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Photo of Álvarez Velasco, Soledad

Soledad Álvarez Velasco, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Latin American & Latino Studies

Anthropology, Sociocultural

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

UH 1523


601 S Morgan St

CV Download:

CV SAV (Jan 2023)


I am a social anthropologist and human geographer whose research analyses the interrelationship between mobility, control and spatial transformations across the Americas. My research investigates the intersection between undocumented global south-north and global south-south transit migration, border regimes, the formation of migratory corridors across the Americas and the migrant struggle across these transnational spaces. I combine a multi-scale and historical analysis with multi-sited ethnography and a digital ethnography based on a migrant-centered perspective to reconstruct migrants’ spatial and temporal trajectories. I foreground the Andean Region as a key space for understating the dynamics at stake in the transits of Latin American, Caribbean, African and Asian migrants to reach the U.S., or other southern cone and Caribbean destinations. I also analyze the impact of the externalization of the U.S. border regime across the migratory corridors of the Americas, the movement of unaccompanied and undocumented migrant children, as well as the dynamics of transnational migrant smuggling networks operating across those transnational spaces.

Selected Grants

National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, Children on the Move: An Ethnographic Mosaic of the Americas, .

Selected Publications


Álvarez Velasco, S (2016). Frontera sur chiapaneca: El muro humano de la violencia. Mexico: CIESAS-UIA, 2016

Co-editor with Ulla D.Berg and Iréri Ceja of the book Migraciones. Colección Palabras Clave. Mexico: CLACSO- Universidad Autónoma de México, 2021.



Álvarez Velasco, S. (2022). Between Hostility and Solidarity: The Production of the Andean Region–Southern Cone Transit Migratory Corridor. In: Herrera, G., Gómez, C. (eds) Migration in South America. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham.

Álvarez Velasco, S (2021). Deportees in Transit Between Ecuador and the US: A Historical and Ethnographic Approach to Migrant Disobedience and its Spatial Impacts Antipode. A Radical Journal of Geography.

Álvarez Velasco, S (2021) Mobility, Control, and the Pandemic Across the Americas: First Findings of a Transnational Collective Project. Advance online publication on Journal of Latin American Geography Project MUSE.

Álvarez Velasco, S (2020). “From Ecuador to elsewhere: the (re)configuration of a transit country”. Migration and Society. 3(1): 34-50.

Stone-Cadena,V. and Álvarez Velasco, S (2018). “Historicizing Mobility: Coyoterismo in the Indigenous Ecuadorian Migration Industry”. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol 676, Issue 1, pp. 194 – 211.


Ph.D. in Human Geography, King’s College London
M.S. in Social Anthropology, Universidad Iberoamericana de México
B.A. in Sociology, concentration on Latin American Studies, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
B.A. in Liberal Arts, concentration in Philosophy and Literature, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Professional Memberships

Member of the scientific committee of and of the Journal Refugees and Conflict ( )

Member of the scientific committee of the Latin-American Journal Periplos, specialized on migration research (

Research Currently in Progress

I am currently working on four projects:

  • My second book which focuses on the dynamics of mobility and control at play in the production of Ecuador as a global transit space for Latin Americans, Caribbeans, Africans and Asians heading to the U.S.
  • The political economy of global transit migratory corridors connecting the Andean Region northwards with the U.S., southwards with Southern Cone countries and northeastern with Caribbean countries.
  • Regimes of Violence and Waiting Time across global transit migratory corridors in the Americas.
  • Care Economy on the move and the migrant struggle across the Americas.