Delta Colony (Departamento San Jose, Uruguay)
Delta Colony was the third Mennonite colony in Uruguay. It was located in southern Uruguay in Departamento San Jose, 60 miles (100 km) northwest of Montevideo, and three miles (five km) south of the principal Montevideo-Colonia highway, about 150 miles (250 km) southwest of the two older Mennonite settlements, El Ombu and Gartental. It was named Delta in remembrance of the Vistula Delta, from which the settlers all originated. The site was selected after careful investigation and after all prospective settlers had registered agreement to the purchase, which was made on 18 February 1955. The tract contained 1,462 hectares (ca. 3,600 acres), which was divided into farms of an average of 75 acres in size, and initially occupied by 40 families. The financial arrangements for the purchase called for a down payment of 250,000 Uruguay pesos, 100,000 of which were supplied by each family paying 2,500, and the remainder coming from North American friends. A mortgage was arranged through the government mortgage bank at eight percent interest. Delta Colony was independent of the other Mennonite settlements, with its own organization. The first officers of the colony were elected in 1955 as follows: President, Walter Sprunk; Secretary, Wilhelm Regehr; Treasurer, Hans Warkentin; Committee members, Artur Schweitzer, Helmut Wiebe, Gerhard Willy Dueck and Wilhelm Dueck.
All the settlers originally were refugees from the Danzig area and West Prussia, but came directly from the settlements of El Ombu, Il Pinar, Trinidad, Santa Rosa, Buschental and Montevideo in Uruguay. The colony cooperative was called "Co-operativa Delta." To some extent the farmers also operated independently on such products as milk, fruit and vegetables. The principal farm product of the settlement was wheat, although some sunflowers, potatoes and vegetables also were grown. Marketing facilities were good because of the colony's location on the main road into Montevideo.
The Delta church began is a branch of the Montevideo church. Willi Jochem, formerly at El Ombu, was the minister in the mid-1950s.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 32. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Snyder, William T. "Delta Colony (Departamento San Jose, Uruguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/delta_colony_departamento_san_jose_uruguay.
APA style: Snyder, William T. (1956). Delta Colony (Departamento San Jose, Uruguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/delta_colony_departamento_san_jose_uruguay.