Romani Mexicans

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Romani Mexicans
gitanos mexicanos
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Mexico City, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí
Mexican Spanish, minority speak Romani languages
Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism), Folk religion
Related ethnic groups
other Romani diasporas

There is a significant Roma population in Mexico, most being the descendants of past migrants. According to data collected by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography in 2000, they numbered 15,850,[1] however, the total number is likely larger.[1] In Mexico, they are commonly known as gitanos or rom.


The first gypsy group in Mexico were the Spanish gitanos that arrived during the Colonial era.

Some of the mid-19th century migrants may have arrived to Mexico via Argentina.[2]

In the late 19th and early 20th century migrants from Hungary, Poland and Russia began arriving.[1] In 1931, after a substantial colony of these latter gypsies had settled, and following complaints of delinquency, the law was changed to prohibit further settlement in Mexico.[1]

According to the Joshua Project, there are 51,000 Romani/Vlax in Mexico (85% are Christian).[3]


In the mid 1900s, Romani caravans were known for showing movies in rural towns (cine ambulante, traveling cinema).

Today, their economic activities mainly revolve around the sale of textiles, cars, trucks and jewelry and also the teaching of singing and dancing.[1] As a result of adoption of Evangelical Protestantism, there has been an almost complete abandonment of fortune-telling as a profession among the Romani of Mexico City.[4]

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • D. W. Pickett, "The Gypsies of Mexico", Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, 1966


  1. ^ a b c d e "Gitanos, o como ser invisibles en México" (in Spanish). Inter Press Service. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Mexico's misunderstood Gypsies live their own way". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Romani, Vlax in Mexico". Project Joshua. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Comunidad gitana se aleja de la adivinación". Excélsior (in Spanish). 9 April 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.