The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Rural Latinx Youth’s Facultad: Exploring the Relationship between Higher Education Pursuits, Familial Dreams, & Societal Transformation

Mayra Puente, Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara (United States)


This paper examines the higher education pursuits of 16 rural Latino/a/x students from migrant farm working backgrounds living in California’s San Joaquin Valley agricultural region. Specifically, the author asks: What conditions awaken “la facultad,” a Chicana feminist concept that references a sixth sense of awareness and critical consciousness (Anzaldúa, 2002; Acevedo-Gil, 2019), in rural Latino/a/x youth? How does la facultad influence rural Latino/a/x youths’ pursuit of higher education and dreams of alternative futures in their migrant farm working families and communities? Gloria Anzaldúa’s (2002) concept of la facultad was applied to theorize the relationship between resistance, dreaming, and transformation in youths’ motivation for higher education. The author finds that rural Latino/a/x youths’ facultad is awakened by their intersecting marginalities (Crenshaw, 2013) and upbringing in a conservative and anti-immigrant agricultural region (Puente & Vélez, 2023; Terriquez et al., 2020). Youth desire to pursue higher education to fulfill familial dreams of a better life and to contribute to alternative futures for the next generation by obtaining a college degree and improving their life conditions. Implications for higher education researchers and practitioners committed to advancing rural Latino/a/x youths’ dreams of societal transformation are provided.

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