The Role of Natural Hazards and Climate Change in Migration from Central America to the US




Arellano-Thompson, Elise Breann

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This thesis analyzes the environmental migration phenomenon originating in the Mexico and Central America region. Combining both semi-structured interviews and a content analysis of secondary IPCC and NHC documents, this study aims to answer two important research questions: How are climate change and hydrometeorological hazards affecting individual’s motivations to migrate? And, what relationship, if any, exists between hazard events and migration patterns from Mexico and Central America to the US? A series of 45 interviews and participant observation together with an examination of IPCC and NHC documents provide nuance on the multi-faceted issue of climate-induced migration. This research suggests that the complexities of migration, when considering multiple intersecting drivers, makes the climate-migration relationship complex to universally define. While the uniqueness of each region’s specific drivers and each individual’s journey and experiences ultimately affect migration decisions, hydrometeorological hazards do play a role in influencing people’s decisions.



Environmental migration, Mexico and Central America, Hydrometeorological hazards, US-Mexico border


Arellano-Thompson, E. B. (2022). <i>The role of natural hazards and climate change in migration from Central America to the US</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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