The Untold History Of Mexican Workers In Arizona

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 3:08pm
Updated: Friday, February 26, 2021 - 8:03am
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In Arizona’s business community, we often hear the line that our number one trading partner is Mexico. But the impact of Mexican workers in our state also has shaped our state’s economy for longer than our state has been a state.

In the new anthology, "Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona," editors Luis Plascencia and Gloria Cuadraz explore what they call the elastic supply of labor that Mexico has supplied to the Southwest and how it’s made our way of life here possible.

The book covers a vast period — from the 1860s to 2017 — and begins as far back as the settlement of the Salt River Valley where there were about 1000 people of Mexican descent when the Treaty of Guadalupe was signed, according to Cuadraz. Ever since, she said, there has been a flow of people from Mexico into this area.

But she and her co-editor realized there was a gap in the literature about Mexican workers in Arizona.

The Show spoke to them about how they worked to fix that.

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