Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cuauhtemoc and the Manitoba Mennonites

It was an "I wish I had brought my camera" moment.  The weekend before Halloween I rented a car for the day.  My main reason was to explore the area outside of Chihuahua.  A secondary reason was to purchase apples in Cuauhtemoc, which is about an hours drive from Chihuahua.

Cuauhtemoc is a place where the Mennonites settled a few generations ago.  I had heard they were Canadian.  I had heard they had built a skating rink.  The apples and the orchards were an established fact.

When I arrived in Cuauhtemoc I ventured into side streets without a map.  Cuauhtemoc is a small commercial centre and I knew I wouldn't lose my way. 

I was surprised.  I drove past a building called "Manitoba Hielo."  What I mean to say is that I could have driven past, but I stopped the car, turned into the parking lot and went inside, not knowing what I would find.  Eureka!  The ice skating rink.  

Although most of the staff didn't speak English there was, as always, someone who could.  He was able to verify that the Mennonites were indeed Canadians from Manitoba.

I would also discover a Manitoba restaurant, and the Mennonite houses, although more elaborate than Manitoba Mennonite houses were still built in a Canadian Prairie style.  

A little bit of Manitoba in the desert of Mexico.

The apples I purchased ended up as dunking apples at the children's Halloween party. 

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