Italian immigration to Mexico
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|Italian residents abroad:5.000
Diaspora:1.500.000 Italian descent.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Baja California · Mexico City · Jalisco · Michoacán · Nuevo León · Quintana Roo|
|Mexican Spanish · Italian · German|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Italians · Italian American|
An Italian-Mexican or Italo-Mexican (Italian: italo-messicano, Spanish: ítalo-mexicano) is a Mexican citizen of Italian descent or origin. Most people of Italian ancestry living in Mexico arrived in the late 19th century, and have become generally assimilated into mainstream society.
Italo-Mexican identity rests on the common experience of migration from Italy in the late 19th century, a period characterized by a more general Italian diaspora to the Americas (under the pressures of economic transformation and the process of unification into a nation-state in 1871), and the establishment of communities, primarily in central and eastern Mexico. Only about 13,000 Italians emigrated to Mexico during this period, and at least half of them subsequently returned to Italy or went on to the United States. Most Italians coming to Mexico were farmers or farm workers from the northern districts. Most of these immigrants were from northern Italy, especially from the regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, and Lombardy. Others arriving in the early 19th century included many from Southern Italy. Significant numbers of Italian settlers arriving in the late 19th and early 20th centuries received land grants from the Mexican government. When Benito Mussolini came to power, thousands of Italian families left Italy for Mexico.
Today, many Italo-Mexicans continue to reside in towns founded by their ancestors. Among these is Chipilo, in the state of Puebla, where a derivative of the Venetian dialect is still spoken by its residents. Other towns founded by Italian immigrants lie in the states of Veracruz (Huatusco), San Luis Potosí, and the Mexican Federal District. In the state of Aguascalientes there is a large population of Mexicans of Italian descent - the result of the invasion of the French and the creation of the Second Mexican Empire. Smaller, but also notable, numbers of Italo-Mexicans can be found in Guanajuato, Estado de Mexico, and in the towns of Nueva Italia and Lombardia in the state of Michoacán, which were founded by wealthy Italians who immigrated to Mexico after the 1880 diaspora and established large agricultural estates known as haciendas. Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo has also received a notable number of immigrants from Italy.
At present, the regions with the highest concentration of Mexican Italians are Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla, and Veracruz.
Although many Italo-Mexicans now live in urban centers such as Mexico City and Monterrey, many others live in, and strongly identify with, one of the original or spin-off communities that are almost entirely of Italian origin. These individuals still stridently claim an Italian ethnic identity (at least to a non-Mexican outsider), but generally note that they are Mexican as well. In the late 20th century, there were an estimated 30,000 Italian Mexicans in the original eight Italian communities. The total population, however, is uncertain due to the national census not gathering information on any specific ethnicity, as it is done in other countries. Despite this, Italian surnames are not uncommon in parts of Mexico.
The majority of Italian Mexicans speak Spanish, but in Italian communities derived Italian languages (usually mixed with Spanish) are used to communicate among themselves.
Today, many Italian-Mexicans continue to live in the cities founded by their ancestors. Other cities founded by Italian immigrants in the states of Veracruz (Huatusco), San Luis Potosi.
If you get to travel to the state of Aguascalientes, it can be noted that there exists a large portion of Italian descent, the result of the time of the emigration of French and Italian. Smaller, but notable, the number of Italian-Mexicans who are in Guanajuato, [[State Mexico]], and the Ex-Hacienda (now cities) of Nueva Italia, Michoacán and Lombardia, Michoacán were both founded by Don Dante Cusi originating Gambar, Brescia, and subsequently inhabited by followers of Don Dante who emigrated from Italy (who helped with the farm work and highly specialized advanced at the time, along with the locals).
Today the management of Michoacán by Cusi remains the object of study in English universities. Playa del Carmen Mahahual and Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo has also received a significant number of immigrants from Italy. Several families of Italian-Mexican descent were granted citizenship in the United States during the Bracero Program (which lasted from 1947 to 1964) to make up for a shortage of labor. One notable family of this emigration include the Juan Donato Family, who settled in the city of Santa Cruz in Central California from the state of Guanajuato.
It is estimated that some 300,000 Mexicans have Italian descent although almost all have forgotten the Italian language, while mostly in the capital is a community of nearly 13,000 Italians (passport Italian) in 2008, who speak the Italian language. It should be noted that the Antonio Peconi student says they are over half a million descendants of Italians in Mexico today, because you have to add all children illegitimate since colonial times (especially with Indian women and mestizo, not officially reported paternity).
The vast majority of Italian-Mexicans have achieved a high social status in the Mexican society today. One of the best known is Daniel Mastretta, creator of the first sports car made and designed in Mexico industrially: the Mastretta MXT.
Recent Italian investment and business ventures in Mexico have developed, primarily in tourism and hospitality, sometimes resulting in settlement primarily in the resort locations of the Riviera Maya, Baja California, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. They have acquired and generated sources of employment, restaurants, hotels and entertainment centers; however, most have not become permanent residents of Mexico and live primarily as ex-pats.
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Chipilo, Puebla
- Colonia Manuel Gonzalez, Veracruz
- Gutierrez Zamora, Veracruz
- Colonia Diez Gutierrez, San Luis Potosi
- Rioverde, San Luis Potosí
- San Pedro (Monterrey), Nuevo Leon
- Nueva Italia, Michoacán
- Lombardia, Michoacán
- Arandas, Jalisco
- Guadalajara, Jalisco
- Guanajuato, Guanajuato
- Leon, Guanajuato
- Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes
- Calvillo, Aguascalientes
- Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
- Majahual, Quintana Roo
Derived Italian languages
Since most Italian immigration occurred by way of the establishment of colonies, derivatives of Italian languages exist in Mexico. Besides the best known Chipilo Venetian dialect, derivatives of the Venetian language may also exist in Huatusco and Colonia Gonzalez, Veracruz.
To this we can also add other Italian immigrant languages and dialects:
- Lower Bellunese, dialect of the Venetian language from the Province of Belluno (in Colonia Diez Gutierrez in San Luis Potosí),
- Lombard (in Sinaloa and Colonia Manuel González too, but mainly in Nueva Italia and Colonia Lombardia in the state of Michoacán)
- Trentino dialects of the Lombard and Venetian languages (like in Colonia Manuel González, Veracruz and Tijuana, Baja California),
- Piedmontese language (in Gutierrez Zamora, Veracruz which remains the oldest Italian colony in Mexico as such which was called the Model Colony, and in La Estanzuela, Jalisco another Italian colony),
- Sicilian language (mainly in Mexico City).
- Avimel Dolfin writer
- Tina Modotti Model, fotographer
- Manuel María Lombardini, Mexican general and politician and 21st President of Mexico.
- Juan Bottesini, maestro
- Jared Borgetti, all-time leading goal scorer for the Mexican national football team
- Caesar Cardini, inventor of Caesar salad
- Sasha Montenegro, Mexican-Italian born actress.
- Arcangel Constantini, contemporary artist,hardware hacker working with science and technology .
- Manuel Neri, American-born artist to Mexican parent of Italian descent.
- Rodolfo Neri Vela, Engineer and astronaut.
- Giuseppe Garibaldi II, Italian soldier who helped Mexico for Mexican Revolution; grandson of his namessake.
- Carmen Romano, First Lady of Mexico from 1976 - 1982.
- Maite Perroni, Mexican actress and singer.
- Francisco Romano Guillemin, Mexican artist of Italian descent.
- Sergio Pitol Demeneghi, writer
- Bernard Stasi, French politician (Italo-Mexican-French)
- Betty Zanolli Fabila, pianist
- Alejandro Ciangherotti, Mexican actor
- Aldo de Nigris, soccer player
- Ennio Ricciardi, Italian-born Mexican actor
- Antonio de Nigris, soccer player
- Nadia Di Cello, Mexican-born Argentine actress of Italian descent.
- Adolfo Dollero, Italian-born of Mexican historian.
- Carina Ricco, Mexican actress, singer, musician, and composer.
- Adolfo Gilly, author, professor of History and Political Science.
- Itatí Cantoral, Mexican-Argentine actress to Argentine mother of Italian descent and Mexican father.
- Nicky Mondellini, Italian-born Mexican Actress.
- Dionisio Pérez-Jácome Friscione, Mexican politician.
- Fernando Ciangherotti, Mexican television soap opera actor.
- Susana Pagano, Mexican author of novels.
- Manuel Valdés, Mexican actor and comedian.
- Alicia Gironella D'Angeli, Mexican chef and published cook books.
- Oscar Morelli, Mexican actor.
- Francesca Gargallo, Italian-born Mexican writer and poet.
- Antonio DeMarco, professional boxer of Italian descent.
- Mónica Dossetti, Mexican actress.
- Ambra Polidori, Mexican artist.
- Cristhian Presichi, Mexican professional baseball.
- Alfonso de Nigris, Mexican actor and model.
- Adela Navarro Bello, Mexican journalist.
- Germán Valdés, actor, singer and comedian.
- Uberto Zanolli, composer and writer
- Fernando Balzaretti, Mexican actor.
- Martinez del Rio family, Piedmont and Milan
- Osvaldo Batocletti, Argentine-born Mexican football manager and former player of Italian ancestry.
- Victoria Ruffo, Mexican Actress.
- Mireille Roccatti, Mexican scholar and jurist.
- Itatí Zucchi, Argentine-born Mexican actress of Italian descent and mother of Itatí Cantoral.
- Montserrat Olivier, Mexican actress, television presenter and former fashion model.
- Riccardo Dalmacci, Italian-born Mexican actor of film and telenovelas.
- Antonio Attolini Lack, Mexican architect.
- Luz María Zetina, Mexican Actress and former Miss Mexico Universe.
- Alberto Agnesi, Mexican Actor.
- Eder Borelli, Mexican football defender of Italian-Argentine descent.
- Mario Pani, Mexican architect and urbanist.
- Kat Von D, tattoo artist, Mexican-born to Argentinian parent of Italian-German descent.
- Giovanni Aloi, Mexican race car driver.
- Katie Barberi, Mexican actress.
- Duilio Davino, Mexican footballer of Italian-Argentine descent.
- Flavio Davino, Mexican footballer of Italian-Argentine descent.
- Luis Miguel, pop singer
- Ramón Valdés, Mexican actor.
- Leobardo Cardini, Mexican Olympic fencer.
- Tito Guízar, Mexican singer and actor.
- Antonio Grisi, Mexican Olympic fencer.
- Fernando Ferrari-Pérez, Mexican Geographical and Exploring Commission.
- Flaviano Amatulli Valente, Italian-born Mexican priest and Catholic author.
- Ana Bárbara, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress.
- Teresa Piccini, Mexican ten-pin bowler.
- Raúl Servín, retired Mexican footballer.
- Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexican politician, and PRI presidential candidate.
- Leona Vicario, a supporter of the Mexican War of Independence, Italian descent.
- Michelle Arvizu, television and film actress.
- Rubén Omar Romano, Argentine Mexican coach and former football player of Italian descent.
- Emilio Amero, Mexican artist.
- Xavier Massimi, Mexican actor.
- Martín Boasso, Argentine naturalized Mexican footballer of Italian descent.
- Carlos Torre Repetto, Mexican chess grandmaster.
- Fabio Morabito, Mexican writer and poet.
- Salvador Toscano, was Mexico's first filmmaker of director, producer and distributor of early Mexican cinema films.
- Ángeles Mastretta, Mexican author and journalist.
- Rafael Velasco, Mexican film/television actor of Italian descent.
- Rodolfo Usigli, Mexican playwright.
- Vicente Matías Vuoso, Argentine-born Mexican football striker of Italian descent.
- Vanessa Zambotti, Mexican judoka.
- Carlos Panini, wealthy Mexican businessman of Italian origin.
- Daniel Mastretta, Mexican engineer and designer.
- Cesáreo Victorino, Mexican footballer.
- Jorge Volpi, Mexican author .
- Jesús Arturo Paganoni, Mexican football midfielder.
- Gabriel Retes, Mexican film actor and director.
- Rafael Mercadante, Mexican Actor, television host, singer.
- Father Kino, priest during New Spain.
- Julio Mannino, Mexican actor.
- Sebastián Rulli, Argentine-Mexican actor and model of Italian descent and married to Mexican actress, Aracely Arámbula.
- Samuel Castelán Marini, participated in the Mexican reality show La Academia and got fifth place in his season. Originally from Zentla in Veracruz.
- Leandro Augusto, soccer player to Brazilian born of naturalized Mexican.
- Dante Cusi, creator of the agricultural colonies in the state of Michoacán (Nueva Italia and Lombardia).
- Felipe Colombo, Mexican actor, more popular in Argentina but also participates in Mexican films. Started out in 1991 as a child actor along fellow Mexican actors Gael García Bernal and Ludwika Paleta.
- Alejandro Tommasi, actor.
- David Toscana Mexican writer.
- Alberto Friscione. Presidential scuba guide. Ecologist, marine explorer, underwater photographer. TV host.
- (Spanish)/(Italian) Early Italian immigration to Mexico
References and notes
-  Italian stadistics 2009
- http://www.everyculture.com/Middle-America-Caribbean/Italian-Mexicans-Orientation.html Italian Mexicans Orientation
- http://www.italmex.vze.com/ Italianos en México