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Mennonites Country in Chihuahua

Mennonites near Copper Canyon

There are some 80,000 Mennonites in Mexico, most of them in Chihuahua. The largest concentration is around Cuauhtemoc. This area is right along the CHEPE train to Copper Canyon and also is traversed by a very serviceable road.


The immigration of these folks mainly from Canada began in 1922 whena deal was made by President Obregon. The details of this and sunsequent developments are well documented in a Wiki article “Mennonites in Mexico”.

Our tours to the area

I always enjoy rolling out of Chihuahua City on the train early in the morning headed for Copper Canyon. One crisp fall morning I remember particularly because the early sun was so warm, and as we climbed up into the Cuauhtemoc basin (it takes about 2 hours from Chi City) the air cooled a bit and made that sun feel so good.

Before us out the windows of the rocking CHEPE were miles and miles of apple trees (recently harvested) and maturing oats with their gray green color flowing as far as we could see. The apple orchards were full of workers weeding, pruning and bundling up the huge nets used for hail protection.

One May morning not long ago

Smudge fires above Cuauhtemoc in the apple fields.

I was out of Cuauhtemoc early one morning to catch up with a group and the temperature on the car dash read 1 degree…then zero, then minus one. All across the vast basin. smudge fires were flaring and the wind circulators made a roar like some giant fly in. It was quite a site and made the usually bucolic farms seem to bustle with warming activity.

Early morning smudge fires above Cuauhtemoc.

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