[Temporary migration in Malinalco. Subsistence agriculture in times of crisis] Migracion temporal en Malinalco. La agricultura de subsistencia en tiempos de crisis.
This study of peasant households in two settlements in the Municipio of Malinalco, in the southern part of the state of Mexico, demonstrates the dependence of households on multiple economic activities including temporary migration. In a context of deteriorating agricultural conditions and of dependence on sources of income outside agriculture, the age and sex composition of the family and the characteristics of nearby labor markets determine the mobility patterns of household members. Focusing on households as the unit of analysis reveals the contribution of temporary migration and wage work to the subsistence of peasant families. Temporary migration is a substitute for definitive rural-urban migration which favors larger households with more young people and adults. The two communities were chosen to illustrate the extremes of conditions in Malinalco. The suburbanized barrio of San Martin represents the best local conditions for agricultural production as well as access to communication. Noxtepec de Zaragoza exemplifies the most extreme situation of soil impoverishment and lack of services and communication facilities. The first two chapters describe the theoretical background of the study and the regional context of labor migration, and discuss recent economic conditions in the state of Mexico and the social characteristics of the population. The history and characteristics of the municipio of Malinalco and of the two study communities are then described. The final three chapters compare the two communities in terms of temporary migration as a household strategy, the agricultural activity and living conditions of households and their relationship to temporary migration, and the demographic components of households and migrant characteristics.