Who Goes Home

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Who Goes Home Return Migrant Decision-Making and the Impacts of Ecuador’S Plan Bienvenid@S a Casa
Anderson, Krystal L
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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1 online resource (119 p.)

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Master's ( M.A.)
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University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Latin American Studies
Committee Chair:
Deere, Carmen
Committee Members:
Williams, Philip J
Margheritis, Ana
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Brothers ( jstor )
Economic motivation ( jstor )
Emigration ( jstor )
Family members ( jstor )
Homes ( jstor )
Host country ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Motivation ( jstor )
Return migration ( jstor )
Sons ( jstor )
Latin American Studies -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
bienvenidos -- correa -- decision-making -- ecuador -- migrant -- migration -- return
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Latin American Studies thesis, M.A.


In January 2008, Ecuador launched Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa, a program which provides an incentive package to entice the return of migrants back home to Ecuador. It includes, among other benefits, funds to build a new home or repair an existing home, and the seed money to start a new business. Despite these seemingly attractive benefits, the Plan has met with relatively little success in terms of the absolute number of migrants taking part in the program. In an effort to better understand the migrant decision-making process, this study employs qualitative research to analyze the experiences of return migrants to Ecuador who have utilized the program and assess the potential for the return of migrants who remain abroad. My investigation shows that integration, language, legal status, and financial situation in the destination country; opinions toward the home government; and a migrant’s family situation affect the decision to stay or return much more strongly than the government program. There are a number of ways in which the government could increase the appeal of the program, but this may not be economically feasible or desirable in the long term. ( en )
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Deere, Carmen.
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by Krystal L Anderson.

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2 2012 Krystal Anderson


3 To my parents, Allen and Samantha Brewer


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee chair and advisor, Dr. Carmen Diana Deere, for her patience and insightful guidance. I thank my committee members, Dr. Philip Williams and Dr. Ana Margheritis, for their input and ideas which I may otherwise have overlooked. I thank Dr. Richmond Brown for his support I thank Brian Readout for his generous assistanc e with the Encuesta Activos Florida FLACSO data. I thank the Center for Latin American Studies for the Graduate Assistantship which allowed me to attend this program and for the summer funding which made this research possible. I thank the Ministerio de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda and the Secretara Nacional del Migrante for their cooperation. Most of all, I thank my informants for sharing their lives with a complete stranger and for teaching me much more than what is found in this paper.


5 TABLE OF CONT ENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 10 The Historical Context of Migration in Ecuador ................................ ....................... 11 Empirical Data ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 14 Migrants Abroad ................................ ................................ ............................... 16 Return Migrants ................................ ................................ ................................ 18 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 22 Design and Methods ................................ ................................ ............................... 29 2 THE MIGRANT DECISION MAKING PROCESS REGARDING RETURN ............. 32 Description of Data ................................ ................................ ................................ 32 Leaving Ecuador ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 34 Motives for Leaving ................................ ................................ .......................... 34 Why Particular Destinations ................................ ................................ ............. 39 Planned Length of Stay ................................ ................................ .................... 42 Factors Affecting the Decision to Return ................................ ................................ 45 Integration into the Host Society ................................ ................................ ....... 45 Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 50 Discrimination ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 53 Legal Status ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 57 Financial Situation ................................ ................................ ............................ 62 Opinions toward the Current Government ................................ ........................ 67 Family ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 71 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 76 3 ................................ ............................ 77 General Information ................................ ................................ ................................ 77 State Led Transnationalism ................................ ................................ .............. 78 El Cucayo and El Bono ................................ ................................ ..................... 80 The Plan and Re turn Migrant Decision Making ................................ ...................... 82 Awareness of the Plan ................................ ................................ ...................... 82


6 Effectiveness of the Plan ................................ ................................ .................. 85 Suggestions for Greater Effectiveness ................................ ............................. 88 The Plan and the Economy ................................ ................................ ..................... 89 Financial Results ................................ ................................ .............................. 89 Barriers to Success ................................ ................................ .......................... 92 Suggestions for Improvement ................................ ................................ ........... 94 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 95 4 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 97 Analysis of Research ................................ ................................ .............................. 97 Implications of the Research ................................ ................................ ............ 97 Limitations of the Research ................................ ................................ ............ 100 Suggestions for Future Research ................................ ................................ ... 103 The Future of Migration in Ecuador ................................ ................................ ....... 104 Return Migrants ................................ ................................ .............................. 105 Family Members of Potential Return Migrants ................................ ................ 107 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 108 APPENDIX A: INFORMED CONSENT ................................ ................................ .......................... 110 B: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS RETURN MIG RANTS ................................ ............... 111 C: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS POTENTIAL RETURN MIGRANTS .......................... 113 D: ESTIMATES OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION FROM ECUADOR .................... 115 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 116 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 119


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1. Current migrants abroad by relationship to respondent. ................................ ........ 17 1 2. Current migrants abroad by destination country. ................................ .................... 18 1 3. Return migrants. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 19 1 4. Average length of stay abroad of return migrants (years). ................................ ..... 20 1 5. Average age upon emigration of return migrants. ................................ .................. 21 A 1. International migration from Ecuador, 1976 2007. ................................ ............... 115 A 2. Internat ional migration from Ecuador by periods. ................................ ................ 115


8 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S EAFF Encuesta Activos Florida FLACSO FLACSO Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales IMF International Monetary Fund INEC Instituto Nacional de Estad stica y Censos MIDUVI Ministerio de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda NGO Non Governmental Organization SENAMI Secretara Nacional del Migrante SIISE Sistema Integrado de Indicadores Sociales del Ecuador UF University of Florida UNFPA United Nations Population Fund


9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts WHO GOES HOME: RETURN MIGRANT DECISION MAKING AND THE IMPACTS OF PLAN BIE NVENID@S A CASA By Krystal Anderson May 2012 Chair: Carmen Diana Deere Major: Latin American Studies In January 2008, Ecuador launched Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa a program which p rovides an incentive package to entice the return of m igrants back home to E cuador. It includes, among other benefits, funds to build a new home or repair an existing home, and the seed money to start a new business Despite these seemingly attractive benefits, the P lan has met with relatively little success in terms of the abso lute number of migran ts taking part in the program. In an effort to better understand the migrant decision making process, this study e m ploys qualitative research to analyze the experiences of return migrants to Ecuador who have utiliz ed the program and as sess the potential for the return of migrants who remain abroad. My investigation shows that integration, language, legal status, and financial situation in the destination country; opinions toward the home government; and ect the decision to stay or return much more strongly than the government program. There are a number of ways in which the government could increase the appeal of the program, but this may not be economically feasible or desirable in the long term.


10 CHAPT ER 1 INTRODUCTION In an effort to high rate of emigration and to take advantage of reduced opportunities for migrants abroad during the current economic crisis, President Rafael Correa launched Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa in Januar y 2008. This P lan p rovides an incentive package to entice the return of migrants back home to Ecuador and includes, among other benefits, El Bono de la Vivienda consisting of a subsidy to build a new home or repair an existing home, and El Cucayo consis ting of the seed money to start a new business Despite these seemingly attractive benefits, in its initial four years the P lan has met with relatively little success in terms of the absolute number of migrants taking part in the program. In this study, I use qualitative intervi ews to analyze the experiences of return migrants who have come home to Ecuador utilizing the program and potential return migrants who remain abroad. T he goal of this research is to empirically document the decision making proce ss of migrants and the factors they take into consideration when contemplating return, and to answer the question of why this program has been utilized by some migrants and not others. Objectives Understanding the decision making process regarding return m igration constitutes the first part of my project. H ow does a migrant approach, conceptualize, and assess the disincentives and incentives for returning home, and what factors go in to deciding whether and when to return home? It is clear that an abundan ce of elements play into this decision and that the majority of migrants abroad are choosing to stay, while others are choosing to come home. Why is this? How do these two sets


11 of migrants differ? What do each consider to be the most important decision making factors and how did these factors impact their decision to re turn or not return to Ecuador? Following this, the focus will shift to Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa The Plan is attempting to impact the migrant decision making process with its incentive p ackage, but is it enough? Is Plan has not influenced migrant decision making at all ? Or have the incentives create d in the Plan considered it? The Historical Context of Migration in Ecuador First, it is important to understand the historical significance of emigration from Ecuador. Kyle (2000) provides a review of Ecuadorian migration history, in which he emphasizes have led to mass emigration. In recent history there have been three distinc ; one in the 1950s, one in the 1980s, and the largest wave in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Kyle gives us an understanding of the first two waves. According to Kyle the first group of migrants left in the 1950s and their departure was instigated by the collapse of the Panama hat industry. After World War II, the demand for these hats fell dramatically, leading to massive unemployment among shop owners and workers. The unemployed had direct ties to the United States and especially to New York City, as companies t here had been the premiere hat buyers before the collapse of the industry. Because of these ties and due to increased flight


12 options many Ecuadorians began to immigrate mostly legally, to New York in an effort to capital ize on these former relationships and renew their financial success. The majority of these migrants belonged to the middle class and came from the coast al region of Ecuador which constituted the main financial sector at the time. After this initial wav e, international migration began to subside. However, internal migration grew rapidly during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s due to modernization projects which resulted in greater land inequality and poor returns for farmers. This led to rapid rural to urban mi gration, particularly in the Sierra region. Then, i n the 1980s, the ( ibid. 24 ) As the resulting economic crisis was national and not regional, rural to urban migratio n was no longer a valid option. The crisis, combined with increasing disillusionment with the government for its failure to enact the social reforms it promised in the 1960s and 70s, and greater exposure to U.S. culture, led to the second wave of mass emi gration. This wave of m igration was mostly clandestine and involved migrants from the Sierra region The majority of these migrants also made their way to the U.S. due to connections with migrants who had settled there in previous decades Ramrez Gall egos and Paul Ramrez (2005) pick up where Kyle left off, focusing on the nexus of political and economic issues which instigated the third and most massive wave of migration. In the mid 90s, then President Sixto Durn Balln began a number of austerity m easures to appease the IMF in negotiations of external debt, leading to a surge in neoliberal modernization projects. The first results of these projects were positive, but corruption scandals began to severely d is credit the government and its modernizati on plans. The resulting political instability led to an


13 increase in inequality and poverty throughout the country which were exacerbated by the armed conflict with Peru in 1995, the El Nio phenomenon of 1997 8, and the low petroleum prices that resulted from the Asian financial crisis of 1997. When President Jamil Mahuad took power in 1998, he attempted to deal with worsened the situation. In March of 1999 in a purported effort to stabilize the banking system, he declared a feriado bancario and the freezing of assets of all bank customers This led to millions of Ecuadorians losing their savings and to the worst socioeconomic cr i sis in the country in 50 years The crisis instigate d the third wave of emigration which was the most numerous to date. A greater proportion of this wave of emigrants made their way to Spain due to less stringent visa requirements and the abundance of work in low skilled sectors resulting from vi brant economy during the period. In 2000 economy was dollarized in a last ditch effort to avoid complete collapse. The economy somewhat recovered between 2001 and 2004, and the rate of migration decreased each year, but still remained higher th an in any previous decade. due to the abundance of care taking, and the hotel sector (Camacho Z. 2009). It is difficult to say what the effects of the current world economic crisis have had on Ecuadorian migration, but as mentioned previously, current President Rafael Correa is attempting to capitalize on this crisis in an effort to bring migrants home It is now estimated that ten to fifteen percent of the population, or around 1.5 million Ecuadorians, live abroad (Jokisch 2007) Ecuador is the most significant


14 migrant sending country in the Andean region (FLACSO UNFPA 2008). According to gracin internacional se ha convertido en uno de los fenmenos ms importantes para el Ecuador en el cambio del siglo. El xodo de cerca de un milln de ecuatorianos en un perodo menor a diez aos ha significado cambios sociales, econmicos, y culturales cuyos impactos a nivel local, nacional, y regional no han sido UNFPA 2008: 9). Empirical Data To understand the impacts of this historic migration it is important to delve into the empirical dat a regarding emigration from Ecuador. Migration is a phenomenon for which it is often difficult to obtain empirical data. dificultades que caracteriza a las migraciones, aqu y en otros pases del continente, es no contar con estadsticas especficas que den cuenta de la verdadera magnitud del UNFPA 2008: 9). Outmigration is especially difficult to track in cifra oficia l, lo que implica una importante subestimacin del flujo migratorio, Although migration is tough to capture completely various data sources are available which are reviewed below. T here is no one source of information which can give the entire empirical picture of migration, but several groups have attempted to contribute to a fuller understanding of migration by pulling from multiple data sources. The FLACSO UN Population Fund (FLACSO UNFPA) proj ect draws upon the results of the 2001 Census, the data from the Sistema Integrado de Indicadores Sociales del Ecuador (SIISE), and the information from multiple smaller studies. Unfortunately, many of the sources they use do not take into account migrant s who leave via irregular channels and this is indeed a drawback.


15 Another source compiles information from the 2001 Census along with the more recent sources of the 2005 6 Encuesta de Condiciones de Vida and the 2006 and 2007 rounds of the Encuesta de Empleo, Desempleo, y Subempleo and gives a general view of emigration from Ecuador ( INEC 2008). However, it reflects the difficulties of gathering information about emigrants, as the results they cite vary significantly by source. Neither the FLACSO UNF PA nor the INEC study takes into account return migration. According to the FLACSO UNFPA report, between 1976 and 1990 around 20,000 Ecuadorians migrated annually (FLACSO UNFPA 2008: 15) Emigration began to increase in 1993 and reached over 40,000 migra nts per year by 1998 (ibid.) Between 1999 and 2007, nearly one million people left Ecuador, comprising a total of 7% of th e population, or 14% of the economically active population ( ibid. ) (2007) estimate of 10 15% of Ecuadorians now living a broad takes into account those who left during any period, so his estimate is potentially accurate when considering that 7% left during the largest wave of emigration. The INEC study does not tell us raw numbers and simply provides incidences of those wh o have left it reports that of all those who have migrated since 1960, 4% left between 1980 and 1 989, 6% left between 1990 and 1994, 17% left between 1995 and 1999, 60% left between 2000 and 2004, and 12% left between 2005 and 2008 (INEC 2008 : 37 ). Regar ding the waves of emigration, the INEC study shows a slight increase of emigration in the 1980s, while t he FLACSO UNFPA report shows little to no increase. Thus, the of emigration during the 1980s described by Kyle may not be supported by th e data. Unfortunately, neither source has information dating back to the


16 1950s, or to the first wave of migration. However, both strongly support the historical descriptions of the third and final wave. Detailed tables can be found in Appendix D. The si zable and comprehensive Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF, Encuesta Activos Florida FLACSO ), 1 is a third option for understanding the empirical picture of migration. It includes information for those who left over any time period, not just betwee n Censuses as represented in the FLACSO UNFPA and INEC studies. It is also more recent. But most importantly, the EAFF survey takes into account return migration and the length of stay of the migrants abroad It is for these reasons that I use this data below. Migrants Abroad Regarding migrants who are currently living abroad, in the EAFF survey 12% of Ecuadorian households reported having a family member living in another country. This number seems quite small, as according to INEC, anywhere from 70% t o 80% of Ecuadorian households have at least one family member living abroad (INEC 2008: 46). However, the EAFF only refers to family members who contribute economically to the household providing a more precise measure of those households in Ecuador whi ch potentially benefit from economic ties to migrants abroad T he information regarding this subset of migrants can be quite useful. As shown in Table 1 1 there are more female family members currently living abroad than males, at 57% versus 43% of total migrants. This differs from the information found in the FLACSO UNFPA study which estimates the sex composition of migrants abroad at 53% versus 47% (FLACSO UNFPA 2008 : 19 ). It is also different 1 This household survey of 2,892 households is nationally representative and was carried out from A pril to June 2010. See Deere and Contreras (2011) for methodology.


17 from the INEC report which states that the number of male and female migrants abroad is equal ( INEC 2008 : 52 ). The number of female migrants abroad is thus potentially overrepresentated in the EAFF data of those who contribute economically to households in Ecuador and this could prove for interesting future res earch. As seen in Table 1 1, i n the EAFF data the largest singular group of migrants abroad, representing 35% of the total, consisted of children of the respondents. This phenomenon is quite remarkable and unfortunately underrepresented in my qualitative data below. The second largest category as a whole, 22% of the total, consisted of siblings, which is more fairly represented in my research Table 1 1. Current migrants abroad by relationship to respondent. Relationship to Respondent Men Women Total Sp ouse 6.7% 2.6% 4.6% Child 35.2% 34.8% 35.0% Stepchild 5.3% 5.6% 5.4% Child in law 2.1% 2.9% 2.5% Grandchild 0.5% 0.0% 0.2% Parent 5.1% 6.5% 5.8% Parent in law 0.8% 1.8% 1.3% Sibling 24.9% 18.8% 21.7% Sibling in law 5.3% 8.6% 7.0% Other relative 1 4.0% 18.5% 16.3% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Distribution by sex 42.9% 57.1% 100.0% n 221 294 515 Source: Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF) Note: percentages are weighted according to sample expansion factors Shown in Table 1 2, a ccording to th e EAFF close to 50% of migrant family members currently live in Spain, while only 31.5% live in the U.S. These figures correspond closely with the results reported in both the FLACSO UNFPA and INEC studies which stated that 46.9 % or 49.4% of migrants sin ce the last Census had left for Spain, while only 33.1 % or 26.7% had gone to the U.S. ( FLACSO UNFPA 2008: 33 and


18 INEC 2008 : 38 ). In the EAFF data, migrant women are much more likely to live in Spain, while men are more likely to live in the United States. This confirms the 2001 Census data (FLACSO UNFPA 2008), as well as the historical data presented above. Table 1 2. Current migrants abroad by destination country. Destination Country Men Women Total United States 39.5% 25.6% 31.5% Spain 43.5% 54.4% 49 .8% Italy 7.0% 9.5% 8.4% Latin America 3.9% 6.2% 5.2% Other 6.0% 4.3% 5.0% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Distribution by sex 42.9% 57.1% 100.0% n 221 294 515 Source: Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF) Note: percentages are weighted according to sample expansion factors. Return Migrants Turning now to return migration, the focus of my research, in the EAFF survey 2.47% of Ecuadorians over 18 reported having left the country at some point exclusively to work, while less than one percent report ed having left to study and work. This gives us a total of 2.76% of Ecuadorians who have gone abroad to work and have returned home. This seems to be a small share compared to the ten to fifteen percent of Ecuadorians estimated to live abroad (Jokisch 20 07), indicating that at this point not many migrants have chosen to return. Although respondents reported that they had more female family members living abroad than males, among the return migrant respondents themselves the inverse was true; more men had gone abroad to work and returned than women, constituting 58% versus 42% of the total. As seen in Table 1 3, 86% of return migrants currently reside in urban areas w hich is high compared to the FLACSO UNFPA results which state that 78% of migrants come f rom urban areas (FLACSO UNFPA 2008 : 29 ) and the INEC


19 results stating 70 % to 74% (INEC 2008 : 15 ). Also in Table 1 3, in the EAFF data 60% of return migrants currently reside in the Sierra region of Ecuador. This is comparable to the FLACSO UNFPA results reporting that 58% of migrants come from the Sierra region (FLACSO UNFPA 2008 : 23 ) and the INEC results stating 52% to 63% (INEC 2008 : 17 ). Married individuals represent a higher proportion of those who have gone abroad and returned, followed by those in a consensual union. Unfortunately, the questions asked in the survey and the structure of the data did not allow me to check whether these migrants went abroad with their partners or spouses or whether they had children and brought them with them or left t hem behind, factors which will be shown to be incredibly important in the discussion below of return migra nt decision making. Table 1 3 Return m igrants Men Women Totals Civil Status Single 4.9% 6.8% 5.7% Married 60.6% 49.9% 56.0% Consensual Unio n 20.0% 10.6% 16.0% Widow/er 4.4% 6.5% 5.3% Divorced 2.9% 8.8% 5.4% Separated 7.2% 17.4% 11.6% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Urban/Rural Urban 86.6% 84.7% 85.8% Rural 13.4% 15.3% 14.2% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Sierra/Costa Sierra 59.6% 61.2% 60.3% Costa 40.4% 38.8% 39.7% Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Distribution by sex 57.7 % 42.3% 100.0% n 113 83 196 Source: Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF) Note: percentages are weighted according to sample expansion factors.


20 Seen in Table 1 4, t he average length of stay abroad for all return migrants was slightly less than four years, with men and women staying abroad for about the same length of time. Migrants currently residing in rural areas stayed longer, as did migrants from the Sierra regi on. Those who were separated, widows/widowers, or divorced stayed the longest amount of time. Migrants in consensual unions stayed the least amount of time, followed by those who were single, and those who were married. Again, it is unfortunate that we cannot extract family migration information from this data, as we will find that the presence or absence of family most certainly affects length of stay abroad and desire to return. Table 1 4 Average length of stay abroad of return migrants (years). Me n Women Total Civil Status Single 3.4 2.7 3.0 Married 3.8 3.9 3.8 Consensual Union 1.7 1.4 1.6 Widow/er 8.8 3.3 5.9 Divorced 6.1 5.2 5.5 Separated 8.0 5.7 6.5 Total 4.0 3.9 3.9 Urban/Rural Urban 3.5 4.0 3.7 Rural 7.1 3.4 5.4 Total 4.0 3.9 3.9 Sierra/Costa Sierra 4.2 4.2 4.2 Costa 3.6 3.5 3.5 Total 4.0 3.9 3.9 n 113 83 196 Source: Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF) Note: means are weighted according to sample expansion factors. Shown in Table 1 5, t he average a ge of return migrants on initial departure was slightly over 30 years old, with a slender difference between men at just under 30 years old, and women at just over 31 years old. This is somewhat older than the numbers


21 reported in the 2001 Census, which st ated that the greatest majority of migrants are those between the ages of 20 and 24, followed by those who are 2 5 to 29 years old (INEC 2008 : 25 ). Return migrants currently residing in urban areas left slightly later than rural migrants, and there was alm ost no difference between migrants from the Sierra and Costa regions. Widows and widowers left much later in life, followed by those who were divorced, separated, married, in a consensual union, and finally single. Table 1 5 Average age upon emigration of return migrants. Men Women Total Civil Status Single 26.8 23.8 25.2 Married 29.6 30.1 29.7 Consensual Union 28.1 29.8 28.6 Widow 44.4 48.5 46.6 Divorced 31.0 32.2 31.8 Separated 28.6 30.4 29.8 Total 29.8 31.1 30.3 Urban/Rural Urban 29.6 32.0 30.6 Rural 30.9 25.7 28.5 Total 29.8 31.1 30.3 Sierra/Costa Sierra 29.4 30.8 30.0 Costa 30.3 31.4 30.8 Total 29.8 31.1 30.3 n 113 83 196 Source: Ecuador 2010 Household Asset Survey (EAFF) Note: means are weighted according to sample expansion factors As we can see marital status makes a significant difference regarding the percentage of migrants who return, their length of stay abroad, and the age of migrants upon leaving. This data suggest that family ties may be incredibl y important in the migrant decision making process, an assertion that my qualitative research will support in Chapter Two. But what other factors come into play that might explain the


22 differences between those migrants who decide to return home and those who stay abroad indefinitely? Literature Review While many authors have studied the phenomenon of out migration from Ecuador the decision to return has received less attention In this investigation I argue that while it is clear that financial motivati ons played a large role in the decision making process of migrants upon leaving Ecuador during the economic crises described above it is questionable whether economic factors continue to play a large part in the decision to return Other factors deserve greater attention, as we will see below. It is important to note that m ultiple studies have shown that migrants do not migrate with the intention of settling abroad forever (Moran Taylor and Menjvar 2005, Conway 2005) According to one author, for Latin migration from the United States is not a matter concerning whether they would return 1982: 119). And according to others, return Taylor and Menjvar 2005: 95). So what makes the difference between migrants who act on this desire and home or not? Cassarino (2004) gives us a broad concep tual understanding of return migration and how it has been understood in various disciplines. In his theoretical overview, he first, based on neoclassical economics argues that migrants return home because they ibid. 254). The second approach the new economics of labor migration,


23 proposes that migrants decide to go back bec ause they were able to achieve a financial goal they set before leaving; r eturn is then the logical outcome. T hese theories are quite contradictory, and as Cassarino notes, they are inadequate as they take into account eco nomic or financial factors only and avoid 257). Another approach to return migration is the structu ral approach, which has been developed mainly by anthropologists, sociologist s and social geographers. It takes into account context and social and in stitutional factors in the home country. In this approach, migrants may return because they have not integrated into the host society as a result of discrimination, because they have acquired a small sum of money and hope to buy land, because they are abo ut to retire, or because they want to capitalize on their skills acquired abroad to become innovators in the country of origin. In any case, their decision is grounded in the context of their situation, rather than simply economics. T he transnationalism a pproach perceptions of homeland and their self identification have a bearing on their decision to ibid. 262). Here migrants are seen as maintain ing strong attachments to home at the social, political, and economic level and these attachments influence their decision to return T he fi fth approach explained by Cassarino the social network theory approach proposes that border social and ibid. 266). Migrants are believed to have ties both abroad and back home, and these influence their decision to return in different ways.


24 Here I focus on six case studies which address return migrant decision making in Latin America and the Caribbean and whic h come closest to approximating my its contributions, in order to better explore my research topic. In the first study, Dustmann (2001), an economist, presents a mathematical life in which a return is ( Dustmann 2001: 230). His model partially supports what Cassarino classifies as the new economics of labor migration approach regarding saving money to use back home as well as the structural approach regarding capitalizing on skills acquired abroad. H owever, because Dustmann does not why a migrant might subjectively pr efer one location over another, he focuses almost exclusively on economic motives for return, which fails to look at the picture of re turn migra tion factors as a whole. The authors below focus on additional factors which may be equally or more important in the decision to return. Conway (2005), a geographer, uses academic research on Caribbean migrants and his own field work with Caribb ean culture to argue that the actual traits of the migrants themselves and their relationships to family and friends explain whether a abroad and to return back home ( Conway 2005: 267). He also argues memories of childhood, the mythical to


25 power of attachments to birth pla ces and the emotional ties that bind people to home ibid. 265). regarding attachments to home but even as he s tresses the importance of familial ties ibid. 270), which seems to contradict his argument And as it can be assumed that nearly all migrants carry some sor t of em otional ties to their homeland, Conway fails to explain why not all migrants return home. Again, there must be additional factors at play. S ociologists Ugalde and Langham (1982) use responses from household survey data collected in 1974 to address the determinants of return m igr ation to the Dominican Republic Regarding their motives for return, m igrants in their study could choose from igrants were not allowed to insert the ir own motives for returning home. Twenty percent of the migrants at here are included deportable aliens and many who return for Ugalde and Langham 1982: 81). Their work highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches Cassarino (2004) describe s. Here, fai lure to integrate, an aspect of the structuralism important. Unfortunately, a s migrants could not insert their own responses, we are not


26 able to understand what would l ead them as a motive for returning, and t hese issues need to be explored in depth. Their work does tell us that saving a specific amount of money, as in the new economics of labor migration approach, was not a significant reason for retur n, so other factors must be important. St. Bernard (2005), a social demographer analyzes the quantitative data from the 1988 Survey of Return Migration in Trinidad and Tobago The survey he uses is similar to that of Ugalde and Langham (1982), with migrants only being able to select the top reason they chose to return. He divides the results into three motivational categories : arrangements that are likely to guarantee their return sooner or later, and the systematic St. Bernard 2005: 166). seems to support the social network theory approach, related to cross border networks of social and economic relationships But again, in his study migrants could not insert their own answers or fully explain their decision making which limits the explanatory usefulness of his results Thus, w combination of familial, structural, and economic factors come s close to a holistic approach which acknowledges that there are multiple reasons for return, he fails to acknowledge that these motivations co exist for the same migrant. Poitras, a political scientist, also uses quantitative household survey data to unde rstand return migration (1982) He conducted surveys with return migrants in Costa return migration was motivated, although not overwhelmingly, by social and psychological attachments. The family, and the str Poitras


27 1982: 120). h to ibid. 120). This would seem to support the transnationalism approach explained by Cassarino (2004). However, for Salvadorans, legal status and migration policy were listed as nearly equally important as family networks Here Poitras includes those migrant s who were forc ibly deported, and a s these migrants did not choose to return home, their motivations do not seem applicable to the rest of his study. While survey instrument did g i ve return migrants a choice in expressing their own particular and multiple motives, his results may overemphasize the importance of legal status and migration policy since he included migrants who were forcibly deported. H is data is thus useful in unde rstanding the two subgroups, particularly Salvadorans, but his results may not be easily extrapolated to other groups The final study regarding Guatemalans and S alvadorans in Phoenix, Arizona, is qualitative and was undertaken by a geographer and a socio logist, Moran Taylor and Menjvar (2005) It involved in depth, semi desire to return, rather than the actual return process itself. Although this return may simply be a dream which never comes true for these mig rants ( and thus they the true demographic of my research ) their motivations and the factors that affect their desire to return are significant and relevant. The authors set out three different types of factors which may influence motivations to return home: host country, home country, and local level factors. Host


28 labour Moran Taylor and Menjvar 2005: 102). Home ibid. ibid. 102). approaches explored by Cassarino (2004), including structuralism and transnationalism However, though comprehensive, o ne of the drawbacks to Moran study is that, as they note, y conflictive environments, ibid. 93). Nonetheless, although they address the desire to return rather than the actual return, otivational factors makes their study by far the most inclusive All of t he above articles contribute to the study of return migration through their exploration of how the accumulation of financial and human capital (related to the neo classical economics a nd the new economics of labor migration approaches); feelings of belonging family relationships and home country politics (related to the transnationalism and social network theory approaches); and immi gration policies and discriminatory treatment (relat ed to the structuralism approach) play into the decision to return home. These elements taken together provided me with the point of departure for my own research presented here. However, none of the authors explored all of the issues simultaneously, a nd I hope to address this flaw in my study. This flaw is partly related to the fact that all of these authors represent very spec ific disciplines, such as economics, sociology, demography, and geography. The


29 motives for return migration are multiple and v aried, so a multidisciplinary viewpoint is much more suited to addressing and understanding the whole picture. A grounded theory approach which I undertake in this study, allows return migrants to fully explore all of the factors which lead to the decisi on to return home. This represent s a better option for understanding the complex experience of return migration and could provide a truer picture of along with potential universal themes which could be explored with other groups of retu rn migrants. Design and Methods For this project, I chose to compare two groups: return migrants and potential return migrants. In the first group, I interviewed migrants who had returned from abroad des cribed in the introduction to this chapter For the second group, I chose to interview family members of migrants still living abroad as a proxy for the actual migrants themselves, primarily due to ease of access. The shortcomings of this approach will b of Chapter Four. I then analyzed and compared responses from each group. I conducted my field research in Quito and Tena Ecuador for six weeks during the summer of 2011. Prior to arriving in the field, I establis h ed contact with a government worker at the Ministerio de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda (MIDUVI), and I met with this contact on the first business day after I arrived in Quito. She provide d me with published materials and up to date data about the Plan s uch as current utilization and program requirements and benefits. She also connect ed me to an employee who worked directly at the Secretara Nacional de l Migrante (SENAMI) the government agency in charge of the Plan, who gave me the information of benefi ciaries of the two aspects of the program, El Cucayo and El Bono.


30 I began by emailing a number of the recipients of funds from El Cucayo and all of the recipients of El Bono who lived in Quito (for ease of access and simplicity) and for whom there were em ail addresses. I received a few responses and began interviewing right away. I attempte as source s to connect me with informants for the second group of interviewees, but many of the returning migrants wer e unable to help me as they had not maintained many personal contacts outside of their own family while they were away After I had depleted my email resources, I began cold calling the beneficiaries on the lists for E l Cucayo and El Bono. I was able to establish contacts with a few more beneficiaries and I had all fifteen interviews with this group either completed or scheduled early on in my field research. However, I was still having a hard time connecting with Ecuadorians who currently h ad family members living abroad. This might seem strange as a large number of Ecuadorians fit this category. However, I had only been relying on my interviewees as sources, so at that point I contacted all of my friends, acquaintances, and government con tacts asking for assistance. Through this process I made contact with seven interviewees, but I still needed more One of the returning migrants invited me to come and stay at her hostel (funded by E l Cucayo) in the city of Tena in Eastern Ecuador whe re she was able to introduce me to another four interviewees. The consequences of utilizing interviews outside of I finished my final interview on my last night in Qu ito and reached my goal of fifteen in depth interviews with returning migrants and fifteen interviews with family members of Ecuadorian migrants still living abroad.


31 I did not go into the field with a standard questionnaire designed completely a priori as in a traditional social science approach. Rather, I prepared a short list of possible questions in advance, some related to the literature discussed in the review above, and then worked inductively and qualitatively using the grounded theory method to adjust my questions as I felt necessary throughout the process. The resulting interviews were semi structured, and I employed a directed but open ended approach in order to allow interviewees to express the information that they felt was most relevant to the project. A complete list of the final interview questions can be found in the appendices. In the next three chapters, I explore the questions outlined in the introduction at the beginning of this chapter. In Chapter Two, I discuss migrant motives fo r emigrating and for choosing a specific destination country, and most importantly, aspects which seem to strongly affect why some migrants stay abroad and others return home. In Chapter Three, I explain the benefits included in the gover venid@s a Casa, analyze whether or not this Plan has an effect on migrant decision making and discuss how the government could improve this Plan in order to have a greater impact In Chapter Four, I summarize my findings, discuss the limitations of my re search, provide suggestions for future research and speculate on what the future of migration may hold for Ecuador


32 CHAPTER 2 THE MIGRANT DECISION MAKING PROCESS REGARDING RETURN In this chapter, I explore the results of the interviews I conducted with return migrants and family members of potential return migrants regarding the decision making process of return. I explain the data that I collected, and then I discuss why migrants chose to leave and why they chose their particular destinations. Then I lay out the importance of host country factors including integration, language, discrimination, legal status, and financial status; the home country factor of opinions toward the current government; and the personal factor of family, which contribute to ou r understand of when or if a migrant will return home. Description of Data I interviewed a total of 30 people, fifteen of whom are return migrants, and fifteen of whom are close family members of potential return migrants still living abroad. The intervie wees from Tena did not differ from the interviewees from Quito in any significant way. In the return migrant category, I interviewed eight women and seven men ranging in age from 32 to 59. Six had returned from the United States, five from Spain, one fr om Italy, one from France, one from Germany, and one from Bolivia. Compared to the EAFF data (2010) my sample shows a bias toward migrants returning from the U.S., These return migrants left Ecuador b etween the years of 1989 and 2006, with the average year of departure being 1999 corresponding with the largest wave of emigration Upon leaving Ecuador, they ranged in age from seventeen to fifty, with the average age upon leaving being 34, similar to t he national survey data (EAFF 2010) but older than the Census data (FLACSO UNFPA 2008) Their length of stay abroad varied


33 between four and 20 years, with the average length of stay being slightly less than ten years. This is much longer than what is rep resented in the survey data (EAFF 2010) All of the migrants have returned since 2007, when the Plan was put in place, with one returning in 2007, four in 2008, eight in 2009, and two in 2010. In the second category family members of potential return m igrants, I again interviewed eight women and seven men Their family members who live abroad include four brothers, three sisters, three mothers, two sons, one daughter, one wife (now ex wife), and one uncle. The majority of interviewees had a number of extended family members living abroad as well, but we attempted to focus our attention on just one close family member for the sake of simplicity and ease of comparison with the group of return migrants. Seven of these family members currently live in Spa in, three in Italy, two in the U.S., one in England, one in Canada, and one in Germany. This group is underrepresentative of the U.S., as compared to the national survey results (EAFF 2010) These potential return migrants left between the years of 1981 a nd 2008, with the average year of departure being 1998 slightly earlier than the group of return migrants Their age upon leaving seemed to be similar to the group of return migrants, but this was less exact as some of the famil y members were not sure of ages. This group of migrants has lived abroad between three and 30 years, with the average amount of time abroad being slightly less than 13 years, three years longer than the return migrants interviewed The length of the return migrant in terviews ranged from 24 to 87 minutes, with the average length being a little less than 58 minutes. After transcription, the interviews


34 ranged from six to 13 typed pages, with the average length being about ten and a half pages. The second group of inter views was shorter, ranging from 15 minutes (an interview which got cut short due to a work obligation) to 87 minutes, with an average length of a little over 38 minutes. After transcription, the interviews ranged from four to 12 pages, with an average len gth of eight pages. The information that these interviewees provided me, whose names have been changed to maintain confidentiality, provides the basis for this chapter. Leaving Ecuador Motives for Leaving To understand the migrant experience of return, it is vital to understand the migrant experience of departure. Why migrants choose to leave their home country can tell us about their motivations and what they deem important, which may influence when, why, or if they return. Here I will discuss t he main theories which p urport to explain out migration Two of these occur at the macro level, including the macro theory of neoclassical economics, whi ch focuses on the whole economic system and the supply of and demand for labor, and the dual labor market theo ry, which focuses more on pull factors in the receiving country (Massey et al. 1993). Either way, in these theories international economic factors induce migrants to move abroad. At the micro level, there is the neoclassical micro economic theory which ar gues that the decision to migrate is a result of an individual cost benefit analysis, and t he theory of the new economics of migration which focuses on migration as a familial income diversification strategy (ibid. 1993) Regardless of whether these four theories focus on migrants as agentless beings drawn abroad by international forces or as


35 agents of their own decisions, they focus heavily or exclusively on economic motivations. All of the migrants in my interview groups belonged before leaving to the l ower middle class or to the middle class, corresponding to the 2001 Census which reports that these groups constitute the majority of Ecuadorians who migrate (FLACSO UNFPA 2008 ). A lthough they did not belong to the poorest groups most of the return migra nts I interviewed left Ecuador initially for personal financial reasons. This corresponds with the INEC results which show that 74.8% of migrants leave the country with the motiv e of finding work (INEC 2008 ). It also confirms the economic focus of the ma cro and micro theories above. The historical economic crises were mentioned specifically numerous times as motivations for leaving Ecuador. One interviewee, Charlie crisis del ao 95 cuando quebraron los bancos aqu, quebraron un montn de compaas como la de mi pap, es una razn por la que me fui, por oportunidades Jorge brought up the same motivations of escaping the financial crisis and finding better wages abroad. crisis econmica, empez a faltar la parte de ingresos, entonces pens en cambiar de trabajo y para eso consegu un contrato en una empresa que me llevaba a hacer un trabajo Susana said she left o tena un negocio de autos These economic crises were specifically seen as a result of governm ent actions which forced


36 migrants to turn their s ights abroad. As Charlie argued que hizo en el tiempo de Sixto, de Jamil, son unas sinvergenzas, son unos ladrones, se fueron robando, y toc ir, obviamente, obviamente cuando hubo la oportunidad de t agreed Other migrants decided to leave Ecuador not specifically because of the econom ic crisis but because they simply felt they could do better elsewhere. Gabriela She said that prior to leaving trabaja do en eso en casa pero yo necesitaba maquinaria, necesitaba emplearme, tener Like Gabriela, Rosalba and her husband left in search of better opportunities. She said Low wages in Ecuador decision to leave She stated l o que se ganaba en el sector pblico era poco, tena un poco de deudas, entonces fue una decisin de ltima hora, de qu There were of course exceptions to strictly economic motivations particularly among those who were already more well off For example, Mara left Ecuador for educational purposes at the age of 17. As she econmica, mis padres me pagaron para irm e a estudiar y por eso me qued diez aos


37 economic needs, but it can still be seen to fit somewhat into the economic motivation category as the migrants and their families belie ved they would have better long term economic prospects as a result of their studies abroad. Other migrants provided less tangible reasons for leaving. While Marcelo echoed similar reasons as those listed above, he also added a more philosophical dimens ion Similarly, Fernando wanted to achieve economic success, but t llegas a tener algo, o sea hacerlo ms rpido las metas de tu vida, los logros, las Jos and William disregarded financial motivations entirely. cuando quera conocer, me fui slo, yo me fui a conocer, a viajar, como t viajar a This seems to partially confirm what Pribilsky found in his 2009 study of Ecuado Poitras 2009: 274). Magdalena is an entirely different case, stating that Migrat ion for marriage is a common theme among Ecuadorian women (Camacho Z. 2009), and respresents a gendered aspect of migration which I unfortunately was not able to fully explore in my research as A l though the se final three migrants do not financial ly motivated migrant cases discussed in the general migration literature, they were not exluded from receiving


38 migration program, so their experiences are significa nt Nonetheless, t heir different motives for leaving do affect their motives for return, which we will see later. The migrants who have not returned do not differ much from the return migrants with respect to their motivations for leaving Ecuador, althoug h the economic crises were not mentioned by their family members as frequently. Only two interviewees mentioned the latest crisi s specifically: Lenin and Cecilia. Lenin stated that his mother left because en esas pocas el pas estaba muy feria bancaria y ms que nunca la gente empez, qu bestia, eran cientos, miles por da, la gente hua del pas, por all le mencionaron L ooking for a better way of life, rather than responding to a crisis situation seemed to be more important to this second group of migrants. In this group, a third of the migrants were purported to have left for non financial reasons.


39 For the women, s While some of the migrants had non financial motivations for leaving Ecuador, explanations provided by the macro and micro theories discussed above. Although migrants potentially had a multitude of reasons for leaving, just as they did for return, this was not the primary focus of my research, and we simply discussed their main motivation. How they chose their destinations was anothe r important issue we discussed. The theories of the perpetuation of migration are useful in understanding why migrants chose to go to the countries they did. Why Particular Destinations One of the most important perpetuation theories is the network theory which migrants, former migrants, and nonmigrants in origin and destination areas through ties kelihood of international movement because they lower the costs and risks of movement and These network s were evident in many of the return migrant responses regarding why they ch ose to migrate to specific destinations. T his was particularly true for the United States: Charlie chose the U.S. because his parents had already lived there for a few years, and they had gone there earlier. S usana went to the U.S. because she had a sister who had been living there for


40 years. William chose the U.S. because some friends, his mother, and his cousins were already living there. Magdalena moved easily to the U.S. because her mother had been living there for five years. Mara chose Germany for studies because her father studied there in his youth, and he had gone there because his cousin had moved there years earlier. Jos went to Spain because his cousin had already been there for a few years. Familial and friendship ties were not the only factors however; the migration policies of destination countries were also incredibly important. This was especially true for Spain. Gabriela stated that she went to Spain instead of the United States not b tenemos visa, en cambio Espaa podamos no ms entrar. Ahora es que hay visa, hoy haba de doc Lorena chose Spain because of ease of entry and because she felt that it was a tourist destination where her knowledge of Spanish wou ld be helpful in getting work. Marcelo had always wanted to go to the U.S., but ended up going to Spain both be cause he had family there already and because of the ease of legal entry. An additional important factor for him was that of not having to learn a new language. He went to Italy e me puse una meta, una meta difcil, si voy a Espaa ya hablo espaol, no tiene A couple of the migrants did not have transfe rred him to Bolivia. Rosalba did not necessarily have a choice either her


41 husband had lived in the U.S. while he was growing up, and he brought her there with him after they were married. The reasons that the potential return migrants chose their desti nations were sister chose friends there. mainly because of the lang uage, more chosen destination, particularly when it came to Spain. Karina chose Spain because she had a friend there, and because of the language. Luis chose because of the lack of visa requirements and because her brother in law was already t able to get a visa and because his father in law was already in Spain he went there instead relationship to his significant other was the reason he chose to migrate to Canada; she had grown up th ere and brought him with her. However, a number of this second group of interviewees her.


42 (in 1981) was beneficial to him, and because he felt pulled by The majority of migrants chose their destination due to the presence of family or friends, legal migratory requirements, language, or a combination of the three factors The destinations that they chose, particularly Spain and the U.S., will prove to strongly impact the decision making process regarding return or non return, often in very diffe rent ways. We will see how this plays out further on. Planned Length of Stay Another important factor to consider before examining the decision to return is of mi grants did not plan on staying abroad forever when they initially left Ecuador. Rather, the goal they set for themselves changed over time due to the circumstances they encountered in their destinations. For many of the return migrants, this meant stayin g longer than they had anticipated. Susana only planned on staying between two weeks and a month, but stayed for six years. Elsa planned on staying for two months, and then for two years, but came back after nine years. William planned on six months, bu t stayed for twelve years Gabriela planned on staying for a year, but ended up staying for six. Jos planned on staying abroad for a year, and stayed for twelve. Roberto and Fernando each planned on staying for two years, but stayed seven and thirteen years respectively. Marcelo, Lorena and Rosalba planned on staying for five years but ended up staying eight, ten, and twenty years respectively. Jorge is the only one who stayed for less time than he had planned staying four years instead of five. Ma ra and Gina planned to stay just until they finished their studies which they did


43 Regardless of how long they ended up staying, a ll thirteen of these migrants stressed that their plan was always to return home to Ecuador at some point. One migrant sa Only two migrants left with the intention of staying abroad permanently: Charlie and Magdalena. M The majority of the potential return migrants also left with the intention of wife mother planned on staying a few years. was going to stay. Luca was not s ure how long her daughter had planned on staying, and neither was Marco about his sister. According to this group of interviewees, only one potential return migrant left with the intention of staying permanently. And what about their current planned lengt h of stay? How has it changed? F or some of these migrants their goal seems to be simply prolonging itself as it did for the return migrants. But for others, the idea of return no longer exists at all. Marlena predicted that her son would return within two years. Jonathan predicted that his


44 Other family members were less sure. About her brother, Daniel intencin de regresar otra vez Karina said quiere venir not know when or if she actually would Victor said about his A couple of the potential return migrants will most likely return when they retire. es reg resar ac cuando no pueda trabajar y est tener s u vida tranquila, entonces l piensa regre sar ac para ya estar tranquilo lgunos aos, creo que es unos aos de base para que le den la jubilacin, entonces una vez que le dan esos aos base, se The same was wife. The family members of al most half of the potential return migrants now believe ad will be permanent. Luis said About her sister and brother in


45 Taking this information into account, it is important to adjust my research question. It is no longer a simple matter of why s ome migrants return home and others do not, but rather of why migrants return home when they do while others do not return home at all. Now that this is clarified, we can look into the particular aspects which the return migrants and the family members of potential return migrants identified as affecting when or if migrant s returns home. Some of these motivations were noted as important to almost all of the migrants, while others were important to only a few, as some interviewees identified a large number of these motivations, and others identified less Factors Affecting the Decision to Return I divide these motivations into three different categories: host country, home country, and personal factors. The host country factors consist of level of integra tion into the host society, treatment by members of the host country, language, legal status, and finances. Opinions toward the current government consinstitute the home country factor while family related issues constitute the personal factor Integrati on into the Host Society Integration is one important aspect of the structural approach to return migration discussed by Cassarino (2004) and confirmed by Ugalde and Langham in their study (1982) of stay discussed above, affects their degree of integration into their host society or if it is vice versa. In some ways, it would make sense that if a migrant plans on staying a shorter amount of time, he or she will not put in the effort to integrate At the same time, it makes sense that if a migrant does not successfully integrate into their host society, he or she may be motivated to return home earlier than planned.


46 Either way, the degree of integration into the host society and when or if a mi grant returns home are interrelated issues. The return migrants interviewed generally fell into three different categories of integration: four indicated that they had fully integrated to life in their host country, six indicated they had never integrated and always felt like outsiders, and five fell somewhere in between. These experiences will be compared to those of migrants still living abroad to see how or if they might differ. Elsa considered herself fully adapted to life in the U.S. me acopl She integrated to life in the U.S. because she saw the country as more developed than Ecuador, and this suited her. Lorena indicated that she had fully integrate d to her life in with the mayor of her small town. This helped her to feel more at home, which facilitated her high degree of integration. The migrants in this category are marked by a strong desire and effort to integrate. Some migrants did not integrate at all either because they felt others saw them as outsiders or because they s aw themselves as outsiders. About living in Bolivia, His failure to integrate seems to be based more on how he believed he was viewed by those in his host country, rather than how he viewed himself. Jos was the opposite, stating extranjero, por ms acopla do sabes qu


47 William simply did not feel the need to integrate to his host country, the U.S., because he lived in a prodominantly Latino neighborhood. la verdad nunca me sent inmigrante porque la comunidad misma latina que estaba all Marcelo did not integrate to his host country either, but for different reasons. s de all son pero Although at times he noted similarities between Ecuador and Spain, some of the customs of Spain were too idiosyncratic for he and his family to fully adapt to. Regarding her integration in France, respected job and had many close friends, she never felt like she truly belonged Charlie is a good example of someone who falls in between integration and non integration principio como todos lados, no conoces nada, el cambio de vida fue terrible. Despus po int where the U.S. felt like another home to him. Rosalba felt the same way. She She adjusted to the U.S. after a certai n period, and was eventually able to navegate her identity between the two Rather than being part of both places, she stated that She


48 home in Ecuador. She felt lost in between, and this led her to neither fully integrate nor avoid integratio n. When asked how she felt about livi xtraa. No es mi pas. Pero es que tengo que adaptarme a ellos, no pueden adaptarse a m. Hay qu e something she had to do to get by. Susana echoed this when she said about the U.S. This group of m igrants neither embraced nor avoided integration; rather, they fell somewhere in between out of necessity. The potential return migrants seemed to fall into the same general categories, but with a greater number of them having reportedly higher levels of i ntegration. About six interviewees reported high degrees of integration for their family members abroad, and brother in law seemed to have integrated the most. She s Through integration, these migrants may now feel more at home abroad than in Ecuador.


49 A few of the migrants who remain abroad fit into the category of having a low level of integration. Similarly, Daniela had th of integration is noted in contrast to their feelings about Ecuador. They have not integrated to life in their host countries because th ey still feel attached to life in their home country. ng with his host and home countries, neither fully adaptado. Es normal porque las personas tenemos que hacer lo posible por incluir nos al pas a donde vayamos, si no tenemos returns home? Potentially, but not necessarily. All of the migrants shared the same mix of experiences; they had integrated, not integrated, or had fallen somewhere in between. However, more migrants who remain abroad are believed to have integrated; six versus five. Similarly, more migrants who had retu rned home expressed non integration; six versus four. Although these categories are somewhat subjective, and although without a greater number of subjects the effect of integration would be impossible to quantify, degree of integration should still be con sidered an important factor which may affect why some migrants have returned home and others have not.


50 Language One barrier which may prevent migrants from fully integrating and which is not discussed in any of the literature reviewed in Chapter One is la nguage In some cases, h ow comfortable migrants felt with the language in their host country affected their desire to return or not return. This was especially true for the U.S. In the return migrant category, more migrants reported struggling with the lo hispano si sabe decir las palabras en ingls Still, he never felt fully conf ident with his English. He said Susana was the same way. When asked how she felt about her English skills, tes ni despus. Poco, all para el trabajo s When asked if she felt confident with her English now Elsa eventually came to speak English quite well, but she emphasized how much she had had to struggle to attain her level of fluency. She had also studied English in ces yo coga, lea,


51 H e was the only migrant who said that kn owing very important where he lived, as he was ingls iba a ser importantsimo, pero no, al menos donde yo iba todo el mundo hablaba en el trabajo donde yo comenc a trabajar, todo el mundo He learned English just to get by, learning terms for the buses and taxis and how to get to the bathroom. Other mig rants had a somewhat easier time. Rosalba said that learning English como yo vea que los dems los frenaban practicaba ms mi ingls para no tener un Howev er, she was the most comfortable with her English, alternating back me en it took her about a year and a half to fully grasp the Germa n language. After that, she said Fernando was de However, even in Spain, some migrants reported difficulties. Lorena had some issues, but this was because in her destination Valencian was the main language. But e sabe ni dnde ni qu cosa, as diferentes cosas, entonces uno hasta aprender lo pasa


52 The potential return migra nts reportedly had similar experiences, though their family members did not emphasize language as an issue in many cases. Nonetheless, some migrants did seem to have had a difficult time. es por eso que no puede encontrar un buen trabajo, Miguel says that learning Italian has been difficult for his sister and her family, and italiano, otras en host language out of necessity. se decepc ion porque no saba qu contestar porque no saba ingls, no saba qu was forced to learn. necesidad y Francisco said that his ex wife had a hard time learning Italian at first None of the migrants in Spain reportedly had any difficulties. Al though in Spain s mother had to learn Valencian


53 nces s sabe Castellano. In other countries, some of the migrants reportedly had no issue sister had no problems with English as she had been an English teacher before she left Ecuador. This made her transition into life in the U.S. much easier. ter porque igual sabe un poco de ingls, uno siempre se trata de aprender, y la juventud rpido el A greater proportion of the potential return migrants live in Spain, which may explain why language was a more important issue to the actual return migrants many of whom lived in the U.S With this issue it is also difficult to deter mine causality, as perhaps migrants who knew they would be staying abroad longer chose destinations where they would have an easier time with the language. Or perhaps migrants who had a tougher experience learning the language abroad were more inclined to return home at an earlier time. Either way, it is clear that language was reported to be more of an issue among the migrants who had already returned, and for some of them language did factor in to the decision to return. Discrimination Discrimination w as an issue related to integration described in the structural ism study (2005). However, there was not a clear relationship between descrimination and


54 return migration in my study. Poor treatment or discrimination by members of a came up as an issue among both sets of migrants Most often, return migrants reported that they themselves were not victims, but that they were aware of discrimination against their compatriots, and that this made them uncomfortable. This was especially true for the U.S. el clima para los migrantes es tough, es ms, yo vi frente a m cuando estuv e en Florida Still, when asked how she was treated, she said lo que s tienen experiencias malas, pero no fue mi caso, tuve s In Italy, Fernando said In Spain, Lorena never encountered discrimination, but she acknowledged that this lack of poor treatment was due to her lighter skin. ellos se fijan mucho en los rasgos, el espaol es muy racista y el ecuatoriano autctono gente que vaya es clase indgena, tienen Also in Spain, Roberto said that although he and his wife did not experience nte hay mucho racismo, te tienen en un


55 gente ms humilde que han ido que les trataban mal, les pon an cierto despotismo, prohibiciones, con los ecuatorianos. Three of the return migrants reported having excellent experiences and not noting discrimination or poor treatment in any way. About his time in t he U.S., William er, he had settled in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, which may have affected his viewpoint. Also nunca me trataron bien, muy bien, era extica entre todos los profesionales all, entonces ellos eran como The potential return migrants reportedly had s imilar experiences Only one migrant, seemingly not encountered any type of mistreatment against immigrants. Other migrants, like the return migrants, had not experienced it themselves but knew it existed Marlena said ab out her son in England de otras personas que han sido tratado malo, pues no. Mi hermana y mi cuado nunca han sentido este efecto de la discriminacin all, debe ser por eso qu e se han Lenin said his mother recognizes that discrimination exists in Spain, ista, simplemente evita. No ha habid For the migrants who had not experienced discrimination, this was attributed to various mitigating circumstances


56 di scrimination, but Ana attr ibuted escuchar en las noticias, que sufren mucho, no s, sern para los lugares, pero mi hijo no ha ido muy lejos de Madrid untered discrimination in Spain, reportedly trat an bien porque no es como los migrantes que van a restar trabajos y vivir como d that his sister in the U.S. has not been a victim of racismo, pero mis tos que ellos no tienen una posicin muy b uena, ell os siempre hablan del racism o M i hermana nunca dice que le tratan mal pero pienso que es More of this group of migrants had purportedly experienced discrimination in their own lives About his uncle in Canada, Victor said discriminacin a pesar de que es un pas abierto, s hay discriminacin, y s hay el hecho de que los amigos son latinos, no se llevan con los canadienses, eso ya es discri wife has also experienced some d iscrimination in Italy. He said been a


57 bein g a migrant. Almost all of the respondents in both groups identified discrimination, while more of the return migrants had seen it personally and more of the potential return migrants according to their family members, had been direct victims. It is diff icult to say how much of an impact discrimination truly had on the decision on when or if to return as none of the migrants identified it as their primary motivation for returning and as discrimination affected roughly the same amount of migrants in each g roup, just in different ways However, one caveat to this is that a greater proportion of the return migrants had been in the U.S., and they may not have felt comfortable addressing discrimination with an American researcher, whereas more of the family me mbers of potential return migrants were addressing issues in Spain and relating occurrences second hand, leading them to be more open. More investigation would be needed to assess this potential bias. Legal Status Legal status also fits in to the structu ral approach described by Cassarino (2004) and confirmed by Moran Taylor and Menjvar (2005). In my study, legal status affected Many of the migrants in the return migrant group who had gone to the U.S. came from the middle class and had Charlie is one example. After presenting himself three times at t he U.S. embassy, he was awarded a tourist visa, which he and his family overstayed by eight years. Living as an undocumented migrant was stressful for him. At one point, a friend


58 offered to connect him to a woman in the U.S. whom he could marry to obtain mam y me caso con otra?... Que me bo Being undocumented was particularly important for some migrants as it meant that they were not able to visit their families back in Ecuador for the entire time they were away due to the fear of not being allowed back in to their host country. Susana, who also overstayed her tourist visa, was not able to return to Ecuador to see her husband and son for over six years. This was incredibly difficult for her, and absolutely influenced her de cision to return home. She said that if she had had legal status, she may have stayed for a longer period. hich they overstayed. They were in the process of receiving legal residency when William had a stroke. As they could not come back to Ecuador temporarily to see the rest of his family, they were forced to abandon their residency process in the U.S. and r eturn to Ecuador permanently. Two other U.S. migrants, Rosalba and Magdalena, were married to American citizens, so they had an easier path to follow to gain documentation and were able to go and return as much as they wanted. However, after Rosalba and her husband divorced, she married another migrant who was not yet documented. This situation gave her anxiety as regarding undocumented migrants in the U.S. Elsa had the most difficult and dramatic experience as a n undocumented migrant in the U.S., which directly led to her first return to Ecuador. She had overstayed her tourist visa and wanted t that everything became more


59 difficult after September 11th. She also was unable to vis it her family, including her two children, for a number of years. When one of the women she worked for began exploiting her, E lsa th reatened to report her, and in response the woman reported Elsa to immigration. Elsa was held in a detention center for 90 days and was then deported. She felt like a failure and wanted to go back, so she paid a coyote to take her across Mexico. But bac k in the U.S., she told herself mi pas antes de que me venga n ms aos encima, so she returned home Most of the return migrants had an easier time in Spain, although certain complications still existed. Lorena and her family went to Spain before a visa was required and were able to obtain visas legally when there was an amnesty or regularization offered. They were able to leave and return as they wished. Gabriela, who went with her sister, and Jos, who went with his wife, had the same experience. Roberto entered Spain before there was a visa requirement and received official resi dency three years later, but his wife who came later is still in the process ra est mucho ms complicado, estn tratando de poner trabas en todo lo posible para eventually able to gain documentation through an amnesty law. Prior to that however, he had to miss his ow no poder asistir ni siquiera el In other countries, migrants had mixed experiences. In Bolivia, Jorge did not due to the Andean Pact. Gina


60 did not have any issues obtaining residency in France. She said this was because she had a student visa and she interesa al gobierno francs, a todos gobier nos, yo pagaba impuestos y por eso era decision to return, as she told hers Fernando did not have any issues gaining documentation in Italy, and stated that he can travel freely through any country in the European Union. However, he stopped short of obtaining citizenship as he wa s concerned that he may de los dos, no puedo elegir entre las dos More of the potential return migrants seem to have had an easier time with documentation in their host countries, which partially explains why they have cho sen to dual citizenship in law went to Spain s mother also went before the visa, and just received dual citizenship a couple of years ago. For those who arrived after the visa requirement was put in place, the experience ears, but before this, he could not visit his family at all. He recently married a Spanish woman


61 and is now in the process of obtaining citizenship. Jonathan said difcil porque para irte a Europa necesitas visa y te la niegan fcilmen te, por eso es que ahora ha disminuido un poco la migracin, porque la gente se piensa dos veces sobre has not yet received her residency. She was not able to return t o Ecuador for her d In other countries, migrants again had mixed experiences. Luca s daughter married a German citizen and was able to easily achieve residency through her husband d. He was not able to return to Ecuador for seven years, until he received residency under an amnesty law. He can now come and go as h e pleases, but Marlena considered him lucky, as a cogen, le dual citizenship although it took them almost ten years. wife had a very difficult time obtaining residency in Italy, and just received it after almost fifteen years there. The group of potential return migrants in North America had a much easier time than the return migrants who had lived there nationalizing in Canada as his wife was already a resident there. As Consuelo left in 1981, he received citizenship in the U.S. after just five years with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 as her husband is an American citiz en. Because of this, Marco said his sister would not return to Ecuador


62 Legal status is a nuanced issue which can affect migrant decision making in many ways. Again, as a larger number of return migrants had been in the U.S., more of them had difficulties with their legal status a s compared to the potential return migrants. Most of the return migrants never gained legal status, which impacted their decision to return in that they could no longer stand being barred from visiting their family back home, and they were tired of living in fear of immigration authorities In contrast, most of the potential return migrants did gain some type of legal status One might assume that this would encourage return as migrants now had the option to go back and forth as they pleased, but in my study to those who had waited for many years to achieve legal status it sometimes seemed like a waste not to take advantage of it now This may partially explain the difference between the decision making processes of the two groups. Financial Situation Financial situation falls under the neoclassical and new economics of labor migration approaches discussed by Cassarino (2004) and supported by Dustmann (2001). Following traditional theories of migration, it would make sense for a migrant to return home only if his or her potential financial situation at home were thought to be better than the current situation abroad. And f or some of the return migrants, their financial situation abroad had deteriorated so much since the recession that they did feel th ey had better options back home. This was especially true for those in Spain which has been hit particularly hard by the financial crisis mala, porque yo ya tena dos, tres trabajos. Despus m e qued con dos, despus ya


63 a trabajo, EEUU con la hipoteca, la vivienda se fue al suelo, entonces ya vine y no tu ve otra This was true for other countries as well. cuatro aos la crisis econmica mundial hizo que la empresa cierre y yo qued ya m the U.S., a conseguir, la crisis se vino, cerraron muchas empresas importantes, los trabajos que haban disponibles eran de muy ba jo recursos, sueldos muy malos. Cmo p oda yo sobrevivir all? R A side from Rosalba, a migrant story of working low paying, low skilled jobs. Though they were not hit as hard by the economic crisis as those in Sp ain, the hardships they encountered in their work did influence their decision to return home. Susana worked seven days a week at a catering company without being able to put anything into savings. Magdalena worked low skilled jobs in a mortgage office, making hamburgers, as a cleaner, in FedEx, and as a department store salesperson. Elsa had been a government professional in Ecuador for twenty years, an d she was shocked when she moved to the U.S. and had to work as a babysitter or maid to


64 get by. porque de tener un trabajo de casi como ejecutivo, luego ir a trabajar de eso fue f atal, Charlie worked multiple jobs seven days a week at a parking garage, a cleaning company, and a printing shop in the U.S. trying to keep afloat. William found work at a factory in the U.S., and worked his way up from th e bottom to a management position. Still, he had to work seven days a week from eight in the morning until six at night. He may have kept workin g unless he had had a stroke. William and a lmost all of the migrants in this group noted that although they k new their financial situation in the U.S. was better than it would otherwise be at home, the harsh and stressful work conditions they encountered were not worth it for them to stay abroad. Sometimes, a poor financial situation abroad can affect the decisio n to return in the opposite way. Gabriela was disappointed with how her situation in Spain turned out. Her poor financial situation act ually encouraged her not to working conditions any longer, and her son managed to get a loa n to help her come returning hom e. mo voy a volver con esta cara ? M e fui a buscar supuestamente el mundo y vengo con la cola entre las


6 5 For migrants who left Ecuador for reasons that were not primarily financial, their financial situation abroad quite as important. Because Mar a left Ecuador for studies and to better her general prospects in life, rather than to obtain immediate economic benefits, she was not motivated to return home even as she struggled to pay her rent Since Gina also left to attend school, her financial si tuation was different from other migrants. As Fernando decided to leave Ecuador to challenge himself and experience somethi ng new, the financial success of owning his own business in Italy did not entice him to stay. One would have expected these last two migrants, both financially successful, to stay abroad, but as their primary motivation for leaving was not financial, they still chose to return. Among the potential return migrants, some have reached a certain level of financial success, particularly in the U.S. and their family members partially attribute this to s not want to return Cons uelo said porque regresar However, m any of the potential return migrants also work in low skilled, low recently cut and he is in search of work. His entire family shares the same bedroom. was trained as an artist, she has had a very difficult time finding employment in Germany. She told


66 quiere hacer son sumamente fuertes para ella, entonces que son trabajos de hombre able to find steady work in a car factory, and she is still struggling. bed in a boarding house full of other migrants. Since then her financial situation has educated, still works as a babysitter and caretaker of the elderly. Regardless o f poor finances, however, r emittances appeared to be much more important to this group of migrants. Remittances are an extremely significant source of income to Ecuador, and over one million Ecuadorians depend on remittances to survive ( Kyle and Jokisch 2 008) Remittances were not brought up in any of the interviews with the return migrants (unless it was by the interviewer), and then only three return migrants reported that they had been sending remittances. According to family members i n the potential return migrant group however, remittances seem to be a much more important factor, particularly for those migrants in Spain. in Spain works two jobs taking care of the elderly and cleaning houses. Although she struggles financially and h as had to take out more and more loans, getting into a significant amount of debt, she has consistently sent back remittances. Daniela said ents remittances, and has told his no nos


67 Lenin said mother has sent back money to help him pay for ve terinary school. she has still en Ecuador, a todos estn educando entonces es un poquito bastante difcil porque tienen el costo de comida, educacin, y todo eso, y aparte los gastos de ell In Italy, although she has often had to work every day from five in the morning until eleven at wife has been able to send money back for their son. Most of the potential return migrants had encountered just as many crisis relat ed difficulties and hardships in their work as the migra nts who had already returned, and i t seems then that they would have just as many motivations to come back to Ecuador as those in the other group. However, even though they often live in very tough c onditions with no time or money to spend on themselves, remittances were more of a source of concern for the potential return migrants. I t makes sense that these migrants would prefer to stay abroad in order to continue providing help, as small as it migh t be, to their families back home rather than return to an uncertain situation Opinions toward the Current Government In addition to the host country aspects which affect the decision to return, home country aspects are also important. The home country factor which I focused on in my study which relates to the transnationalism approach discussed by Cassarino (2004) and which is emphasized by Moran Taylor and Menjvar (2005) While the econ omic situation at home can be


68 seen as an important motivator as well the majority of interviewees I chose to focus more heavily on political opinions. A large number of the return migrants felt that Ecuador was currently on a more positive track than it has been in the past. especia lly with education, highways, and city planning. About current President Rafael yo em pezaba a venir entr Correa a la presidencia, me gustaba la forma, la presidente, l haciendo un labor que j ams otro presidente ha hecho. E presidentes que hemos tenido en toda la histor estn dados, o sea no hay ni cmo darle vuelto ni discutir ni decir no, porque all estn Gabriela was the most vocal about her support for Correa and the cu rrent government. At first she was worried that her government benefits would not come


69 r adelante, porque antes no hemos tenido un presidente as que nos ayude tanto, ahora Other migrants were still positive, but somewhat less enthusiastic. Roberto said al menos el gobierno actual que ha hecho muchas cosas que no se ha dado en muchos tiempos, a pesar de wanted to support, she was somewhat pessimistic about what he could do, stating Other migrants had mixed reviews. persona muy educada, muy preparada, cosas que s ha mejorado bastante, pero h Still, he placed most of the blame on the cabinet and assembleists, rather than the President himself. Only two of the return migrants were outright negative about the current government Jos stated that in Ecuador, el problema es pol Regarding the potential return migrants a couple of them purportedly had positive things to say about Correa. Marlena said her son thinks that Correa


70 However, some of the family members were certain that the p otential About his uncle, Victor era el presidente aqu, no le interesa est metido en su vida all. L a gente que entera Si se va Correa quin viene? De all de hablar de poltico no le gusta, venga quien The majority of the f amily members of the potential return migrants were not sure how these migrants felt about the President or about the current government. Still, their own opinions might provide some sort of insight. On the positive side, Luca said that tener confianza o desconfianza en el presidente cuando hay Paulina herself had mixed review trabajar y no estar en la pelea d Others were more decidedely negative.


71 pas habla mucho y hace poco, entonces el problema que tenemos con el gobierno es ly note that the majority of them reported negative thoughts on the current government. Likewise, it is important that the majority of return migrants reported posi tive opinions of the current government and that some of them noted emphatically the role Correa played in their decision to return. That said a few of the return migrants did initially think I was contacting them on the part of SENAMI, and although I d id my best to convince them otherwise, it could be possible that they did not feel comfortable expressing negative opinions about the government for fear that they would be reported. More likely however, is the fact that they were direct recipients of go vernment assistance, which could have influenced the ir opinions positively While potentially true, many of the return migrants adamantly expressed that they had positive opinions of the government before returning, so the relationship between political o pinion and return still seems to hold some validity Family The most important factor of all those discussed here, the presence or absence of family ultimately played the largest role for the majority of migrants in their decision on when or if to return. This relates to the transnationalism and social network theory


72 approaches discussed by Cassarino (2004) and the results of the studies by Conway (2005), Poitras (1982), St. Bernard (2005), and Moran Taylor and Menjvar (2005). The effects of family on t he decision to return varied among migrants depending on which if any type of family they had with them in their destination and which type of family they had left behind. Some migrants returned to Ecuador as they had absolutely no family with them in th eir destination. Magdalena went to the U.S. with her husband and came home because after her divorce, she wanted to be close to her parents and siblings. Mara Germany an d also missed her parents and siblings. Other migrants took their nuclear family abroad with them, but wanted to be with their parents back in Ecuador as they got parents already lived in the U.S., and Charlie took his wife and daughter with him where they gave birth to a son. por regresar, mi suegra sola. M i suegra conoca a mi hija pero no a mi ot ro hijo que naci all, dijo me voy a morir entonces mi esposa adelant. Y a cuando se adelant pues ya tenamos His father die d a year and a half after he returned to Ecu ador. Other migrants created families while abroad but still missed their parents and siblings back home. Fernando met and married an Italian woman in Italy, and they had a child there together. Still, he said


73 Gina felt the entinian abroad and they had children together, but Jos met his Ecuadorian wife in Spain and they had a child together. But h e wanted his son to know his family and influy bastante Rosalba went with her husband and their young son to the U.S She missed her parents and siblings a great deal, but her son actually prevented her from coming home hijo me deca se alej de mi, dije ya no hay razn para estar, voy a volver donde est mi madre y tal William went to the U.S. with his wife and daughters. Although his daughters come back until William had a stroke. While his motivation to return was not simply to reunite with his family, it was to be with his family during a difficult time. William said Leaving children behind was another important factor. Although she had her sister with her in the U.S., Susana left her son and husband behind in Ecuador, and she her to Spain, but her other son and daughter were not able to come, and she missed them terribly


74 leading to her return but they ended up not liking it and they returned to Ecuador without him. Although h is Elsa had to leave her two children behind in Ecuador. Her husband had recently ellos era una cuestin difcil porque quedaron sin their daughters for the first three I n contrast, for many poten tial return migrants, their family situation abroad was indicated to be their primary motivation for staying in their destination country. This was particularly true when children were involved and these children grew up in the Ecuador as she has grown up in Spain. Ana said res Luca s daughter was married to a German man and they had a child together in Germany. Although they are divorced, her daughter does not wan t to c ome live in Ecuador. Luca said abuelitos y toda la familia paterna all, si ella nace all se siente alemana y entonces Victor said porque sus hijos son


75 s two children who his Ecuadorian wife in England and t hey have had children as well and now has grandchildren who have been born there and who keep her from returning to Ecuador. Significant others can also play an important role. Karina said that even though her mother would like to return to Ecuador to be with her grandchildren, she does not want with his Spanish wife. For a few of the potential return migrants, their family situation w ould actually seem to be a good reason to return home is unmarried, and his extended family continually pleads with brother has no family in Spain and left his ex wife and child behind in Ecuador. wife lives in Italy with their daughter, w hile he lives in Ecuador with their son. Yet these migrants returned meaning that for them other motivations are more important In sum, more of the return migrants had left children behind in Ecuador while more of the potential return mig rants brought their children with them or had children while in their destination Thus, return migrants wanted to be reunited with their


76 children, while potential return migrants do not want to take their children awa y from the place they now call home. Also, more of the potential return migrants married partners in their destination countries. These issues create a major distinction between the two different types of migrants in their dec ision on when or if to return. Conclusions W hile family may have played a very significant role for the majority of migrants, all of the above factors are interrelated and played at least some part for at least some of the migrants in the decision on when or if to return. My results support many of those found by Moran Taylor and Menjvar, Conway, Poitras, St. Bernard, and Ugalde and Langham, whose findings are discussed in Chapter One, while providing a more nuanced understanding of each issue. Regarding the host country, those who were more integrated into the host society, had better language skills, who had achieved some sort of legal status, and who were involved in sending remittances home were more apt to stay abroad rather than return home. The effect of poor treatment or discrimination was unclear. Regarding the home country, return migrants generally had a very positive opinion of the current government; and regarding family, those who brought children with them, had children abroad, or found partners abroad were more likely to stay abroad. Now we shall turn s a Casa. For return migrants, did the Plan play as important of a role as the previous factors in the decision to return? returning? Wou ld it entice any of the potential return migrants to come back? What if there were even more benefits offered? These are issues which I explore in the next chapter.


77 CHAPTER 3 BIENVENID @S A CASA General Information In examining the creation of SENAMI and the establishment of Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa, it is clear that e migration from Ecuador became a distinctly political issue during the elections of 2006, when then candidate Rafael Correa courted the diaspo ra during the electoral cam paign, pr omised that his administration would be the and held several meetings with associations when campaigning abroad As Margheritis (2011) notes in regard to a constant in his political discour s n fact, Correa has had some very strong words to say about the great deal of out migration from Ecuador, calling it and onstruir una patria donde nadie ms tenga que salir y los que salieron Over the past few years, Correa has attempte d to put his words into action and follow through with these promises. SENAMI was created in 2007 as the over seeing agency of Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa which is a part of this attempt. According to op represents a more modern, progressive, and inclusive approach in comparison with traditional migration policies that fall within the sphere of foreign affairs ministries We will examine these traditional policies below and see how


78 political and economic are metaphorical, providing the right to vote and congressional representation, along with easier paths for cash flow s The third is a physical return and constitutes the subject of this investigation. State Led Tr ansnationalism larger international trend with respect to states and their citizens abroad towards the comprehensive inclusion of emigrants into state policies, a led transnationa to this concept, the re is a current tendency of nation states to relabel emigrants as and involve them in all aspects of social, economic, and This trend is also known agents who maintain ties to their homeland. In the case of Ecuador, the Plan can be seen as an interchange between both parties the state and the diaspora. The relationship between the Ecuadorian government and its people is important in understanding why this Plan came about when it did. While some authors argue that these transnational prac tices are solely of a top the Ecuadoria n case contributes to the exist the importance of the role of the state in shaping soc ial involvement in transnational policies and, second, supporting and at the same time expanding some of the arguments based on the importance of the size, economic impact, and level of mobilization of the emigrant community


79 t here are many types of practices used to increase relationships with their diaspora s but most fit into a few specific categories: economic policies, symbolic rhetoric, bureaucratic reforms, and political rights. Economic policies include active ly encouraging or facilitating remittances, which Correa has done with the Correa ha s accomplished through his many speeches addressing migrants abroad. Correa has put in place through the establ ishment of SENAMI. Political rights include the ability to vote from Plan. Correa has thus engage d in all aspects of the heavily studied traditional modes of state led trans nationalism, but there are many aspects of his campaign that are also unique in comparison to other countries. According to Margheritis (2011), these are: the personal involvement of the president, the high status acquired by migr institutions, the interbu reaucratic politics of migration policy, the relationship between the content of the migration discourse and broader issues within domestic politics, and the attempt to export a mode l of state Most significan t to my research, he has encouraged return migration another unique and be the only Latin American country trying to lure its citizens home during the global nja 2009). Although other countries have historically provided


80 small incentives for returning migrants, such as Mexico waiving duties on household goods or Guatemala providing bus tickets home from California (Kopanja 2009) n appears to be t he most comprehensive Aside from simply bringing migrants back, because beyond offering support services, it is luring its nationals back as part of a Added to the rhetoric of re uni ting the broken both at home and abroad, the P ja 2009). Thus, the government sees i ts migrants abroad as a resource to be utilized and, potentially, exploited. We will see how this plays out below. El Cucayo and El Bono The two largest incentives of the Plan are programs known as El Cucayo and El Bono. El Cucayo consists of government funding which provides 25% of the necessary seed money to start a new business. To qualify migrants must have Ecuadorian nationality, have lived abroad for at least one year without returning for more than 60 days, have returned since February 2007 with the intention of staying, and have no legal impediments. Group projects are possible, but individual projects are most common Funds cannot be used to purchase vehicles, constr uct houses, pay debt, pay salaries or for administrative costs. They also can not be used to create businesses which promote liquor consumption; conflict with public morals (e.g. a brothel or motel); involve labor exploitation, violence, or discrimination; or which harm the environment. As of September 2010, 381 migrant proposed bu sinesses have received funds, and


81 these businesses have purportedly created 1,507 new jobs. The state has provided almost $3.5 million in El Cucayo funds, which have been met by $13.6 million in migrant funds (Gobierno Nacional 2010) El Bono de la Vivien da consists of government subsidies for housing. To qualify for El Bono, a migrant must be over the age of 18 with dependents or over the age of 30 with no dependents and have lived outside of Ecuador for at least one year without returning for more than 60 days. Funds can be used to buy a new home or construct one on a lot which the migrant already owns in which case the migrant would receive $5,000. Funds can also be used to improve, enlarge, or finish a home which is already owned, in which case the migrant would receive $1,500. In all cases, the migrant must prove that they currently have at least 15% of the value of the home in savings (Gobierno Nacional 2010) Statistics for how many migrants have benefited from this aspect of the Plan were not av ailable online, but when I met with a MIDUVI employee in person in June 2011, I was told that about 27 families had been approved, that about ten had actually received the funds, and that there would be no more funds available until 2012. Thirteen of the m igrants in my study received benefits from El Cucayo, while two received benefits from El Bono. The businesses which were initiated using funds from El Cucayo were two hostels, two printing businesses, an herbal fragrance business, a seamstress business, business, an electrician business, a farm, a caf, and a construction business. The funds from El Bono were used to purchase new homes in both cases.


82 eport, 11,672 citizens have returned to (Gobierno Nacional 2010 ) However, this number includes all returners who have simply received information from SENAMI, as well as a number of people who were deported against their will or who have returned involuntarily. Even if one accepts this optimistic figure the migrants in my study constitute part of the only three fourths of one percent of the estimated 1.5 million ore chosen to do so? What could compel more migrants to return? These are issues which we will explore in the next section. The Plan and Return Migrant Decision Making Awareness of the Plan The first goal of the program is, of course, to bring migrants home. When trying to understand whether Plan Bienvenid@s is a strong enough incentive to actually do this, I felt it necessary to know how the migrants in my study found out about the program and what they knew about it before they made the decision to re turn. This is important as the success of the program hinges upon whether the government is able to reach migrants in the first place. The majority of the return migrants I interviewed found out about the program while they were still living abroad. C harlie saw an interview with President Correa on a Miami TV station while he was living in the U.S. Lorena attended a news conference in Spain where Correa was discussing the program. Jos and Roberto found out about the program on the news in Spain, whi le William found out on the news in the U.S. All of these migrants applied online before returning to Ecuador.


83 Other migrants also found out about the program while they were still abroad, but the discovery came out of their own initiative, not out of a ctive recruitment by the found out from another friend, and so on. Since her sister knew Gabriela had been interested in leaving Spain, she told her to go to the Ecuadorian embassy in Madrid, which she did, where she received further information. Marcelo in Spain, Elsa in the U.S., and Rosalba in the U.S. all found out while doing their own research online about returning to Ecuador. Jorge found out from a friend while stil l in Bolivia and then researched it himself via the internet. Susana in the U.S. and Fernando in Italy both found out while visiting their respective consulates for non migration related issues. Two migrants did not know about the program at all before re turning to Ecuador. This means that their decision to return was not impacted by the program in any way. Magdalena was told about the program by friends after returning to Ecuador. Mara found out about the Plan after she had already returned while she was awake late at night looking up information for migrants on the internet. She said if she had known esto en Alemania hubiera podido quizs acabar de estudiar. Por q u no supe Aside from Magdalena and Mara, t he majority of the return migrants did know about the program before returning, so we will be analyzing the effects of this knowledge below. By discussing awareness of the program with the other group of interviewees, the family members of potential return migrants I was able to get an idea of whether the Ecuadorian population in general and migrants who are still living abroad are


84 knowledgeable about the Plan Almost all of the family members of pot ential return migrants did not know that the program existed until I interviewed them about it, and thus they did not know if their family members abroad were aware of it either. When I explained some of the aspects of the program to Marlena, whose son l Me voy para all y puedo conversar con la gente, pero esto debe hacer el gobierno porque nadie all tampoco in law had participated in the program, her mother, who still lived abroad in Spain, was not aware of it. Karina sai informado de eso, nunca, nunca ha estado interesada en eso, si ella regresa, regresa A ccording to both interview groups, the government needs to improve the visibility of the program. Lorena said informacin. Falta de informacin, el cnsul se pensar que todos los ecuatorianos promocio Magdalena agreed that sabes qu? M s informacin en el exterior, en las embajadas, los consulados, afuera no se sab e lo que est haciendo. E so s lo recomendara, ellos puede n m ejorar la que ayuden un poquito ms, ya te digo mi madre no sabe nada, entonces no s, hacerles llevar un boleto de que saben que existen los beneficios que est el gobierno


85 Undoubtedly, greater awareness of the progr am would most likely lead to greater utilization, and the government should focus more efforts on getting the word out. Effectiveness of the Plan Even if they did get the word out, how much would the Plan influence migrant decision making? Seemingly n ot m uch. Surprisingly, eight of the 13 return migrants who knew about the program before returning said that it did not influence their decision to return in any way, noting that they had already made the decision before finding out about the program. Rather their decision to return was entirely based on the factors discussed in Chapter Two and not on the government incentives e por m, no por nada que me han dado, lo del Bono vino despus. D ije si estn dando bueno yo puedo calificar, pero no iem Lorena was the same way. She responded that n el 2008 tena ya porq All of t hese migrants had already decided to return, and the Plan was simp ly seen as a bonus upon arrival Three of the migrants, however, stated that although it did not heavily impact their decision to return, the program had at least some sort of influence in the form of


86 encouragement or facilitation It partially affected tuvo la decisin algo que ver all no, que dije bueno hay una oportunidad de volver aqu y hacer algo porque cuando t piensas en regresar dices si puedo armar un proyecto y puedes volver ya no es que comienzas de cero, ya tienes una esperanza de comenzar algo as, que es bueno, as que regresas, se decides y como que le da un aliento ms, le ayuda esta Jorge had already made the decision to return, but the Plan sped up the process. When asked if he would hubiera demorado un ao ms, tal vez un poco ms, pero con SENAMI regres ms Only two of the thirteen migrants who knew of the program beforehand stated that their decision was strongly and primarily influenced by the program. Gabriela said fuerzo grande por la que ya me grab al gobierno a travs de mi presidente hubo la ayuda porque si no, no hubiera She sa lan que el preside nte le invitaba a los migrantes a venir ac, dije my god, empec a leer y deca que te iba a ayudar en esto en el otro, me dije con esta apertura I may have some posibilidad With the exception of these last two interviewees, the program did not influence the decision of the return migrants as much as one might expect if at all But does it or


87 would it ap peal to the migrants who are still living abroad? Probably not. In fact, a lmost all of the family members of the potential return migrants felt that their family members abroad would not be interested in participating in the Plan. Lenin was the only ex ception. When asked if his mother would be interested, con quin contactar, algo s de las noticias pero en s ir a averiguar a ver dnde tengo He asked me for any information about the program that I could provide, which I gave him. However, none of the other family members showed any interest whatsoever Most family members felt that the Plan appeal to migrants at all let alone their own family members, for a variety of reasons related to those discussed in Chapter Two. conso alcanza para nada, para cemento benefici os pero te ponen ms tra vengo y pongo una panadera, no me va a i r bien el negocio, voy a arrepentirme de These interviewees felt that the program, as it stands, does not provide a very strong incentive to return as the


88 benefits are too small, there are no guarantees for success, and there is limited trust in the government Suggestions for Greater Effectiveness sion as much as the government might have anticipated, and it would not seem to appeal to many migrants still living abroad. What could the Plan do then, if anything, in order to attract migrants rants who are contemplating the decision? According to the family members of the potential return migrants, the program would need to offer more incentives to attract more migrants, particularly when it comes to employment. Daniela said the program woul d appeal to migrants if it offered seguro y estable tambin, con un sueldo que s se merece, tal vez, que den trabajo the program better, they would nee On a related note, While complete control of the job market is obviously an impossibility for it would indeed be possible to offer some type of job assistance to returning migrants who are not necessarily business minded entrepreneurs, including migrants who participated in low wage, low skilled labor abroad and who were not able


89 to acquire business specific skills. Assistance could include keeping a running list of available employment opportunities specifically reserved for migrants o r offering like fashion. Programs such as these could possibly lead to a higher degree of utilization of the Plan However, this type of assistance would potentially bring much smaller returns than that provided by assistance to entrepreneurs, and it would most likely reduce total remittances to the country. It could also lead to competition from returning migrants with the unemployed already in Ecuador These complications would detract from the go al of using return migrants to improve which we will explore now The Plan and the Economy The other goal of the program, aside from direct economy in a positive way by bringing entrepreneurs and ski lled professionals home to create jobs, initiate growth, and apply skills learned abroad in the local job market. This impact, however, is reliant on the economic success of returning migrants, which has unfortunately been elusive, as we will see below. Why have these migrants not found a greater degree of success? W hat could SENAMI do to ensure a more prosperous experience for the return migrants? And what barriers stand in the way? Financial Results M ost of the recipients of El Cucayo have had a diffi cult time achieving results in the one to three years since their businesses have been up and running Jos, who Mientras tanto mis ahorros se


90 empresa de mantenimiento de jardines, piscinas, casas, y edificios, s sale algo pero no es lo que As his business is farming, Roberto has had difficulties achieving success due to acogida, no ha habido, la gente es muy, no, no quiere gastarse, este tipo de ma terial es $6 Some of the migrants have had mixed results. When asked if her economic situation had improved since returning to Ecuador, Mara the owner of the herbal fragrance company, Tenemos que ver. Estamos positivos por cuestiones de q ue es una innovacin para el pas. La cosa es que hay que educar a la the high cost of putting their product in stores, so she may continue to find success elusive. Susana used the funds to build a parking lot at her hostel/restaurant business, but has not been able to continue the process due to bureaucratic issues. Nonetheless, when asked if her financial situation had improved, she said


91 tenemos un apoyo para iniciar el negocio eso es bastante. Hay que da r el primer paso Only a few of the migrants reported considerable success, and for two of them, this came only after a period of struggle. Charlie who owns another printing business, n, no en un barrio popular pero comen. M is hijos se fueron a Argentina de paseo, se van a Galpagos en agosto, mi Fernando has had a similar experience unsuccessful at first but now on the upswing. He s tengo, aqu llevo 3 mes es. He said es gusta lo que hago, el precio, la calidad, and h e is optimistic about his future prospects. Gabriela with her sewing company, has had the most positive experience since return Todo el mundo me conoce, cualquier cosa que les haga, me ven aqu, me traen a bu siness been successful, but she was already planning an expansion. On a more negative note however, neither recipient of El Bono reported having been at all successful. Elsa and Rosalba had both applied for El Cucayo and been denied, and thus chose to ap ply for El Bono


92 dnde camino? Para dnde voy? Qu hago? herself los das llamo a amigos pa ra un trabajo pero no importa. Y o aceptara cualquier cosa Thus, most of the recipients of El Cucayo, or the returning entrepreneurs, have found success elusive, while the recipients of El Bono who returned without a business enterprise have not been able to enter into the job market at all. The financial difficulties of these returning migrants may prevent potential return migrants from considering taking part in the program. In order to improve their chances of financial success, t he migrants were able to identify a number of barriers which need to be addressed and removed. Barriers to Success Regarding El Bono, lack of transparency and clear communication about how the program works are clear barriers to migrant success. Both Elsa and Rosalba had difficu lt experiences. Elsa was told that the seller of the apartment would receive the funds and so she paid the price of her apartment minus the $5,000 of El Bono. However, the seller reportedly never received the money and has now been harassing Elsa for it. Rosalba had been under the mistaken impression that she herself would receive the Bono, so she paid for her apartment in full. The seller now refuses to give her the money from El Bono. This reflects poorly on the program and could negatively impact it s appeal, as Rosalba said that she would tell migrants that might be


93 Another barrier to success which affected both groups of retu rnees had to do with a lack of organization at SENAMI which was often attributed to SENAMI being such a young agency. Both Charlie and Lorena were denied the first time they applied for El Cucayo funds, and when they tried to find out what happened, they were told their folders had been lost. Lorena said this was because believed to already be improving. fue muy Roberto agreed, stating pero es que al inicio es as. E s un programa nuevo que por ms que pongas tcnicos en ciertas reas hasta q ue empieza siempre hay fallas. A hora todos estos han tratado de rectificar, de corregir, entonces poco a poco de estos ltimos proyectos deben estar Seemingly, this issue of dis organiza tion may work itself out in time. One barrier almost all of the migrants mentioned which had impeded their success had to do with bureaucracy. Some returning migrants argued that this problem arose from the very beginning of the process, while getting inf ormation at the consulates. Realmente, qu es lo que tiene que ver un consulado? No es slo un bue n puesto


94 ealt with El Cucayo were frustrated with the lack of concern on the part of bureaucrats. pero est perdiendo tiempo e According to these migrants, SENAMI must address the issue of bureaucracy in order to better Some of the migrants argued that a nother large barrier to success was the difficulty they had in accessing credit. El los que venimos un poco perdidos, no sabemos ni sacar un crdito, o sea despus de The Banco del Migrante was proposed in 2007 to meet this purpose but although Correa vowed that the Bank would be underway in 2010 it is still not functional. Without it, many migrants found they did not qualify for a loan or th at interest rates were too high. o a un Plan was that it should be directly connected to the bank and that each beneficiary of El Cucayo or El Bono should simultaneously be awarded a line of credit. Sugges tions for Improvement Clearly, the first way to achieve success would be to address all of the barriers discussed above. Namely, this would include improved tra nsparency and clearer communication with El Bono; and better organization, a reduction in burea ucracy, and greater access to credit with El Cucayo In addition, a few returnees offered various


95 other suggestions. Fernando said that more migrants needed to be involved in detrs de un escritorio en una institucin pblica como la SENAMI son los migrantes Est n haciendo cosas que ni siquiera tiene n Gina argued that the program would be better if SENAMI helped migrants before their actual businesses such as his printing company, provided work that the government needed, then the government should contract with them for that work. Lorena also ment ioned this, stating that the government should contract her cleaning company for work cleaning government offices. This would seem to make a lot of sense, and taking these suggestions into account could provide for better financial results for returning m igrants. Conclusions Regardless of its success in actually bringing migrants home or in improving considered priceless: the emotional impact. p that when she abrieron la puerta del av Jos further argued that cmo decir, humano no? Darnos la bienvenida, de enc aminarnos correctamente, ser


96 haciendo la buena llegada. O sea, le da la autoestima a un a, le levanta no, y eso le da This success may abroad an d help to garner support for the current government. Although it is possible that no government program, no matter how big its incen tives, could influence migrant decision making to the same degree as the factors discussed in Chapter Two, the Plan has the potential to increase its appeal and impact in various ways. By improving awareness and adding incentives such as employment servic es to non entrepreneurs, the government could attract a larger number of migrants. Whether the government is interested in attracting all types of migrants rather than just entrepreneurs is something that is up for discussion. However, by addressing the barriers discussed above and taking into account the suggestions of the return migrants in my investigation, the government could achieve financial success upon return, then the government will have succeeded in its effort toward an improved economy and it will also incite a larger return from migrants abroad who view this success as an indication that return may be a viable option.


97 CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSIONS To revisit my research questions, I set out to understand which factors most significantly influence the decision making process of return migrants to Ecuador in an effort to understand why some migrants return when they do while others do not return at all. In additio n, I set out to investigate how or impacts this decision mak ing process. In this chapter, I summarize the implications of my research, the limitations of my research, and suggestions for future research. Then I discus s what may be the future of migration in Ecuador, as deduced from comments by the return migrants and family member s of potential return migrants. Analysis of Research Implications of the Research My research provide s insight into the Ecuadorian migrant e xperience, and suggest s potentially universal themes in return migration. Regarding motives for migration, most migrants identified financial reasons. Regarding the choice of destination, migrants took into account legal status, language, and social conn ections. The majority of migrants do not leave with the intention of staying forever. Yet some stay longer than they plan and others end up never returning. My research suggests some preliminary factors which seem to affect the decision of how long to stay or whether to return. Regarding host country factors, level of integration into the host society was somewhat important, with those with a lower level of integration returning home and those with a higher level of integration staying abroad. Languag e was also an important factor, with those having purportedly better host country language skills staying abroad


98 and those having less developed language skills returning home. Legal status played a role as well with those having some type of legal statu s staying abroad and those without legal documentation returning home. Financial status was also important, as those who were responsible for providing remittances to family back home were more likely to stay abroad. There was no clear trend regarding di scrimination or poor treatment in the host society. Regarding home country factors, there was a clea r trend of positive opinions toward the current government among returning migrants. However, as similar information was not known for the potential ret urn migrants, it is difficult to make a clear comparison. Nonetheless, political opinions do seem significant. For both sets of migrants, it was undeniable that the type and presence or absence of family played the most important role in the decision mak ing process. As emphasized in Chapter Two, my findings support those of other researchers, particularly those found in the literature review section in Chapter One, but they also provide a more nuanced understanding of each issue. My study thus shows that migrants take into account either a combination or all of the above factors (aside from discrimination, where the relationship was unclear) when deciding when or if to return to Ecuador. Although qualitative data is not usually generalizable, common sens e tells us that these aspects are potentially universal themes related to the decision making process of return migration, particularly among similar migrant sending countries Although I went into the field with the assumption that the effect of Plan Bie nvenid@s a Casa on the return decision making process would be greater, my


99 research shows that for most return migrants the decision to return was not affected by the Plan Also, the decision of the potential return migrants would most likely not be affe cted either. Most felt that the benefits offered were simply not enough to make an impact as the decision making factors listed above were much more important to the return process My conclusions are therefore that the Plan is not cost effective as th e government would most likely need to provide much greater incentives to impact the decision to return. The costs of this would be prohibitive, so the viability of building a developing strategy around encouraging return migration is questionable. As Ma of the Ecuadorian economy on remittances as a second source of foreign exchange, and the limited capacity to offer jobs and good wages to potential returnees, cast doubts on the viability and desirability of such a plan The government should focus its efforts on aiding all returning migrants to be more successful upon return, rather than simply offering incentives which, no matter how large, may never actually work. So why h ave the Plan at all? As the Plan has not been effective in impacting migrant decision making, and as it may not achieve its aim of improving the economy and could actually cause economic harm, it would seem that st to discontinue it. However effective or not, the Plan will most likely stay in place. This is due to goal of linking migration to national problems and a human rights centered discourse as a way of strengthening the identity of his politic al coali t 2011: 207).

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100 both at home and abroad, it may stick around for quite some time. So i f the Plan is going to remain in place, improvements should be made. E fforts are needed to increase the visib ility and awareness of the Plan, and this may help to increase the number of returners. One suggestion on how to improve the attractiveness of the Plan would involve offering employment assistance for migrants who ar e not entrepreneurs. Another would be to ensure the financial success of the returning migrants in order to appeal to potential return migrants. To achieve this financial success with recipients of El Bono, the government would need to improve transparen cy and communic ation regarding how the program works. To achieve success with El Cucayo, the government would need to improve program organization, decrease bureaucracy, increase access to credit, and promote the involvement of migrants within the ministr y. These strategies could make the Plan more effective. Limitations of the Research The clearest and most significant limitation of my research is the use of family members as a proxy for the migrants who continue to live abroad. I could potentially hav e interviewed the migrants themselves over the phone, but this would have been a very impersonal interaction where it would have been difficult to establish rapport. I also could have interviewed migrants in person who were still living abroad, but this w ould have been limited to the U.S. due to ease of access. That would have detracted from the international orientation of my research, and it could also have introduced more confidentiality issues regarding legal documentation. It is for these reasons t hat I chose to use family members instead. However, this meant that all of the information I received regar ding migrants abroad was second hand, which co uld have reduced its validity; f amily members could have introduced their

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101 own opinions instead of the scope of my research. Nonetheless, the information which they provided me still offers certain insights into migr ant behavior, as outlined above. Another limitation is the lack of controls. I did not control for age, sex, income, or occupation of the migrants nor for year of departure, destination country, motives for leaving, or amount of time spent abroad. I did not control for the relationship between the family m embers and the migrants abroad, and I did not control for involvement in El Bono or El Cucayo among the return migrants All of these factors could have led to the interviewees having very different ex periences and motivations for return, and perhaps by controlling for specific traits I could have come up with clearer results. I attempted to control for location by interviewing only those migrants who were from the capitol city of Quito. However, due t o the difficulties I encountered in finding informants, I had to rely on subjects with whom contact was easier to establish in the eastern city of Tena. Also, although the family members of the migrants abroad were from Quito, not all of the actual migran ts were originally from Quito. Migrant populations are mobile, and some had lived in Quito only temporarily. Of course, migrants from urban Quito and rural Tena, along with migrants from other towns and cities, could have very d ifferent motivations for r eturn, and this could have skewed my results as well. A significant limitation of my research is my lack of analysis of the implications of gender and migration. Gender impacts the experience of migration in various ways. Women are more likely to send re mi ttances home (Ehrenreich 2007 ) and to be more emotionally affected by l eaving children behind (ibid. ). orientation towards the

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102 home and host country can also differ from that of men: women can often feel more liberated in the host country throug h increased employment and financial control and thus they may shift their allegiance from the home country to the host country (Vertovec 2009 Herrera 2005 ). Or, particularly in the case of Ecuador, the opposite may be true: women may feel degraded by t he type of work they are relegated to, which may negatively affect their self esteem and shift their allegiance back home (Camacho Z. 2009 Herrera 2005 ). All of these differences may impact the decision to return in different ways I did not encounter any significant differences between the women and men in my study, but i n any case, it would have added to the strength of my work had I taken into account las mujeres dan sentido a su experiencia migratoria: la compra de tierra, la vivienda, el rol de proovedora frente a los hijos; y tambien a travs de lo cual se explican muchas de las percepciones acerca de su actual insercin laboral (Herrera 2005: 299). Other limita tions arise from the nature of collecting qualitative data both in general and as a foreign researcher As an American graduate student who is not a member of the local community, it is possible that interviewees did not feel comfortable expressing their true ideas and opinions with me. Also, although I tried to allow for a great deal of flexibility in order to allow interviewees to express what they felt was most important, there were certain themes which I may have emphasized more heavily according to m y own interests and my results may therefore be subjective Additionally, while 30 interviews are substantial, having the time to interview a great deal more people could have provided clearer results. Unfortunately qualitative

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103 data is not normally gene ralizable, so my research cannot be extensively applied to the migrant experience as a whole. These are all limitations which could be addressed in future research. Suggestions for Future Research One suggestion for future research would involve using qua ntitative data by surveying a large amount of return migrants from Ecuador. The survey could involve a number of potential factors which may be taken into account when contemplating return, course, this would involve a priori assumptions about what factors are important to migrants, but my research could serve as a jumping off point of potential themes to investigate. A quantitative survey such as this could rank factor s in importance of impact on return migrant decision making. compare programs from different countries to see which ones are more successful than others. For this reason, it would be helpful to conduct t he same type of study f or migrants who are still abroad, ranking the factors which have played into the decision not to return (or to not yet return ). Although many of these factors might be outside the control, understanding their importance could give the government insight into developing a program which would deal with the main constraints on returning. This would help them to streamline the program and focus on the most important aspects which migh t tip the balance of decision making in favor of return Additionally a qualitative study could be undertaken among migrants abroad to give their own suggestions of what type of incentives they would find most appealing

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104 rather than letting the governme nt come up with incentives through an interpretation of the reasons migrants have not returned Although there are constraints which might prevent these migrants from returning no matter the circumstances understanding exactly what the migrants themselve s would want in a program might increase the However, it is also possible that Ecuador may eventually find that bringing migrants home has poor economic consequences in the long run and they may decide to abandon the Plan altogether. A final suggestion for building upon my research would involve a cross country comparison. It would be interesting to undertake qualitative research in other countries involving in depth interviews of return migrants and migr ants who continue to live in the decision making process regarding return could be very different for migrants from Europe or Africa, for example. The factors could also be different for migrants in specific destination countries. In addition, they could be different for migrants whose initial decision to leave was involuntary (such as political refugees or migrants fleeing conflict or natural disaster). Comparing the e xperiences of differing types of migrants across many different borders could provide insight into universal themes of return migration. The Future of Migration in Ecuador What is going to happen to migration in Ecuador now that the government has made it clear that it hopes potential migrants will decide to stay rather than go abroad? Is the culture of migration changing? Do Ecuadorians still see migrating abroad as their best option for getting ahead in life? While the streams of migration will most l ikely be much smaller than those resulting from the economic crisis of the late 1990s and early

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105 2000s migration is still seen as a possibility for many Ecuadorians, as evidenced by my groups of interviewees. Return Migrants Slightly more than half of the return migrants stated that they would not consider migrating again no matter what. Tellingly, the majority of these migrants were the same ones who had achieved some type of positive financial results since returning. o de paseo, ya irme no, ya nos compramos una casa, mi When asked if she would leav tengo que estar, no puedo abandonar. Para el negocio tiene que estar el dueo, si no, About a third of the migrants stated emphatically that their desire is to stay i n Ecuador, but that due to circumstances they cannot rule out leaving again. Jorge said econmicas. Tengo dos hijas, quieren ir a la universidad. Si es que no alcanza hay que bus el final. Pero no se descarta la idea de irme, digo si al final no puedo conseguir, hay

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106 podemos decir ya no, nadie sabe lo que pasar en el futuro, no sabemos, pero mi aqu ahora, mi prioridad es establecerme aqu Pero uno no se puede decir nunca. Two of the return migrants expressed some sense of regret about their return to Ecuador, and although they had no direct plans to leave again, they seemed to be fairly open to it. Rosalba felt stronger about potenti ally leaving. She has had difficulties with El Bono and has achieved limited financial success since returning. parada, probablemente no hubiera venid me quedo aqu ya por mi familia, voy a tratar, tengo un negocio, es muy difcil botar un ne vez la nica cosa que me mantiene aqu es mi familia y el plan de seguir con mi Given the right circumstances, these migrants would no doubt migrate again. Two of the migrants stated that although they would not consider leaving Ecuador again, they could imagine their children doing so. aqu en Ecuador no se ha pensado de ninguna manera regresar, si a lo mejor qu s yo, mis hijas por hacer un posgrado, algo, pero de all no, ms por estudio podra salir These migrants felt that they had already

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107 It appears that the majority of return migrants strongly desire to stay in Ecuador and will purportedly not choose to re migrate. However, the cycle of migration may continue through the return migrants ough those migrants themselves who see re migration as a viable option under specific circumstances Now we will look at those who have been impacted second hand by migration. Having seen their family members leave home for long periods of time to potentially never return, would these interviewees consider leaving as well? Family Members of Potential Return Migrants Only six of these interviewees stated that they would not consider migration as a possibility for themselves in the future Karina said she would not think about leaving: hambre, nunca, ac vivimos muy When asked if she would leave, Porque cada vez que salgo para all no, he visto y he escuchado a personas que han sido tratados mal, que no salgo de mi pas ni por nada, porque m A few of the family members, like the return migrants, said that it would depend on the circumstances. quedarme, sino que all en Espaa, bueno en Europa hay muchos posgrados ex

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108 no lo hara, es que yo estoy segura de lo que digo en este momento, si en el futuro presenta una crisis como la que thought about it previously but had changed his mind af de conocerle a ella s tena planteado irme all con ellos, pero ya le conoc, ahora s ha Perhaps if his girlfriend were able to go as well, he would reconsider the decision to leave A few of the family memb ers of potential return migrants were openly enthusiastic about the idea of leaving. Luis said that he would absolutely leave if it definitivamente s, estoy a punto, a punto de irme porque en verdad es por 2 razones, porque s creo que encuentras mejores cosas all, mejores empleos, y porque me For now at least, Ecuadorian s will continue to leave thei r country, for better or worse. In fact, the 2006 INEC study reported that throughout Ecuador, over 15% of households had at least one member who was currently considering migration (INEC 2008: 46). This problem is not going away, and the government will continue to face the decision of what to do about it. Conclusion Although there exists a large amount of literature regarding the decision making process of migrants who have left their home countries, there is decidedly less published information about the decision to return. My research has attempted to

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109 address this shortage by answering the question of why certain Ecuadorian migrants go home when they do and why others continue to live abroad. It has also attempted to ans Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa, can influence this decision making process. I have shown that integration, language, legal status, and financial situation in the destination coun situation affect the decision to stay or return much more strongly than the government program. The Plan had little to no impact on the decision making process of the majority of return migr ants, which leads me to conclude that the Plan as it stands is not cost effective I have offered suggestions of how this program could be more successful as well as suggestions for future research which could build upon this investigation in order to bet ter understand the phenomenon of return migration. As incentives to migrate are likely to remain strong; as transnational ties to home continue to grow; and as the mobility of migrants is likely to only increase over time, the study of return migration is an important field of research which deserves greater attention. Hopefully this investigation, and the migrant experiences it shares have succeeded in demonstrating that importance.

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110 APPENDIX A : INFORMED CONSENT Estimado/a participante, Soy estudiante d e maestra en el programa de Estudios Latinoamericanos en la Universidad de Florida. Como parte de la investigacin de mi tesis me gustara entrevistarle para aprender cmo los migrantes de retorno y los migrantes de retorno potenciales conceptualizan los costos y beneficios de la migracin de retorno, especficamente a travs del Plan Bienvenid@s a Casa de Ecuador. Le estoy pidiendo su participacin porque Usted ha sido identificado/a como fuente de informacin valiosa. La entrevista no durar ms que una hora. Usted no tendr que dar respuestas a ninguna pregunta si no se siente cmodo/a. La entrevista ser conducida en privado. Con su permiso, la entrevista ser grabada para facilitar la coleccin de los datos. Slo yo tendr acceso a la grabacin la cual yo personalmente transcribir, eliminando todos los identificadores. Despus, la grabacin ser borrada. Su identidad se quedar confidencial en todos momentos segn las leyes de los EE.UU., y no ser relevada en mi proyecto final. No hay rie sgos anticipados ni compensacin ni beneficios que Usted recibir como participante en la entrevista. Usted puede retirar su consentimiento o terminar su participacin en cualquier momento sin consecuencias. Si Usted tiene preguntas sobre este proceso, por favor contcteme por email a o a mi asesor la Dra. Carmen Diana Deere a Se puede dirigir preguntas o preocupaciones sobre sus derechos como participante a la oficina de IRB02, University of Florida, Box 112250, G ainesville, FL 32611; (352) 392 0433. Atentamente, Krystal Anderson

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111 APPENDIX B : INTERVIEW QUESTIONS RETURN MIGRANTS Datos Generales 1. Me podra decir su nombre? Y su fecha de nacimiento? 2. Hace cunto tiempo que se volvi al Ecuador? D nde viva antes? Cundo se fue para all? Cunto tiempo vivi all? Decisin de Irse 3. Qu estaba haciendo aqu en Ecuador antes de irse? 4. Cundo empez a pensar en irse del pas? 5. Cules fueron algunas de las razones por las cuales decidi irse? 6. Co n quin habl de su decisin? 7. Por qu el pas que escogi y no otros? Experiencia Afuera 8. Tena familia/amigos all? 9. Con quin viva? 10. Qu estaba haciendo all? Escuela? Trabajo? Qu tipo de trabajo? 11. Cmo fue su situacin financiera antes de deja r al Ecuador? Cambi mientras viva afuera? 12. Estaba involucrado en mandar remesas? 13. Se senta como forastero/desconocido en el pas anfitrin? Por qu s o no? Se asimil? 14. Cmo manejaba el lenguaje? 15. Cmo le trataban los que vivan en el pas? 16. Fue fcil hacerse amigos con la gente de all? Encontr a una comunidad ecuatoriana? 17. Haba algunas costumbres de all que no le gustaban? Y otras que s le gustaban? 18. Cules fueron algunas de las cosas que extraaba del Ecuador mientras que estaba afuera? 19. Cules fueron algunas de las cosas que no extraaba? O sea, que estaba contento/a de dejar atrs? Decisin de Regresar 20. Cuando se fue, planeaba quedarse afuera para siempre? Se qued el tiempo que planeaba? O ms? Menos? Por qu? 21. Cundo empez a pensar en regresar al Ecuador? 22. Cules fueron algunas de las razones por las cuales consideraba volver? 23. Con quin habl de su decisin? 24. Haba algunas razones por las cuales no quera volver? Como qu? Los Beneficios

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112 25. Cmo se enter del Plan Bienveni dos a Casa? 26. Cmo afect su decisin de volver? 27. Cules fueron algunos de los beneficios que utiliz? 28. Cmo fueron sus interacciones con SENAMI? 29. Tena fe que el gobierno iba a cumplir con lo prometido? 30. Cree que se hubiera vuelto sin los beneficios de la SENAMI? Situacin Actual 31. Qu hace en el Ecuador ahora? Qu tipo de trabajo? Son esquiles que aprendi afuera? 32. Cmo ha cambiado su situacin financiera desde que se volvi al Ecuador? 33. Cmo ha sido su reinsercin en la vida de aqu? 34. Cul tipo de reac cin ha recibido despus de volverse al Ecuador? 35. Cree que su decisin de regresar fue buena? Por qu s o no? 36. Cunto tiempo piensa quedarse en el Ecuador ahora? 37. Se ve volviendo afuera otra vez? Si s, cules seran algunas de las razones? 38. Hay algun as cosas que extraa de donde viva afuera? 39. Hay algunas cosas que no extraa? Preguntas Generales 40. Tiene algunos pensamientos generales sobre la emigracin hacia afuera? 41. Qu cree que son los beneficios de emigrar? Y los costos? 42. Para mi proyecto esto y entrevistando a migrantes de retorno y migrantes de retorno potenciales. Tendra Usted informacin de contacto para otros migrantes que han vuelto al Ecuador o para las familias de algunos migrantes que siguen afuera?

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113 APPENDIX C : INTERVIEW QUESTIONS POTENTIAL RETURN MIGRANTS Datos Generales 1. Me podra decir su nombre? Y su fecha de nacimiento? 2. Qu hace usted aqu en Ecuador? 3. Quin en la familia est viviendo fuera? 4. En qu lugar? 5. Cundo se fue para all? 6. Qu estaba haciendo aqu en Ecuador an tes de irse? Decisin de Irse 7. Cundo empez a pensar en irse del pas? 8. Cules fueron algunas de las razones por las cuales decidi irse? 9. Con quin habl sobre su decisin? 10. Por qu el pas que escogi y no otros? Experiencia Afuera 11. Tiene familia/ami gos all? 12. Con quin vive? 13. Qu est haciendo all? Escuela? Trabajo? Qu tipo de trabajo? 14. Cmo fue su situacin financiera antes de dejar al Ecuador? Se ha cambiado? 15. Manda remesas? 16. Conoce mucho sobre su experiencia de vivir afuera? Se ha asim ilado? 17. Cmo maneja el lenguaje? 18. Cmo le tratan los que viven en el pas? Experiencia Aqu 19. Qu pens de su decisin de irse? 20. Cmo ha afectado a la familia? 21. Otros se han ido? 22. Usted ha pensado en irse del pas? Por qu s o no? Decisin de Regresar 23. Planea quedarse afuera para siempre? Se ha quedado ms tiempo que esperaba? Por qu? 24. Ha pensado en regresar al Ecuador? 25. Cules son algunas de las razones por las cuales ha considerado volverse? 26. Por qu todava no se ha vuelto? Los Beneficios 27. Conoce mucho sobre el Plan Bienvenidos a Casa?

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114 28. Cree que ha afectado la decisin de otros migrantes de volver? Qu podran hacer para afectar la decisin? 29. La gente tiene fe que el gobierno pueda cumplir con lo prometido? Preguntas Generales 30. Tiene algunos pen samientos generales sobre la emigracin hacia afuera? 31. Qu cree que son los beneficios de emigrar? Y los costos? 32. Para mi proyecto estoy entrevistando a migrantes de retorno y migrantes de retorno potenciales. Tendra Usted informacin de contacto para otros migrantes que han vuelto al ecuador o para las familias de algunos migrantes que siguen afuera?

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115 APPENDIX D: ESTIMATES OF INTERNA TIONAL MIGRATION FRO M ECUADOR Table A 1 International migration from Ecuador, 1976 2007. Sour ce: FLACSO UNFPA 2008. Table A 2. International migration from Ecuador by periods. S ource: INEC 2008.

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116 LIST OF REFERENCES Camacho Z., Gloria. (2009) Mujeres Migrantes: Trayectoria Laboral y Perspectiva de Desarrollo Humano Quito: A bya Yala. Cassarino, Jean Pierre. (2004) Theorising Return Migration: The Conceptual Approach to Return Migrants Revisited. International Journal on Multicultural Societies 6 (2): 253 279. Conway, Dennis. (2005) an Enduring Fixture The Experience of Return Migration: Caribbean Perspectives edited by Robert B. Potter Dennis Conway, and Joan Phillips. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Deere, Carmen Diana and Jackeline Contreras Daz. (2011) Acumulacin de Activos: Una Apuesta por la Equidad Quito: FLACSO. Dustmann, Christian. ( 2001 ) Why Go Back? Ret urn Motives of Migrant Workers. In International Migration: Trends, Policies, and Economic Impact edited by Slobodan New York : Routledge. Eh renreich, Barbara and Arlie Russell Hochschild. (2002) Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy New York: Metropolitan Books. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales United Nations Population Fund (FLACSO UNFPA). (2008) E cuador: La Migracin Internacional en Cifras Quito: FLACSO. Gobierno Nacional de la Repblica del E cuador. (2010) Informe de Rendicin de Cuentas 2007 2010 Quito: SENAMI Herrera, Gioconda. (2005) Mujeres Ecuatorianas en las Cadenas Globales del Cu idado. In La Migracin Ecuatoriana: Transnacionalismo, Redes e Identidades edited by Gioconda Herrera, Mara Cristina Carrillo, and Alicia Torres. Quito: FLACSO. Instituto Nacional de Estadstica y Censos (INEC). (2008) Caracterizacin Sociodemogrfic a y Econmica de las y los Emigrantes Ecuatorianos Quito: INEC. Itzigsohn, Jos. ( 2000 ) Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship: The Institutions International Migration Review 34 (4): 1126 1155. Jokis ch, Brad. ( 2007 ) Ecuador: Diversity in Migration. Migration Information Source Retrieved February 19, 2011. ( )

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117 Kopanja, Jelena. ( 2009 ) Reverse Migration: Ecuador Lures Immigrants Back Home from U.S. and Spain. Feet in Two Worlds September 4. Retrieved February 19, 2011. ( migration ecuador lures immigrants back home from u s and spain/ ). Kyle, David. (2000) Transnational Peasants: Migrations, Networks, and Ethnicity in Andean E cuador Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. Kyle, David and Brad D. Jokisch. (2008) Ecuadorian International Migration. In The Ecuador Reader: History, Culture, Politics edited by Carlos de la Torre and Steve Striffler. Durham and London: Duke University Press. Levitt, Peggy and Rafael de la Dehesa. ( 2003 ) Transnational Migration and the Redefinition of the State: Variations and Explanations. Ethnic & Racial Studies 26 (4): 587 611. Paradoxes of Innovative State led Transnationalism in Ecuador. International Political Sociology 5 (2): 198 217. Massey, Douglas et al. ( 1993 ) Theories of International Mig ration: a Review and Appraisal. Population and De velopment Review 19 (3): 431 66. Moran Taylor, Michelle and Cecilia Menjvar. ( 2005 ) Unpacking Longings to Return: Guatemalans and Salvadorans in Phoenix, Arizona. International Migration 43 (4): 91 119. Poitras, Guy. ( 1982 ) Return Migration from the United States to Costa Rica and El Salvador. In Return Migration and Remittances: Developing a Caribbean Perspective edited by William F. Stinner, Klaus de Albuquerque, and Roy S. Bryce Laporte. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute. Pribilsky, Jason. (2007) La Chulla Vida: Gender, Migration, & the Family in Andean Ecuador & New York City Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. Ragazzi, Francesco. ( 2009 ) Governing Diasporas. International Political Sociology 3 (4): 378 397. Ramrez Gallegos, Frankli n and Jacques Paul Ramrez. (2005) La Estampida Migratoria Ecuatoriana: Crisis, Redes Transnacionales y Repertorios de Accin Migratoria Quito: Abya Yala. Reddy, Sumathi. ( 2009 ) Ecuador Urge s Immigrants to Come Back Home. Newsday July 20. Retrieved February 19, 2011. ( urges immigrants to come back home 1.1319403 ).

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118 Silverstein, Andrew. ( 2009 ) Ecuadorians in New Y ork City Mull a Migration Home. Voices that must be Heard June 26. Retrieved February 19, 2011. ( ). St. Bernard, Godfrey. ( 2005 ) Return Motivations to Trinidad and Tobago: Motives, Consequences and the Prospect of Re Migration. In The Experience of Return Migration: Caribbean Perspectives edited by Robert B. Potter, Dennis Conway, and Joan Phillips. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Tamariz, Ernesto Andrade. ( 2009 ) Bienvenidos a Casa. ForoDemocrtico April 20. Retrieved February 19, 2011. ( a casa ). Ugalde, Antonio and Thomas C. Langham. ( 1982 ) International Return Migration: Socio Demographic Determinants of Return Migration to the Do minican Republic. In Return Migration and Remittances: Developing a Caribbean Perspective edited by William F Stinner, Klaus de Albuquerque, and Roy S. Bryce Laporte. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute. Vertovec, Steven. (2009) Transnationalism London and New York: Routledge.

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119 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Krystal Anderson is a candidate for the degree of Ma ster o f Arts in Latin American s tudies at the University of Florida She specialized in d evelopment s tudies an d focused on return migration to Ecuador She held a graduate assistantship at the UF Center for Latin American Studies and received a Summer Field Re search Travel Grant to undertake this research. She is from Walla Walla, Washington and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Arts in g lobal studies with a concentration in development and social j ustice in 2007 from Pacific Luthe ran University in Tacoma, WA. While at the University of Florida she served as the Vice Presiden t for the Student Association for Latin American Studies.