Aprendiendo y Sobresaliendo: Resilient Indigeneity & Yucatec-Maya youth

  • Saskias Casanova University of California, Santa Cruz
Keywords: Indigenous identity, resilience, families


Relatively little research has focused on the experiences of students and families of Yucatec-Maya origin in the U.S., and even less has focused on Yucatec-Maya youth and resilience, a normative process of positive adaptation despite exposure to adversity. Using Critical Latinx Indigeneities, which centers on Indigeneity across multi-national spaces, sociohistorical colonialities, and migrations, this study examines how Indigenous identity, familial linguistic and cultural practices, and resilience processes relate to one another for 10 (three girls) California-based Yucatec-Maya students. Through interview data, the themes that emerge expose discrimination as one form of adversity Yucatec-Maya students experience. There are three overarching themes related to the students’ collective resilience process and the emergence of resilient Indigenous identities: 1) their lived, linguistic, familial, and community-based experiences; 2) familial support and academic resilience; and 3) transformational welcoming spaces. These protective processes contribute to the students’ agency in [re]defining their resilient Indigenous identities in the U.S.