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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mennonites in trouble

  The Mennonites that have emigrated from Mexico, the USA, Canada and Europe to several countries in Central and South America are fascinating and colorful residents of their communities. They are respected for their hard work, productivity, conservative religious and social views, and easily spotted due to their clothing. The men often wear white or blue button-down shirts with overalls, and the women baggy dresses and head scarves. The children, except the very young, are often clones of their elders.
  This report in the New York Times is unusual in that the Mennonites usually stay out of the limelight and do not seek publicity.
  My experience in Bolivia indicates that Mennonites, despite their odd clothing and religious practives, are human beings just like you and me. I will never forget two years ago, during a road trip outside Villamontes in the far south of Bolivia, coming around a bend in the road and seeing a middle-aged Mennonite man sitting in the middle of the dirt track, drunk off his butt. It was Sunday. No one works on Sunday.


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