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Dürr, Eveline (2012): Encounters over Garbage: Tourists and Lifestyle Migrants in Mexico. In: Tourism Geographies, Vol. 14, No. 2, SI: pp. 339-355
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This article explores a tour to the garbage dump in the city of Mazatlan, northern Mexico, as an alternative to mass tourism. The tour, conducted by an evangelical North American church, is conceptualized as a non-profit, eye-opening experience for affluent tourists. I frame the tour as a particular kind of slum tourism, which is embedded in Christian values and promises a meaningful tourist experience by helping the poor. Drawing on an ethnographic approach, I argue that the interplay of globalization processes and local conditions in Mazatlan produces a particular framework in which slum tours emerge and work. The analysis reveals that this tour is a consequence of revised forms of tourism, transnational lifestyles and global forces at work in the North American-Mexican relationships. I stress that research needs to draw further attention to slum tourism's positioning in wider structural and historical contexts in order to understand its idiosyncratic features.