El Ombu (Departamento de Río Negro, Uruguay)
El Ombu is a Mennonite settlement and congregation in Uruguay, ca. 185 miles (300 km) north of Montevideo, on the main highway to Paysandu (65 miles (110 km) away), the town of Young (pop. 5,000) being the nearest market. El Ombu was founded in 1950 with the aid of the Mennonite Central Committee by Mennonite refugees from Danzig and West Prussia, most of whom had been in refugee camps in Denmark since their flight from Danzig in January 1945. El Ombu (the name refers to a shade tree) is actually the name of a 25,000-acre estate, 3,000 acres of which were bought at a price of $100,000 and occupied 17 April 1950. About half of the 750 Mennonites who arrived in Uruguay 7 October 1948, on the Volendam settled here, a total of 80 families and 12 single persons. (In April 1951, about 400 persons in 100 family units were living in El Ombu, 10 of whom had previously belonged to two congregations in Poland, Deutsch-Kazun and Wymysle.) In September 1950 the El Ombu cooperative ("Flor del Rio Negro") was organized, to which every settler (head of a family) belonged.
The El Ombu congregation was organized on 10 March 1952, with the following ministerial organization: elder, Ernst Regehr, formerly elder (1934) of Rosenort; preachers, Gustav L. Reimer (1931 Heubuden), Heinrich Wall (1934 Fürstenwerder), Alfred Hinz (1935 Orlofferfelde), Otto Jochem (1941 Fürstenwerder), Reinhard Fast (1952 El Ombu); deacons, Johannes Wiebe (1933 Heubuden), Heinz Dyck (1952 El Ombu). The crops in El Ombu were wheat, corn, flax, sunflowers, and peanuts. Milk, butter, and fruit were also in production. An orange orchard of about 100 acres with 11,000 bearing trees was on the tract when bought. El Ombu is the oldest Mennonite settlement in Uruguay and the center of Mennonite life there in the 1950s.
Dück, W. "Neue Heimat in Uruguay, Die Mennonitensiedlung El Ombu." Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1952): 56-65.
Reimer, G. E. "Von Danzig nach Uruguay." Mennonite Life 4 (July 1949): 12-14.
Wall, H. "Drei Jahre in Uruguay." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter 9 (March 1952): 18-26.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 175. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "El Ombu (Departamento de Río Negro, Uruguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E503.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1956). El Ombu (Departamento de Río Negro, Uruguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E503.html.