Italian immigration to Mexico
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6,605 Italian nationals residing in Mexico (2012)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Puebla · Mexico City · Veracruz · San Luis Potosi|
|Mexican Spanish · Italian · Chipileño|
|Related ethnic groups|
An Italian-Mexican or Italo-Mexican (Spanish: italo-mexicano, Italian: italo-messicano) 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 1995, there were an estimated 30,000 Mexican descendants of the original Italian colonies. The absolute Italian-descended population, however, is uncertain due to the national census not gathering information on any specific ethnicity, as 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 Potosí.
Smaller numbers of Italian-Mexicans are in Guanajuato, Edomex, and the ex-Haciendas (now cities) of Nueva Italia, Michoacán and Lombardia, Michoacán; 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.
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, Reynosa and Monterrey).
- Aldo de Nigris - Mexican soccer player.
- Cristhian Presichi, Mexican professional baseball.
- Eder Borelli, Mexican football defender.
- Duilio Davino, Mexican-born footballer.
- Flavio Davino, Mexican-born footballer.
- Giovanni Aloi, Mexican race car driver.
- Teresa Piccini, Mexican ten-pin bowler.
- Raúl Servín, retired Mexican footballer.
- Cesáreo Victorino, Mexican footballer.
- Jesús Arturo Paganoni, Mexican football midfielder.
- Jared Borgetti, all-time leading goal scorer for the Mexico national football team.
- Antonio de Nigris, soccer player.
- Nadia Di Cello, Mexican-born Argentine actress.
- Antonio DeMarco, professional boxer of Italian descent.
- Leobardo Candiani, Mexican Olympic fencer.
- Alfredo Grisi, Mexican Olympic fencer.
- Rodolfo Usigli, Mexican playwright.
- Vanessa Zambotti, Mexican judoka.
- Carlos Torre Repetto, Mexican chess grandmaster.
- Oscar Bonfiglio, Mexican football goalkeeper of Italian descent.
- Jerónimo Amione, Mexican football player of Lebanese and Italian descent.
- Arturo Brizio Carter, Mexican former football referee of Italian and English descent.
- Gabriel Rojo de la Vega Piccolo Mexican footballer.
- Francisco Romano Guillemin, Mexican artist of Italian descent.
- Antonio Attolini Lack, Mexican architect.
- Emilio Amero, Mexican artist.
- Mario Pani, Mexican architect and urbanist.
- Manuel Neri, American-born artist to Mexican parent of Italian descent.
- Tina Modotti Italian-born Model and photographer.
- Ambra Polidori, Mexican artist.
- Kat Von D, Tattoo artist.
- Claudio Linati, Italian-born painter and lithographer.
- Pietro Gualdi, Italian-born artist, panorama painter, architect and lithographer.
- Gaspar Franchini, Italian-born painter and lithographer.
- Giuseppe Semeraro, Italian-born artist.
- Manuel Balbi - Mexican actor of Italian descent.
- Ennio Ricciardi - Italian-born Mexican actor and model.
- Sebastián Zurita - Mexican actor, son of Christian Bach of German and Italian descent.
- Maite Perroni, Mexican actress and singer.
- Alejandro Ciangherotti, Mexican actor
- Betty Zanolli Fabila, pianist
- 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.
- Carina Ricco, Mexican actress, singer, musician, and composer.
- Itatí Cantoral, Mexican actress.
- Nicky Mondellini, Italian-born Mexican Actress.
- Fernando Ciangherotti, Mexican television soap opera actor.
- Manuel Valdés, Mexican actor and comedian.
- Oscar Morelli, Mexican actor.
- Mónica Dossetti, Mexican actress.
- Alfonso de Nigris, Mexican actor and model.
- Germán Valdés, actor, singer and comedian.
- Fernando Balzaretti, Mexican actor.
- Victoria Ruffo, Mexican Actress.
- Montserrat Olivier, Mexican actress, television presenter and former fashion model.
- Riccardo Dalmacci, Italian-born Mexican actor of film and telenovelas.
- Luz María Zetina, Mexican Actress and former Miss Mexico Universe.
- Alberto Agnesi, Mexican Actor.
- Katie Barberi, Mexican actress.
- Luis Miguel, pop singer
- Ramón Valdés, Mexican actor.
- Tito Guízar, Mexican singer and actor.
- Ana Bárbara, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress.
- Michelle Arvizu, television and film actress.
- Salvador Toscano, was Mexico's first filmmaker of director, producer and distributor of early Mexican cinema films.
- Rafael Velasco, Mexican film/television actor of Italian descent.
- Xavier Massimi, Mexican actor.
- Gabriel Retes, Mexican film actor and director.
- Rafael Mercadante, Mexican Actor, television host, singer.
- Julio Mannino, Mexican actor.
- Samuel Castelán Marini, participated in the Mexican reality show La Academia and got fifth place in his season. Originally from Zentla in Veracruz.
- Jessica García Formenti, Mexican beauty pageant titleholder who obtained the 2012 Nuestra Belleza Internacional México title.
- Rosángela Balbó, Italian-born Mexican actress.
- Óscar Bonfiglio Ríos, Mexican actor of Italian descent.
- Maritere Alessandri, Mexican model.
- Pierre Angelo, Mexican actor, director and humorist of Italian descent.
- Francisco Angelini, Mexican actor of Italian descent.
- César Bono, Mexican comedian and actor.
- Lilí Brillanti, Mexican actress and TV host.
- Reynaldo Rossano, Mexican actor and comedian.
- Martha Roth, Italian-born Mexican actress.
- Michelle Ramaglia, Mexican actress of Italian descent.
- David Silva Guglielmeti, Mexican-born actor of Italian, Swiss and French descent.
- Miguel Ángel Biaggio, Mexican-born actor of Italian descent.
- Toño Mauri, Mexican actor and singer of Italian descent.
- Graciela Mauri, Mexican actress and signer.
- Eugenio Bartilotti, Mexican actor and puppeteer of Italian descent.
- Óscar Ferretti, Mexican actor of Italian descent.
- Sergio DeFassio, Mexican comedian, actor and writer of Italian descent.
- Olivia Buccio, Mexican actress of Italian descent.
- Joaquín Cosío, Mexican actor and poet of Italian descent.
- Pablo Perroni, Mexican actor of Italian descent.
- Salvador Zerboni, Mexican actor.
- Alejandro Lukini, Mexican actor and TV host of Italian descent.
- Axel Ricco, Mexican actor and composer of Italian descent.
- Gabriela Ruffo, Mexican actress and radio host of Italian descent.
- Marcela Ruffo, Mexican producer telenovelas of Italian descent.
- Esther Rinaldi Mexican Actress.
- Valeria Luiselli - Mexican novelist and nonfiction writer of Italian descent.
- Avimel Dolfin - Mexican writer.
- Ángeles Mastretta, Mexican author and journalist.
- Mireille Roccatti, Mexican scholar and jurist.
- Uberto Zanolli, composer and writer
- Fabio Morabito, Mexican writer and poet.
- Adela Navarro Bello, Mexican journalist.
- David Toscana Mexican writer.
- Jorge Volpi, Mexican author.
- Susana Pagano, Mexican author of novels.
- Francesca Gargallo, Italian-born Mexican writer and poet.
- Flaviano Amatulli Valente, Italian-born Mexican priest and Catholic author.
- Sergio Pitol, Mexican writer.
- Bernard Stasi, French politician (Italo-Mexican-French)
- Carmen Romano, First Lady of Mexico from 1976 - 1982.
- Gustavo Petricioli, Mexican economist.
- Sócrates Rizzo, Mexican politician affiliated.
- Mario di Costanzo, Mexican economist politician.
- Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexican politician, and PRI presidential candidate.
- Manuel María Lombardini, Mexican general and politician and 21st President of Mexico.
- Dionisio Pérez-Jácome Friscione, Mexican politician.
- Leona Vicario, a supporter of the Mexican War of Independence, Italian descent.
- Macario Schettino, Mexican economics and political analyst.
- Carlos Berardi, Mexican politician of Italian descent.
- Gabriel Quadri de la Torre Mexican politician.
- Caesar Cardini - Inventor of Caesar salad.
- Dante Cusi, creator of the agricultural colonies in the state of Michoacán (Nueva Italia and Lombardia).
- Martinez del Rio family, Piedmont and Milan.
- Adolfo Dollero, Italian-born of Mexican historian.
- Alicia Gironella D'Angeli, Mexican chef and published cook books.
- Alberto Friscione- Presidential scuba guide, Ecologist, marine explorer, underwater photographer and TV host.
- Father Kino, priest during New Spain.
- Fernando Ferrari-Pérez, Mexican Geographical and Exploring Commission.
- Carlos Panini, wealthy Mexican businessman of Italian origin.
- Daniel Mastretta, Mexican engineer and designer.
- "International Migration Database". OECD. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
Country of origin: Italy, Variable: Stock of foreign population by nationality
- "Episodio 10: Italianos". Canal Once. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
-  Italian stadistics 2009
- http://www.everyculture.com/Middle-America-Caribbean/Italian-Mexicans-Orientation.html Italian Mexicans Orientation
- "Italian-Mexicans". Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Volume 8: Mesoamerican and the Caribbean. Retrieved 24 March 2015.