Las "Fresas" Del Valle: An Emerging Student Demographic in South Texas Schools

By Veronica Lopez-Estrada and Maria Elena Reyes.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 29, 2015 $US5.00

An increasing influx of wealthy Mexican immigrants has contributed to a changing landscape in the lower Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in south Texas since the passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. This phenomenon resulted in a project designed to explore a new student demographic in high schools along the Texas-Mexico border, the “fresas,” a new student group that opposes the familiar, Latino immigrant stereotype characterized by the popular media (Reyes et al. 2009). “Fresas,” translated to English, means “strawberries” and refers to a privileged, middle- to upper-class student group of Mexican immigrant teenagers who dress in expensive designer clothes; speak in their own Spanish slang; create social spaces at school; travel to their home country often; and influence their U.S. school culture. In this paper, researchers present findings based on their ongoing ethnographic research of this unique transnational student group in south Texas high schools.

Keywords: Student Groups, Transnational, School Culture

The International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 15, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 29, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 518.240KB)).

Dr. Veronica Lopez-Estrada

Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas, USA

Dr. Maria Elena Reyes

Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA