Chapter 15: Migration and Youth Empowerment: The Migration Experience of Young Latin Americans to Catalonia

The hypothesis of this chapter is that migration during youth can be thought of as an empowerment process in itself, given that it is an opportunity for individuals to enhance their capabilities and self-confidence and develop a wide range of sociocultural skills and learning. Overall, although it can be traumatic, it constitutes a very intense experience that can also be both satisfying and enriching. This work focuses on the perceptions that young immigrants from the Latin American Southern Cone have of their own empowerment processes. Based on a qualitative methodology that incorporates biograms, in-depth interviews, graphic representations of life paths and explanations by the young people themselves, we identify the dimensions in which their empowerment takes place, as well as the moments, spaces and people linked to such processes. The results indicate that the empowerment of the young participants is mainly related to autonomy, effectiveness, self-esteem and critical capacity. These dimensions are to a great extent anchored in the individual reality of empowerment, and those aspects related to the community reality, such as participation, responsibility, community identity and teamwork are less relevant in the results obtained here ​
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