Facts about Mexican Mennonites

2. Many of them came from rural Western Canada in the 1920s.

3. They left Western Canada, as they had left Holland, Prussia, and Russia before that, for fear they would be forcibly assimilated, in this case through public education.  Mexico offered them a special (Spanish-language) contract.

4. Most of them are blond.

5. Each village has a number, not a name.

6. Unlike many of the American Amish, they use cars and electricity without hesitation.  They are quite prosperous, in a Mennonite sort of way.

7. They still make cheese using methods from centuries ago.

8. Their best cheeses, which are non-pasteurized, are illegal in the United States.

9. Many of their road signs and advertisements are written in hochdeutsch, but they speak eighteenth century plattdeutsch.  Their Spanish is sing-song and halting all at once.

10. They bake little cookies called "Galletas Menonitas," and they eat borscht and tacos.

11. The adjacent Tarahumaras make for a striking contrast.


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