Probably the most dramatic impact on community development and urban
growth in Baja California Sur is migration. In-migration from
foreign tourists, ex-patriates, and seasonal visitors, mainly from
the U.S. and Canada, is accelerating the growth rate and bringing
cultural changes to many urban areas in the state. This surge in
tourism-related economic growth is also bringing a second type of
migration to the state – workers from other parts of Mexico seeking
a better economic future. Not all of these migrants flock to the
coast for construction and tourism services jobs, however; migrant
workers also labor in the fertile valleys near Todos Santos and in
Comondú for up to eight months of the year.
California Sur, migrants accounted for less than 1% of the total
inhabitants in the 1950s; in the 1960s, this rose to 6.7%, to 11.8%
in the 1970s; and to 21.6% in the 1980s. In 1992, 30.5% of the
state population consisted of migrants. Today, Baja California Sur
has neither the public infrastructure nor the capacity to absorb and
serve all migrant laborers coming to the state. Illiteracy has
increased in the state, and large slums and shantytowns have sprung
up in San José del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, and La Paz,
increasing the pressure on the state to meet demands for public
utilities, education and health services.
Overall, the state calculates the arrival of between 20,000 and
25,000 workers and their families during the high seasons – roughly
5% of its population.
In 2004, the
Agricultural Day Workers Service Program (PROAJAG) of the Ministry
of Social Development (SEDESOL) estimated a total of between
28,000-30,000 agricultural day-workers in the state. Of these,
PROAJAG works in twenty-seven locations (crop fields located in the
municipalities of La Paz and Mulegé, and communities of day-workers
living in the valleys of Vizcaíno and Santo Domingo), reaching about
half to two-thirds of this needy population.
Indigenous workers comprise an unknown portion of the migrant
population although the National Commission for Human Rights
calculates that there are some 3,468 speakers of indigenous
languages in the state (almost one percent of the population).
Thirty-two indigenous languages were identified, with the highest
concentration of speakers in La Paz and Mulegé..
labor relations are severely affected by this language barrier,
further isolating this transient population.
González Sotomayor, Luis Alberto, (ed.), Diagnóstico
sobre Jornaleros Agrícolas en el Municipio de La Paz [Diagnostic
of Agricultural Workers in the Municipality of La Paz],
UABCS-SEDESOL-Organización para la Investigación del
Desarrollo Sustentable, A.C. México 1998, pp. 39-41
Antonina Ivanova-Boncheva; Manuel Ángeles-Villa (eds.),
Diagnóstico Estratégico de Baja California Sur
[Strategic Diagnostic of Baja California Sur]. UABCS-SEP,