The census records of some Indian towns (pueblos de indios) in colonial Chiapas and Guatemala present a puzzle: remarkably uneven gender ratios. This article explores gendered migration as a possible explanation. Previous studies show that the labor markets of colonial Latin American cities attracted mainly female migrants, and this article hypothesizes that people were more likely to migrate if they could make the trip between dawn and dusk. I use Google Maps, as well as colonial writings, to estimate travel times between a sample of Indian pueblos and their closest colonial cities. I then analyze gender ratios in census records from those pueblos. The results suggest that Indian pueblos with large male majorities were generally within a day's walk of a colonial city. Presumably, the male majorities indicate high rates of female out-migration for work in the cities. The article's conclusion discusses impacts that gendered out-migration likely had on sending communities.

You do not currently have access to this content.