Peruvian Highland Indigenous Sheepherders in the USA: A Case Study

  • Teofilo Altamirano
Part of the Immigrants and Minorities, Politics and Policy book series (IMPP)


The chapter links indigenous international migration from the Peruvian Andes, the process of social and cultural adaptation of shepherds working in the American west, and the financial and familial effects of migration in Peru. This migration is not new, as the first migrants arrived in 1971. While their adaptation was relatively easy in the first three decades, conflicts later emerged between the owners of ranges and workers. One reason was the slow economic growth of the range industry, partly due to reduced demand for wool, which was increasingly replaced by silk and chemical cloth from China, Central America, and South America. The supply of labor also became greater than the demand in several ranges. Labor disputes about salary and the living conditions of shepherds also became common, and migrant shepherds typically endure isolation and social exclusion. In addition, family disintegration became a problem, as women in Peru were not allowed to become migrant workers and join their spouses. Nevertheless, remittances are an important benefit of migration, as they increase family income.


Migrant Worker Return Migration Illegal Immigrant Political Violence Home Community 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teofilo Altamirano
    • 1
  1. 1.Univ. of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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