Begging as a Path to Progress
Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador's Urban Spaces
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Georgia Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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A twelve-year-old indigenous girl inspired the research for this book. During my first visit to Ecuador in March 2002, I encountered her often while exploring Quito’s main tourist districts. This girl was clever, and she quickly deduced that my husband was an easy...
Introduction: Unraveling Myths
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Since the mid-1990s rural indigenous women and children from the central Andes have been migrating to beg and sell gum on the streets of Ecuador’s largest cities. The majority of these women and children are from the small, high-altitude community of Calhuasí, in the province of...
Chapter 1: Ecuador: Economic Crisis, Poverty, and Indigenous Identities
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In recent decades Ecuador has experienced vast change, along with an accelerated integration into the global economy. During this time the nation has been characterized by political instability, high income inequality, poverty, and massive debt. Between 1997 and 2007, seven...
Chapter 2: Indigenous Childhoods: Gender, Work, Education, and Migration in the Andes
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Conditions are changing for indigenous children in Ecuador, particularly for young people in Calhuasí. These changes are being brought about for several reasons, but one of the more significant is the reconceptualization of local understandings of childhood. It is now...
Chapter 3: Migrant Childhoods: Street Work and Youth Identities
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When young Calhuaseños migrate to the city, they do so because they have few other options. Begging and selling are a means to improve their circumstances in the hopes of attaining more prosperous futures. However, in the city, conditions are difficult, as youth must contend...
Chapter 4: Antibegging Rhetoric: Gendered Beggars, Child Beggars, and “Disguised” Beggars
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Life in the city is challenging for women and children from Calhuasí. Their difficulties are compounded by media portrayals and popular misconceptions that unfairly misrepresent their life circumstances. In this chapter I explore how rhetoric pertaining to indigenous beggars informs policy and practice to exclude indigenous women...
Chapter 5: Race, Space, and the City: Whitening the Streets of Quito and Guayaquil
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On top of the harassment indigenous women and children receive on the streets, their livelihoods are increasingly under threat from punitive urban policies designed to cleanse the streets of undesirables. Under the guise of revitalization or renewal, cities around the world are reshaping urban spaces to revive city centers and attract global...
Conclusion: Begging as a Path to Progress
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Shortly before leaving Ecuador in 2003, I was sitting in my kitchen with a fourteen-year-old girl named Malena, when she posed a difficult and troubling question. We were looking at pictures and chatting about the community when she said to me, “We work like donkeys...
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Page Count: 152
Illustrations: 15 b&w photos; 2 maps
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation