Departing Canada, Encountering Latin America

Oct 21-22 9:45AM-5:15PM

Departing Canada, Encountering Latin America: Reflections on the Centenary of Mennonite Emigration from Canada to Mexico and Paraguay

October 21-22, 2022

A Conference Hosted by the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies
at The University of Winnipeg

The year 1922 marks the beginning of the largest group emigration in Canadian history, when several thousand Low German–speaking Mennonites from Manitoba and Saskatchewan began to establish their first colonies in northern Mexico. Their emigration was accompanied by plans for a major settlement of Mennonites in the contested Paraguayan Gran Chaco that would begin later that decade. These moves were products of conflict with provincial authorities over English-language education but also reflected internal tensions over acculturation and technology use. Since these seminal migrations of the 1920s, internal growth and sub-migration have resulted in the establishment of Low German Mennonite communities throughout Mexico and Paraguay as well as in Belize, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. The majority of the roughly 250,000 Low German–speaking Mennonites now living in Latin America are descendants of that initial migration to post-revolutionary Mexico a century ago.

This conference will be held in person, and a live video stream will also be available. Please register to attend this free event, in either format.


Friday, October 21
Panel 1Mobile Families
Panel 2Conditions of Departure
Panel 3Education and Identity
7:00-8:30PMCentenary Documentary Screening
Saturday, October 22
Panel 4Gender, Labour, and Foodways
Panel 5Indigenous-Mennonite Encounters
Panel 6Change and Persistence



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