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Desert Diary
Culture/Brain Drain


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Some Chihuahuan Desert politicians make a big deal about the "Brain Drain" that siphons off so many of our youth to other places. Thus El Paso and other communities decry the lost of our "brightest and best". Never mind that this is an insult to those who do stay; anguish and anger at our losses are apparent. Yet, the young leaving home is a natural and almost universal feature of the higher vertebrates. Youth is the time of dispersal, whether of mice or men, whether it's the questing characteristic of some Native Americans or the seeking of fortune elsewhere by graduates of our communities' schools.

From the entry of Native-Americans-to-be from the Old World to the push westward from the East Coast of the new United States or northward from central Mexico, pioneering has made our peoples great—just as it has spread the lesser animals across the continents of the world. Perhaps we should concentrate more on attracting young wanderers to our land from afar, rather than trying to bind our own to home.
pen and ink

Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.