February 21, 2020 Volume 32 Issue 18 | Around 1922, Mexico extended to Sommerfelder migrants in their Privelgium some of the same offers made to Mennonite migrants to Paraguay: the protection of the law “for all time” and “complete liberty to leave this republic when it is deemed convenient.” This last clause was extended to descendants as well. But over time, the migration of Mennonites from the prairies of Canada to colonies in Mexico increasingly faced obstacles. By 1952, Mexico rescinded a promise to allow the duty-free import of property. Especially heavy tariffs were imposed on vehicles. Having been exported from Canada, the vehicles were not re-admissible, nor could they be sold in the USA. As a result, some owners simply chose to abandon vehicles in El Paso. Photo: Three unidentified men standing next to a car in Chihuahua City, Mexico, circa 1923.
Photo Source: Mennonite Heritage Archives/Mennonite Archival Image Database, Cornelius Krause collection; Content: They Sought a Country, Harry Leonard Sawatzky.