Friday, August 21, 2009

An Analogy

[Cuparaque, Brazil] has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in remittances from abroad, making it a living example of one of the most talked-about development tools of recent years. But while private dollars have improved private lives, fundamental infrastructure is still badly lacking: Cuparaque, with a population of 4,300, doesn’t yet have a hospital, the drinking water system is faulty and the only way into town is a half-hour drive down a dirt road that becomes impassable in rain. And the influx of money brought few new jobs beyond house construction. Sueli Siqueira, a ­Brazilian ­sociologist who studies return migration to the region, has found that money earned by emigrants abroad has rarely generated ­sustainable employment opportunities.

How migration transformed Martha's Vineyard