[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] GRs in Mexico

Ed Sonnenburg esonnenburg at sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 28 07:58:21 PDT 2006

The following web pages give you some history as to how the Mennonites ended
up in Mexico.
Since they first came to Canada there would not be ships mentioned.  It
would be interesting
to find out how 6,000 people went from Canada to Mexico without cars.
Pictures anyone?

When I visited northern Mexico in 1979 everything was very primitive.  Even
though the people
lived very simple lives they were still better off than the native Mexicans.
The GRs were always
friendly, not to provoke anger or jealousy from the Mexicans.

One thing about the Mexicans was they bred like jack rabbits.  Families had
between 10 - 15
children.  They nominated a person that wasn't too bright to be the teacher
for the children.
They only got taught enough so they could do the farming.  What the elder
said was followed.
When the German Church of God did some evangelizing the elders tried to stop
it.  They
sure didn't want anyone taking away theiir people.  A school was built in
Cuahctemoc and
about 200 children have been attending every year.

There are hundreds of GR villages in the northern plains, south of Chihuhua.
It was very
picturesque to drive down the only road from north to south and see the
mountains when
you looked either east or west.  Every few miles there was a dirt road that
went to
the villages.  Each village had a number but also a German name like
Gruenthal etc.

Now the area has been built up more since industries have come to Mexico
from Canada
and the USA so there's more money and work for everyone.


In 1922, approximately 6,000 Mennonites left Manitoba and Saskatchewan,
destined for Mexico. They left in response to gradual erosion of the
educational freedoms they had been promised by the federal government when
they first immigrated to Canada from Eastern Europe.




----- Original Message ----- 
From: <gloriah4 at juno.com>
To: <esonnenburg at sympatico.ca>
Cc: <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 4:11 AM
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] -Political "Standardized" Language-

> Ed,
> Your mention of "GRs from Mexico" really perked my interest. Do you have
> other information about them in addition to "language"?
> I ask because my husband's family immigrated into the U. S. via Mexico
> and yet we can locate nothing that links them back to the Ukraine. Their
> passports show that they left the Ukraine by way of LeHavre and the next
> (and last) stamp shows their disembarking in Vera Cruz Mexico. This was
> in 1926.
> One of our main research questions is, how did they get from the Ukraine
> (and from where in the Ukraine) to LeHavre? Also, we have been unable to
> locate a ship manifest since we have been unable to find that their ship
> ever sailed to Mexico. It did indeed sail from LeHavre that year but only
> landing in New York it seems.
> Were there many GRs in Mexico? Somehow I've always pictured our family as
> being exceptions and we can't figure why they went to Mexico of all
> places.
> Any scrap of help is appreciated.  Thanks.
> Gloria Hoppe (wife of Al HOPPE)
> East Texas, USA
> Researching: HOPPE, TOBER, SAWATZKI, Neudorf Volhynia, Novograd Walinsk
> On Wed, 26 Apr 2006 11:16:53 -0400 "Ed  Sonnenburg"
> <esonnenburg at sympatico.ca> writes:
> > When translating old letters I always found it a challenge when the
> > writer
> > threw in words or phrases from another language.  When people live
> > in a certain place for a generation or two they pick up local
> > words.
> > My GR relatives and friends would flawlessly speak German but
> > then curse in either Russian or Polish.
> >
> > I always found it a challenge to understand the low German
> > but when the GRs from Mexico spoke low German and
> > threw in Spanish words it was almost impossible to understand.
> >
> > It is pretty hard for me to speak German today without throwing
> > in an English word -  Ich geh und leere aus den Garbage.
> > I'm going to empty the garbage can.  It was too hard
> > to say Muell Eimer.
> >
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> >

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