Violence in the U.S. Mexico Border and Student’s Capital to Respond

Blanca E. Araujo, University of Texas at El Paso
Maria T. De La Piedra, University of Texas at El Paso


Recent studies have identified multiple forms of capital that Latino students acquire in their homes and communities. Influenced by these studies, this article examines how transnational students of Mexican origin use various forms of their community’s cultural wealth as tools to survive situations of violence here in the US and in Mexico. In this article, we present how children experience violence, particularly drug-related violence across the border and symbolic violence in their school in the US. We also discuss the ways in which the students’ resiliency (resistant capital) helps them in their daily lives. We focus on how students, despite their experience with violence, draw on their border rootedness, on transnational knowledge, and on resilient resistant capital in order to meaningfully participate in an elementary school English-Spanish dual language immersion program.