Rio Verde Colony (San Pedro Department, Paraguay)
Rio Verde Colony, Paraguay, lies 350 km (217 miles) northeasy of Asunción on highway 3. Old Colony Reinländer Mennonites from Mexico purchased 20,526 hectares (50,700 acres) of land. An additional 6,000 hectares (14,820 acres), on the opposite side of the highway, were purchased by private investors. The colony's name means Green River. The first 14 families (106 persons) arrived in 1969 from Chihuahua, Mexico. A shortage of suitable land in Mexico was the reason for migration. Gradually additional families came from Mexico as well as from Belize and Canada. Eighteen villages were planned; 13 had already been occupied by 1987. The population in 1986 was 2,397, of whom 802 were members of the congregation.
The settlement made much progress economically. With the use of modern machinery large tracts of land were quickly cleared for cultivation. Soybeans, beans, and wheat were primary crops, but milk production was also carried on. Blacksmiths, sawmills, carpentry shops, and stores were available to provide the settlers with most of the things they needed for daily life.
The importance of tradition and separation from the world was strongly emphasized. Uniformity of dress was immediately apparent. The express desire of the leaders of the colony was that it remain as it was. Cars and motorcycles, as well as pocket watches, radios, and belts (instead of suspenders), were not permitted in 1987.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 775. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Ratzlaff, Gerhard. "Rio Verde Colony (San Pedro Department, Paraguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/R5844.html.
APA style: Ratzlaff, Gerhard. (1989). Rio Verde Colony (San Pedro Department, Paraguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/R5844.html.