Elena Herrada

By Elena Herrada, Special to La Prensa

DETROIT, March 14, 2024: The 66th Annual Michigan in Perspective- Local History Conference will be held at Oakland University on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23rd, 2024.

As an amateur historian of Mexicans in Detroit, I wish to inform readers that I will be presenting about the repatriation of Mexicans from Michigan during the Great Depression. 

Between 1929 and 1939, over one million Mexicans were deported from the US- 15,000 from Detroit. This period witnessed US born Mexican-Americans being forced to go to Mexico, many of whom never returned.

In 2001, a group of Chican@s – many of us descended from repatriados produced a documentary called. “Los RepatriadosExiles from the Promised Land,” a tribute to our elders for the 300th anniversary of Detroit.

Following our screening of the film at the Detroit Institute of Arts and many other venues in the community, we were invited by a professor from the College of San Luis Potosi, Dr. Fernando Saúl Alanis, who had documented the repatriation on the Mexican side of the border.

A group of 40 Mexicans from Michigan travelled to Mexico for the “El Primer Encuentro de Mexicanos en la Diaspora.”  Little had been written in the history books about this sad period. We hope to educate our community and newer immigrants about this important history.

If you are able, please attend the history conference. If you wish to know more about the Mexican Repatriation, please email me and I will be happy to share resources with you.

CONTACT INFO: Elena Herrada



EDITOR’S NOTE: Elena Herrada is a native of Detroit; she is the granddaughter of Repatriados from Aguas Calientes, México. Also, a graduate of Wayne State University-Chicano-Boricua Studies; adjunct instructor of Criminal Justice at Wayne County Community College; and founding member of Friends of Bowen Branch Library.