Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



During the decade preceding the height of the civil rights movement, a small population of Hondurans established residence in the New Orleans area. This Honduran migration was largely due to the trade relationship that existed between Honduras and New Orleans. Honduras was also experiencing political unrest and economic instability due to military coups, fruit company strikes and floods during the late 1950s. In response, the advent of the 1960s brought with it the first wave of Hondurans. According to the 2000 Census there were 64,340 people of Hispanic origin in the four parishes included in the New Orleans metropolitan area, of which 24% were Honduran (United States Census 2000). This first wave of immigrants settled into the lower Garden District of Orleans Parish, allowing them to be centrally located with access to both the bus and streetcar route into the central business district. As the population grew and the community prospered, an out-migration to the suburbs occurred establishing a stronger and more permanent presence. In order to gain a better understanding of this Honduran community, its identity and the way in which it establishes place and represents itself, I chose to construct two life histories that I believe offer a glimpse of the Honduran experience. One is of Pilar* who migrated in the late 1950s when she was just five years old. The other is of Mando who migrated as a twenty-six year old bachelor prepared to take on the world. They both engage in symbolic practices shared across New Orleans. These practices help define who they are as individuals and also play a part in creating a Honduran history within a New Orleans context.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Miles Richardson