Mennonites in Argentina

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Mennonites in Argentina
Total population
c. 2,000
Regions with significant populations
Mainly in La Pampa Province · Santiago del Estero Province
The Bible
Plautdietsch · Standard German · Rioplatense Spanish

Mennonites in Argentina are the third largest community of Mennonites in South America, with a significant concentration in La Pampa Province.

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. Although from different countries, all are of the same German-Dutch ethnic background which developed into an ethnic group in a part of the Russian Empire that today belongs to the Ukraine. Therefore they are often called Russian Mennonites.

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.[1][2][3][4]

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 plain cloths and their understanding of the Christian faith, which is very important to stay away from the world.[5] Relations with the outside world are restricted to the purchase of raw materials and selling products.[6]

Mennonites speak Plautdietsch in every day life and use an old fashioned Standard German in reading, writing and singing. In addition, Spanish is spoken fluently by some settlers and taught in schools.[1] 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.[7]

Labour and production[edit]

Queso menonita Guatraché.JPG

The Mennonite colony "La Nueva Esperanza", in La Pampa, produces 15,000 litres (3,300 imp gal; 4,000 US gal) 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.[1][8]

See also[edit]