German immigration to Mexico
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|Regions with significant populations|
|Mexico City, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, Puebla, Zacatecas, Durango, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Chiapas, Yucatán, Quintana Roo.|
|Related ethnic groups|
Germans, German Argentines, German Colombians, German Chileans, German Paraguayans, German Puerto Ricans, German Peruvians, German Uruguayans, German Venezuelans, German Americans, German Brazilians, German Canadians
A German Mexican (German: Deutsch-Mexikaner or Deutsch-Mexikanisch, Spanish: germano-mexicano or aleman-mexicano) is a Mexican citizen of German descent or origin. Most Ethnic Germans arrived in Mexico during the mid-to-late 19th century, spurred by government policies of Porfirio Diaz. Although a good number of them took advantage of the liberal policies then valid in Mexico and went into merchant, industrial and educational ventures, others arrived with none or limited capital, as employees or farmers. Most settled in Mexico City, Veracruz, Yucatán, and Puebla. Significant numbers of German immigrants also arrived during and after the First and Second World Wars. The Plautdietsch language is also spoken by the descendants of German and Dutch Mennonite immigrants in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. Other German towns lie in the states of Nuevo León, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Yucatan, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and other parts of Puebla, where the German culture and language have been preserved to different extents. The German-Mexican community has largely integrated into Mexican society as a whole whilst retaining some cultural traits and in turn exerted cultural and industrial influences on Mexican society. Specially after the First World War, intense processes of transculturation can be observed, especially in Mexico City, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Puebla, and notably, with the Maya in Chiapas. These include social, cultural and identititary aspects.
See also German Texan
The German settlement in Mexico goes back to the times they settled Texas when it was under Spanish rule, but the first permanent settlement of Germans was at Industry, in Austin County, established by Friedrich Ernst and Charles Fordtran in the early 1830s, then under Mexican rule. Ernst wrote a letter to a friend in his native Oldenburg which was published in the newspaper there. His description of Texas was so influential in attracting German immigrants to that area that he is remembered as "the Father of German Immigration to Texas."
Many Germans, especially Roman Catholics who sided with Mexico, left Texas for the rest of present-day Mexico after the U.S. defeated Mexico in the Mexican–American War in 1848.
In 1865 and 1866, a total of 543 German-speaking people (men, women, and children) were brought from Hamburg specifically to the villages of Santa Elena and Pustunich, in Yucatán. This was a project of foreign colonization promoted during the Second Mexican Empire, and the reign of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, with the governing body of the state of Yucatán. The majority of these people were farmers and craftsmen: wheelwrights, shoemakers, cabinet makers, etc.
Sartorius' settlement, known as The Hacienda, attracted more than 200 settlers from Darmstadt, Germany. The Hacienda was visited many times by Maximilian I, and Sartorius was made the Minister of Agriculture under the Empire.
In 1890, Porfirio Diaz and Otto von Bismarck collaborated to take advantage of southern Mexico's agricultural potential by sending 350 German families to Soconusco near Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas. Extensive coffee cultivation quickly made Soconusco one of the most successful German colonies, and between 1895 and 1900, 11.5 million kg of coffee had been harvested. Fincas (estates) were erected in the Chiapaneco jungle and given German names such as Hamburgo, Bremen, Lübeck, Agrovia, Bismarck, Prussia and Hanover.
About 25,000 Germanic Mennonites migrated from Canada to northern Mexico in the 1920s. Today, there are about 95,000 descendants of Mennonites in Mexico, who have preserved the Plautdietsch dialect. By their community's rules, German Mexican Mennonite men are allowed to speak Spanish, while women must only speak German. The most prosperous Mennonite colonies in Mexico lie in the states of Chihuahua (Cuauhtémoc, Swift Current, Manitoba), Durango (Patos (Nuevo Ideal), Nuevo Hamburgo), Zacatecas (La Honda) and Campeche.
Cultural legacy 
Homes in the town of Nueva Alemania resemble the architectural style of northern Germany, and many of this area's settlers came from the cities of Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck. In San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa (Mazatlán) and Veracruz, settlers from Bavaria built structures similar to those found in the Black Forest. The German Cultural Center building in San Luis Potosí is a Bavarian mansion that had been owned by the Baron of Baden-Baden.
Oktoberfest is usually held in several large cities with German-Mexican communities throughout the country, mainly in Mexico City, Chihuahua, and Victoria de Durango. German Mexicans were important in the development of the Mexican cheese and brewing industries. Also of note, the Colegio Alemán Alexander von Humboldt in Mexico City is the largest German school outside Germany.
German roots are particularly notable in Mexican music due to the large numbers of German immigrants in Texas and northern Mexico around the 1830s. The distributors of German-made accordions aggressively marketed the loud, sturdy little "boom boxes" as far back as the late 19th century. Today, various overlapping styles of music that descended in part from German music (notably polka) include tejano, conjunto, Tex-Mex, quebradita, banda, ranchera, and norteño. Such musical styles are especially popular in northern Mexico and in places of the United States where there is a large immigrant population of Mexican heritage.
The brewing industry, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, was developed in part by German immigrants. The influx of German immigrants and the brief Austrian reign (mid-19th century) of Emperor Maximilian, who never traveled anywhere without his two German brew-masters, helped cement the art of brewing as an all-Mexican endeavor. German influence has had a lasting impact on Mexican beers, with brands such as Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Ambar, both deriving from a malty subset of dark lagers known as Vienna-style.
The German-Mexican population is especially prevalent in southern Mexico, particularly the state of Chiapas, where German farmers and industrialists where encouraged to immigrate in the late 1890's following collaboration between Otto Von Bismarck and Porfirio Diaz to establish modern coffe plantations and food processing facilities in the state. German-Mexicans make up a large minority of the population of the soconusco region of Chiapas, where the German population has intermixed with the Maya who make up the majority of the region's population. A study by the Autonomous University of Mexico found that in the municipality of Tapachula and the surrounding Soconusco region that the mixed Mestizo population had a larger concentration of German heritage than Spanish heritage. Many of the original German farms and facilities continue to operate as both ejidos and private ventures.
Notable German-Mexicans 
- Kat Von D, tattoo artist, Mexican-born to Argentinian parents of Italian-German descent
- Vicente Fox, Mexican politician and 55th President of Mexico, of German-American descent
- Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist and political activist was of German and Indigenous descent.
- Dulce María, Mexican singer and actress, her grandmother is Frida's sister of German descent.
- Ozzy Lusth, Mexican-born American actor of German descent
- Max Cetto, German-Mexican architect, historian of architecture, and professor of German-born naturalized Mexican
- Laura Harring, Mexican actress and former Miss USA (1985) of German descent
- Jorge Hank Rhon, Mexican businessman of German descent
- Lila Deneken, Mexican singer, entertainer, painter and entrepreneur of German descent.
- Elmer Dessens, Mexican professional baseball player of German descent.
- Enrique Diemecke, Mexican conductor, violinist and composer of German descent.
- Denise Dresser, Mexican political analyst, writer, and university professor of German descent.
- Alfonso Petersen, Mexican educated medical doctor and politician of German descent.
- Germán Ohm, Mexican boxer of German ancestry.
- Olivia Molina, Mexican singer to German mother.
- Rodolfo Barragán Schwarz, Mexican architect of German descent.
- Adolfo Aguilar Zínser, Mexican scholar, diplomat and politician of German descent.
- Pita Amor, Mexican poet, maternal of German descent.
- Luis Ernesto Michel, Mexican goalkeeper of Chivas de Guadalajara
- Hiram Mier, Mexican football defender of German descent.
- Cristina Fink, retired high jumper of German, Irish, Dutch descent.
- Mariana Frenk-Westheim, German-born Mexican Hispanist, lecturer of literature, museum expert.
- Félix Fernández, retired Mexican football goalkeeper of German Jewish descent.
- Fernando Wagner, German-born Mexican actor and film director.
- César Costa, Mexican singer, and actor.
- Hans Friessen, Mexican footballer of German-Mexican descent.
- Marco Antonio Firebaugh, Mexican-born, Democratic member of the California State Assembly of German descent.
- María Elena Marqués, Mexican actress, maternal of German descent.
- Sergio Witz, Mexican poet of German descent.
- Emilio Lozoya, Mexican economist and politician of German descent.
- Federico Döring, Mexican conservative politician of German descent.
- Linda Christian, Mexican movie actress of German, Spanish, Dutch and French
- Olga Costa, Mexican painter of German and Russian descent.
- Mauricio Ochmann, Mexican actor of German descent.
- William Frels, German-born co-founded the town of Frelsburg, Texas during under Mexican and U.S. rule.
- Pedro Friedeberg, Italian-born Mexican painter to German-Jewish parents.
- Gonzalo Brockmann, President of Best Western Hotels of Mexico, Central America and Ecuador.
- Alfredo B. Crevenna, German-born Mexican film director and screenwriter.
- Jorge Avendaño Lührs, Mexican pianist, composer, songwriter and music producer of German descent.
- Adolfo Christlieb Ibarrola, Mexican lawyer and politician of German descent.
- John M. Ackerman, Mexican author and professor of American German descent.
- Carlos Hank González, Mexican politician and influential businessman of German descent.
- Jorge Avendaño Lührs, Mexican pianist, musician and composer of German descent
- Kuno Becker, Mexican actor of German, Spanish, Basque descent.
- Hermann Bellinghausen, Mexican physician, poet, writer, and editor of German descent.
- Arap Bethke, Kenyan-born Mexican actor to German father and a Chilean mother.
- Juan Bostelmann, Mexican sprint canoer of German descent.
- Enrique Creel, Mexican businessman and politician of German-American descent.
- Alberto Braniff, Mexican airplane pilot to German father who come to Mexico for work.
- Anna Janzen, A Mexican born Kinesiologist well noted in the scientific community.
- Nena von Schlebrügge, Mexican fashion model to German father.
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See also