Mennonite Colonies in Paraguay

In Paraguay are diverse groups of mennonite Colonies. Some of the Colonies in Paraguay are more open than others. Joining a colony might seem difficult in some of them. Some of these colonies, though they started off as the quiet ( unpretentious ) in the land (country).  Many of the mennonite people have progressed into the aggressive (front runners) in the country. According to the mennonite belief, many of these people should not even use the name “mennonite” for themselves. Many of the mennonites have gone too much to the left (liberal). On the otherhand some of them hang too much on such things as transportation and clothing.

In 1948, when I was two years old, we boarded a ship in Quebec City in canada and went to paraguay. The Sommerfeld and Bergthal colonies established in 1948 some 200km east of Asuncion in East Paraguay. One the reasons given for leaving Canada and going to paraguay is the inroads of secular society into their congregations. An other reason was that paraguay offerd the possibility for the two colonies to live in a closed settlements in which to train their children and young people in their own schools in the German language. The Mennonites were given the freedom to govern the following in their colonies: religious freedom, exemption from military service, the right to speak German in schools and elsewhere, the right to administer their own educational, medical, social organizations and financial institutions. The Mennonites have a reputation of being excellent farmers, hard-workers, and disciplined in their habits.

Mennonite settlers came to Paraguay from Germany, Canada, Russia and other countries for a number of reasons: religious freedom, the chance to practice their beliefs without hindrance, the quest for land. Although German immigrants had settled in Paraguay before the turn of the 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1920’s and 30s that many, many more arrived.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colony Location Established Source Population (1987)
Menno West 1927 Canada 6,650
Fernheim West 1930 Russia 3,240
Neuland West 1947 Russia 1,330
Friesland East 1937 Russia 720
Volendam East 1947 Russia 690
Bergthal East 1948 Canada 1,490
Sommerfeld East 1948 Canada 1,860
Reinfeld East 1966 Canada 120
Luzy Esperanza East 1967 USA 110
Agua Azul East 1969 USA 170
Rio Verde East 1969 Mexico 2,490
Tres Palmas East 1970 Mixed 220
Santa Clara East 1972 Mexico 130
Rio Corrientes East 1975 USA 180
Florida East 1976 USA 100
Nueva Durango East 1978 Mexico 2,050
Campo Alta East 1980 Mexico / Belize 120
Manitoba East 1983 Mexico 290
Asuncion East N Mixed 750
Paraguay Paraguay 1927 Mixed 22,710

Of the 28,000 Mennonites in Paraguay, close to 10,000 have Canadian citizenship.