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Food and Field Work in Guatemala

Fried plantains with fruit, several plantain recipes below 
In the 1990s I did research in Guatemala at the Archivo Nacional in Guatemala City on the social history of the railroad and banana industry in Central America. Railroad contractors had established work camp the lowland area and used “labor agents” to recruit workers in New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston with the promise of higher paying jobs and in better food then they could find elsewhere. For example, in 1885 Labor agent A. M. Parker offered Con Hickey from Iowa and 168 other men in New Orleans “a pay of two dollars per day. . . good accommodation and healthy food.” After they arrived in Guatemala Hicky told U. S. State Department officials that he “had to build a shelter for myself and [I] was served . . . bad and damaged provisions [food] for which I was made to pay a high price.” These men and some women were itinerant workers and I wanted to know, did migrating to Guatemala provide greater opportunity than the United States offered at the time. Did black workers from the United States who faced Jim Crow segregation and black Jamaican workers who came from societies marked by British colonialism eat better and live better by migrating to Guatemala? Dating back to the Atlantic slave trade, plantains became a staple in Guatemala, other parts of Latin America, and Africa. Plantains are indigenous to Asia.

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Plantain Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=fried+plantains

Guatemala Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Guatemala+

Eating While Poor Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Eating+While+Poor

Pork-mania in Iberian America

Food and History in Washington, DC Pt 3