identifying existing agency programs and services available to migrants. This was done by means of traveling to the eight major areas of migrant concentration within the state of New Mexico. Personal interviews were conducted with federal and state agencies serving the migrant population, with migrants, farmers, and crew leaders. The interviews were of a non-directive nature; although the topics of housing, social services, health, and education were introduced by the interviewer, the respondent was encouraged to speak freely and fully. Written observations and notations were made afterwards, so as not to bias the interview. Additional interviews were conducted by means of written correspondence and phone conversations. Project evaluations, reports of the United States Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Migratory Farm Labor, and other written material were utilized in the analysis of the delivery of services. A photographic documentation of migrant housing is included in the preliminary report entitled A Study of New Mexico Migrant Agricultural Workers. This report, which describes in detail the social, economic, and cultural factors of migrant poverty, is synthesized in Chapter II of this research. The major areas considered in this research, which are crucial in comprehensive planning, are: (1) community organization, which espouses active citizen participation by migrants in the decision-making and planning processes, (2) rural development, which seeks to develop and expand social and economic opportunities for migrants in rural areas, and (3) rural-to-urban migration, which focuses on current programs influencing migration, and which examines alternatives for migrants who migrate into large urban centers. The major findings of this study indicate a lack of comprehensive planning efforts at the federal, state, and local level. More importantly, only token efforts have been made at involving the migrant farmworker in the decision-making and planning processes. The major recommendation is that a comprehensive, coordinated planning effort be initiated at all governmental levels. The solutions to migrant poverty must not only be addressed to problems in the migrant track, but in both rural and urban areas.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Roberto Guadalupe Garcia

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Richard Staab Nordhaus

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Architecture Commons