Universiteit Leiden

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José María Castro Ibarra

External PhD Candidate

J.M. Castro Ibarra MA
+31 71 527 1646

José María achieved a BA degree in Ethnology at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) and an MA in Anthropological Sciences at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM). Since 2012, he has been engaged in the study of the long-haul trucking in Mexico. First, he conducted anthropological research about truck drivers and their cultural and labor world of this contemporary 'nomad' responsible for hauling goods along Mexico's highways. Based on an ethnography work, this research shows and analyses how the mobility aspect of the truck driver's life spread out on every part of their life, including romantic and family relationships, daily routines, labor conditions, and Time-Space perception. After that first research, in 2017, he finished 'A borde de carretera' (Roadside), which shed lights on a particular kind of place situated on the roadsides of highways and roads called 'cachimbas.' The Cachimbas are a social space that is pivotal for truckers. These are informal restaurants spread all over Mexican roads where most of their consumers are truck drivers. They are own and run by single women and open 24 hours, offering food, a place for cleaning, rest and socialization, and (illegal) drugs for staying awake. Over there, the social and personal relations between truckers and waitresses and cookers go beyond the trading aspects and transcend to intimate, friendship, kinship, sexual-affective, and solidarity relationships. This research showed and explored how these women's emotional and reproductive labor sustain and reproduce truck drivers' daily flow and, therefore, of goods. Women working at the Cachimbas become engage in the global economy and processes of accumulation of capital. Since 2019, he conducts a Ph.D. research project at Leiden University about Petty Traders engaged in low-end globalization and global channels of goods from China to Mexico.

More information about José María Castro Ibarra

Fields of interest

Anthropology of mobilities
Truck drivers
Emotional Labor
Low-end globalization
Sino-mexican channels of goods


Petty Traders engaged in low-end globalization and global channels of goods from China to Mexico.

Grants & awards

- His research about truck drivers 'Los Hijos del Camino' (Sons of the road) received two awards in Mexico: Luis González and González national award for the social sciences and humanities, and the Fray Bernardino de Sahagún award of Social Anthropology and Ethnology.

- In 2019, José María received a grant from the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT) to conduct a Ph.D. research at Leiden University.

Key publications

(2013) Los hijos del camino. Los anclajes y la vida cotidiana de los autotransportistas interestatales en las carreteras mexicanas. El Colegio de Michoacán, México.

(2014) Salazar, Luz María y José María Castro Ibarra 'Tres dimensiones del Desplazamiento Interno Forzado en México', en El Cotidiano. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, México.

(2015) 'Itinerarios carreteros. La percepción espacio-temporal de los autotransportistas interestatales en México', en Cuicuilco. Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México.

(2016) 'Argonautas de la 57. El mundo de los autotransportistas de largo arrastre en las carreteras mexicanas' en Atlas etnográfico de los Mundos Contemporáneos (Vol. 1), 2016.


External PhD Candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Latijns-Amerika studies

No relevant ancillary activities

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