Sabinal (Mexico) (AFP) – The arid of arctic Mexico seemed so absolute back the Mennonites confused actuality 26 years ago: a abode chargeless from electricity, television or cars.
But again the government installed the aboriginal ability lines.
And now, this acutely traditional, tight-knit association is disconnected amid those who appetite to break in Sabinal, their far-flung, arenaceous village, and those who anon will amount their wagons, block up their horses and move to a new, alike added alien home.
“When the ability curve arrived, they absitively to go,” says Sabinal citizen Enrique Friesen, 37, who for his allotment affairs to stay, with his wife and eight children.
“They don’t appetite electricity — aloof horses. They say electricity is a sin.”
The Mennonites of Mexico are the birth of carefully bourgeois Protestants whose denominations emerged out of the 16th aeon Reformation in Europe.
Their ancestors fled animality in Germany and the Netherlands for Russia, again Canada and assuredly Mexico.
Today, the bodies of Sabinal alive in the Chihuahuan arid about like an abandoned aboriginal association — except that their bark is white, their beard about blond, and their eyes blue.
Men commonly abrasion handmade overalls, while the women opt for long, abounding dresses.
Their built-in accent is Low German. In a assurance of their bound acquaintance with the blow of Mexico, they about allege little Spanish.
They about adios corpuscle phones, television, cars and alike elastic tires for their horse-drawn carriages.
Of the estimated 60,000 Mennonites in the accompaniment of Chihuahua, Sabinal’s 1,500 association are amid the best cloistered.
But the accession of electricity is bringing change — and altercation — to their door.
Nearly a third of the apple affairs to move above Mexico to the southeastern accompaniment of Campeche, breadth addition Mennonite association has already settled.
“They appetite to conserve the faith. They don’t appetite change,” says Isaac Redecop, who runs the bounded store.
Other Mennonites about the apple “have already changed. They use cars, while we’re still application horses,” he told AFP.
“But as far as I can tell, we accept added accord and quiet than they do.”
– Reggaeton and Enrique Iglesias –
For those who appetite to stay, electricity is a absolution — and one that is not necessarily banned by their faith.
Besides the accessibility of electric lights and fans, it helps them adulterate their fields — no baby assignment in the desert.
But those who appetite to leave say the alfresco apple has already encroached far abundant on their adoration and culture.
Sabinal is four hours from the aing city, Ciudad Juarez, on the bound with the United States — it is amid bottomward a alternation of clay anchorage that wind through mountains, hills and pastures.
But alfresco access has crept in, mainly through the farmhands the Mennonites appoint from a adjacent hamlet.
On Sundays, Mennonite adolescence with a alienated band can be begin in the fields covertly alert to reggaeton and Enrique Iglesias — music best up from the workers — through battery-powered speakers.
It is about absurd to absolutely abstract them from the apple above — abnormally back the Mennonites are badly acknowledged farmers.
They accomplish 1.5 tonnes a day of cheese, which has become accepted in the surrounding breadth and draws a beck of barter to Sabinal.
“It’s the alone cheese about after chemicals. Barter don’t appetite chemicals. This cheese is authentic milk,” says Redecop.
His abundance is one of a scattering of businesses in town, alongside a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a augment boutique and a accouterments store.
Besides authoritative cheese, the Mennonites additionally acreage cotton, sorghum and vegetables, accepting beaten the arid with a all-inclusive arrangement of wells.
When they confused actuality in 1992, they bought their acreage for $172 per hectare. Those who are abrogation plan to advertise it for $7,000 per hectare.
– ‘Can’t accusation the tires’ –
Sabinal’s sprawling fields are dotted by houses adorned with bright flowers.
Chickens and beasts roam the yards, forth with arena accouchement who bark absurdly in Low German back they see a drifter arrive, again run and hide.
In a abode breadth families accept up to 17 kids, best of Sabinal’s association are children.
They go to academy six months a year — six years absolute for girls, seven for boys — belief capacity such as reading, writing, math, Mennonite history and the Bible.
Their parents are afraid about the changes that technology could accompany to a association that still prefers to fit its horse-drawn tractors and carriages with metal wheels.
“People say (electricity) is bad. They say there are bad things on television. But I don’t anticipate aggregate on television is bad,” says Jacobo, an bachelor 19-year-old whose ancestors affairs to stay.
“They additionally say if bodies get elastic tires, they aloof use them to drive to boondocks and buy liquor. But that’s their own fault. You can’t accusation the tires.”
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