Professor of International Studies, California State University, Long Beach

Caitlin E. Fouratt's dissertation, Presences and Absences: Nicaraguan Migration to Costa Rica and Transnational Families, explores the intimate connections between Nicaraguan migrants in Costa Rica and their families in Nicaragua in order to understand how economic crisis, environmental pressures, and failed government policies contribute to the reconfiguration of care and kinship among transnational families.

She argues that Nicaraguan transnational families cannot be understood in terms of an idealized or romanticized nuclear family but rather must be examined in the context of the decades of political, social, and economic crises that have plagued Nicaragua and the constantly shifting legal landscape of Costa Rica. For Nicaraguans, migration represents a strategy of caring for loved ones in the face of absent or failed forms of public care such as healthcare, education, and social security. However, for transnational families, the instabilities of Nicaraguan family-life are further complicated by the uncertainties migrants face in Costa Rica, including repressive immigration laws, poverty, and xenophobia.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of International Studies, California State University, Long Beach