Dawn's mom is from the Mexican state of Zacatecas. I just found a great In These Times piece from last May about what emigration to the U.S. from Mexico is doing to small towns there. I don't even think Dawn's mom grew up in a small town--I think she grew up on a farm.
The reason the piece caught my eye is that I had the good fortune to meet the writer, John Gibler, when I visited Oaxaca in 2006.
If you're interested in knowing what the effects of Mexicans leaving their country look like back home, check it out.