chapter  7
22 Pages

“Luchando por una Vida Nueva”: A Socio-Spatial Analysis of Academic Aspirations among Rural Latino Students in the US South


In the past two decades, the Latino population in the southern US has increased dramatically, particularly in North Carolina, where the number of Latinos living in the state doubled between 2000 and 2010 (US Census Bureau 2010). This boom has naturally aff ected the education system: the growth of Latino students enrolled in North Carolina public schools increased nearly fi vefold between 1999 and 2009 to more than 150,000 (NCPS 2009). In some counties, Latino students currently account for more than 25% of the total student population (see Figure 7.1). Projections suggest that both the total number and proportion of Latino students in North Carolina public schools will continue to grow. Such a rapid increase created well-documented struggles between residents and newcomers in the new destination communities, and are particularly focused on how both could begin to build community and schools together (Villenas 2002).