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REMHU: Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana

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CODESAL, Diana Mata. From "mud houses" to "wasted houses": remittances and housing in rural highland Ecuador. REMHU, Rev. Interdiscip. Mobil. Hum. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.42, pp.263-280. ISSN 1980-8585.

Migration is often aimed to build migrants' own house in their places of origin. In rural highland Ecuador remittances sent from the US are habitually used to build houses which have changed the housing landscape of many villages. This paper describes the housing landscape of a village, Xarbán, and how it has changed over the last fifty years due to migration and remittances. It unpacks the reasons why many of the recently built houses remained empty or inhabited by only one or two people. It particularly explores the impact of migrants' legal status abroad on their housing decisions and behaviour. Finally, the article looks for positive impacts of these so-called "wasted houses" on migrants, their relatives and non-migrant villagers. Remittance houses' do have positive effects which are different for female and male villagers.

Keywords : remittances; housing; legal status; gender; Ecuador.

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