Brother Towns is a story of two towns linked by immigration, family, and work: Jacaltenango, a highland Maya town in Guatemala; and Jupiter, a coastal resort town where many Jacaltecos have settled in Florida.

Brother Towns chronicles a story of how and why people migrate across borders, how people make and remake their communities when they travel thousands of miles from home, and how people maintain families despite their travel. Because we are all immigrants, this is a universal human story, and a quintessential American one. All of us understand family.

Brother Towns is also a story of local and international controversy. News of undocumented immigrants is familiar in nearly every community across the U.S., and citizens must choose how they respond to this issue.

Our story includes voices of those opposed to undocumented immigrants as well as advocates helping migrants who seek work and hope, whether documented or not.

This web site provides resources for helping to understand and address this issue responsibly. As Brother Towns raises some important human rights issues, ultimately we hope the story inspires you to action. This site is filled with links to other organizations and sites for your further research. Many of these organizations need volunteers or other forms of support to keep up their work. The Study Guide featured on this site is another tool we offer you here for starting conversations in your communities to raise awareness and go deeper into these issues.

Welcome to Brother Towns, a place where there are no easy answers, but where emotions of every sort abound. Families are like that.


A project of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University


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