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"

In the highlands of Michoacán in Central Western Mexico, the residents of the village of Urequío have built and managed their own water infrastructure, drawing on a network of aquifers and springs that provided all 700 residents access to running water by 1994. In the absence of municipal and state support, residents have drawn on partnerships with former residents who migrated to the United States. Living primarily in the Southern California cities of Wilmington and Long Beach, migrants participate in the creation of infrastructural possibility in Urequío, not only through the sending of remittances but through active participation in the conceptualization, design, and care of infrastructure projects. The study will examine Urequío’s infrastructure actors, the kinds of expertise they have mobilized and the processes they have relied on to move from the identification of needs to infrastructure design, development and governance. Focusing on how this transnational community is navigating current contamination threats to groundwater sources, my research examines the processes and exchanges that support infrastructural innovation and includes the participatory creation of a infrastructure archive, documenting the cross-border processes of collaborative infrastructure knowledge exchange and production.