Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book received the support of many people and institutions during the past two decades. I cannot name everyone here, but I would like to acknowledge the following. First, my greatest appreciation goes to the community I call “Kuchmil,” especially the pseudonymous Can Tun and May Pat families and the migrants in Cancún for their generosity, kindness, patience, and insight. ...

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Introduction: Phantoms of Modernity

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pp. xiii-xliii

My first visit to Cancún in July 1991 was a respite from fieldwork. After six weeks learning the Yucatec Maya language and working on an ethnographic project on marriage practices in “Kuchmil,” a rural Maya village that lacked indoor plumbing and running water, I longed to speak English and eat hamburgers at McDonald’s.1 In Cancún, I sunbathed by the pool of the luxurious Fiesta Americana Condesa hotel, snorkeled ...

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1. Devotees of the Santa Cruz: Two Family Histories

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pp. 1-17

“Only the monte was left behind by the people, who long ago, left their pueblos—los grandes montes. They [the hacienda owners] gave them libertad, freedom, so they began to come here to cultivate the forest. That is how the people began to arrive here,” explained don José Can Pat.1 Born in 1910, the first year of the Mexican Revolution, don José was the oldest resident in Kuchmil and the son of don ...

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2. Modernizing Indigenous Communities: Agrarian Reform and the Cultural Missions

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pp. 18-42

In 1998, to track Kuchmil residents’ births, deaths, marital statuses, and educational backgrounds, I created a formal household survey questionnaire.1 As I scheduled appointments and walked around with my survey and tape recorder, the residents, who had willingly answered my informal questions in the past, hesitated to participate in a formal survey and have their words recorded. ...

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3. Indigenous Education, Adolescent Migration, and Wage Labor

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pp. 43-76

Jesús May Pat does not know how to make milpa. He left Kuchmil at ten years of age to attend a casa escuela (boarding school) in the town of Maxcanú, located at least a full day’s travel from Kuchmil. Initially, his parents, don Jorge and doña Berta, refused Jesús’s request to attend this school because, as the eldest son, his labor was needed in the milpa. Jesús ...

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4. Civilizing Bodies: Learning to Labor in Cancún

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pp. 77-109

On an intensely humid and sunny afternoon in August 2001, I followed César Can Poot (don Dani’s nephew) along a dusty unpaved road. At my request, César showed me the way to Reynaldo May Kauil’s house, all the while indicating physical markers that I could later use as guideposts. César’s work schedule for this month prohibited us from taking our šíimb’al (walk) during a cooler time of day.1 He worked nights as a bartender in a ...

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5. Gustos, Goods, and Gender: Reproducing Maya Social Relations

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pp. 110-140

In Cancún, migrants informed me, “todo es comprado” (everything must be purchased), such as water, food, housing, furniture, and so forth (see Re Cruz 2003); unlike in Kuchmil, where residents grow their own food, do not pay rent, use natural resources to build their homes, and receive government subsidies to pay for water usage, school supplies, and corn production. ...

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6. Becoming Chingón/a: Maya Subjectivity, Development Narratives, and the Limits of Progress

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pp. 141-162

Faced with limited social mobility and job opportunities, Maya migrants have not uniformly experienced the salvation inherent in Cancún’s tale of development. Not surprisingly, the new locations (social, economic, and political) that Maya communities find themselves in can be disorienting and depressing. Cultural critics Lisa Lowe and David Lloyd suggest that placing these (dis)locations within ...

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7. The Phantom City: Rethinking Tourism as Development after Hurricane Wilma

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pp. 163-177

They had been warned. Trucks with loudspeakers had driven through the regiones a few days before. Disembodied voices advised people where to go for refuge if they did not live in concrete-block homes. Radio broadcasts, televised news programs, and leaflets distributed throughout the regiones provided detailed instructions on how to prepare for the hurricane. Residents were advised to stock up on canned ...

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Epilogue: Resurrecting Phantoms, Resisting Neoliberalism

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pp. 178-182

I would like to conclude this book by addressing Rubén’s and Leonardo’s concerns about the future viability of rural indigenous communities, especially in light of neoliberal projects like NAFTA and the Proyecto Mesoamérica (formerly known as the Plan Puebla Panamá).1 Will they become fantasmas (phantoms)? This process of assimilation has been ...

Appendix: Kin Chart of Can Tun and May Pat Families

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pp. 183-229

Notes

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pp. 185-205

Bibliography

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pp. 207-230

Index

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pp. 231-259