April 5, 2010

Finding deportees in Goiás, Brazil

I recently completed my tenth interview with a Brazilian deportee. I plan to complete 30 during my three month stay in Brazil and I have been here for one month and one week. So, I am a little behind schedule, but doing reasonably well.

Finding deportees in Brazil has not been easy. My project focuses on the state of Goiás, and there are likely at least 10,000 deportees in Goiás. The trouble is that they are spread out between many small towns and cities. This means that I have to consistently find new contacts or key informants.

About two weeks ago, I met a woman who knew a deportee in Matrinchã – a small town in Goiás. That deportee agreed to do the interview, and then introduced me to two more deportees in his town. Unfortunately, the string of deportees ended there. There were only three in that town.

From Matrinchã, I went to Cidade Goiás. I interviewed one person there, and he said he did not know of any more deportees.

From Cidade Goiás, I interviewed a deportee in Goiânia. He knew another deportee and referred me to him. Unfortunately, I was never able to get a hold of the second deportee. Now, I need to return to Goiânia and follow up with that potential lead as well as forge others.

The next city I came upon was Guaraita – a small town near Itapuranga. In Guaraita, one contact led to another and I met four deportees. Again, the network ended and I now need to move on to a new town. Fortunately, I have established some contacts in Itapuranga – a larger town - and should be able to conduct a few interviews there.

Goiânia and Itapuranga are both fairly large cities and have more than a handful of deportees. Hopefully once I get those networks up and running I will be able to find the remaining deportees that I need for my research.

If not, Anapolis and Aparecida de Goiania are two other cities where I could try and find contacts. Again, there are many deportees in both of those cities. Once I make one contact there, it should be easy to find others.

Finding interviews is not always easy, but, fortunately, people are usually willing to be interviewed if someone they know introduces you to them. As for this study, I have to make sure to keep track of how many I have completed and how much more time I have left in the country to ensure that I do not fall behind schedule.

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