Mennonites in Argentina
|Regions with significant populations|
|Mainly in La Pampa Province · Santiago del Estero Province|
|Plautdietsch · Dutch · Rioplatense Spanish|
The Mennonites are a religious group whose doctrine is based on the Bible as God's word. A major migration of Mennonites to Argentina occurred from 1986 to 1987, mainly from Mexico, Bolivia and Paraguay, of Russian, German and Dutch background. They have 10,000 hectares 40 kilometres from Guatraché, La Pampa (called "La Nueva Esperanza" (New Hope, in English) and two agricultural communities of 10,000 hectares in Pampa de los Guanacos, Santiago del Estero.
This group has been engaged in tilling the land and live a simple life without electricity, cars, telephones, television, or other developments of modern life. They are distinguished by their modest clothing and their understanding of the Christian faith, which is very important to stay away from the world. Relations with the outside world are restricted to the purchase of raw materials and selling products.
Mennonites speak 16th century Dutch and sing in German (mainly Plautdietsch) 730 psalms of their hymnal. In addition, Spanish is spoken fluently by some settlers and taught in schools. By 2007, 1,300 people were surveyed in the town of Remecó, La Pampa, consisting of approximately 200 families, with an average of 8 to 12 children each.
Labour and production
The Mennonite colony "La Nueva Esperanza", in La Pampa, produces 15,000 litres of milk per day and over 500 silos per year. They have about 5,000 head of cattle, and most families, a dairy farm. As well, grow potatoes, radish, cucumber, pumpkin, onion, pepper, carrot, sunflower, lettuce, cabbage, and cilantro; they raise poultry, pigs and horses. Through a civil partnership, they sell several products to the rest of Argentina, such as cheese, pasta with mozzarella, wheat, furniture, silos and other implements for agriculture.
- La Nación. "Los menonitas en Guatraché" (in Spanish).
- They have been living in Santiago del Estero since the end of 2003 and early 2004, from La Pampa.