Gina Hakim

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Irvine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10113

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Hakim, Gina (California, Irvine, U. of) "Migrant Infrastructure Innovation: Building Public Works Across Borders"

GINA HAKIM, then a graduate student at University of California, Irvine, California, was awarded funding in April 2021 to aid research on ‘Migrant Infrastructure Innovation: Building Public Works Across Borders,’ supervised by Dr. Kim Fortun. In the highlands of Michoacan in Central Western Mexico, the residents of the village of Urequ’o have built and managed their own water infrastructure, drawing on a network of aquifers and groundwater sources that by 1995 provided all 700 residents access to potable water. In the absence of sufficient municipal and state support, residents have drawn on partnerships with former residents who migrated to the United States. Living primarily in the California cities of Wilmington and Long Beach, migrants participate in the creation of infrastructural possibility in Urequ’o, through fundraising and remittances as well as participation in the conceptualization and care of infrastructure projects. This study examines Urequ’o’s infrastructure actors, the kinds of expertise they have mobilized, and the processes they have relied on to move from identification of needs to infrastructure design, development, and governance. Focusing on how this transnational community is navigating threats to groundwater, this research examines the processes and exchanges that support infrastructural innovation and includes the participatory creation of an archive, documenting the cross-border processes of collaborative infrastructure knowledge exchange and production.