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Visit the Mennonite colonies
Visit the pacifist Mennonite agricultural colonies of the remote Chaco.
Mennonites are the people of pacifist Christian communities in Russia, Canada and Europe who fled the obligation to do military service in their countries of origin. Paraguay, which has absorbed refugees of many religious and political complexions, gave them refuge in the 1920s and 30s but they were obliged to establish their colonies in the most inhospitable territory, including the Chaco.
The towns and villages, of which Filafelfia is the most notable, are a mix of the Wild West and modern, Germanic-style efficiency. They have adopted modern dress and practices but jealously guard their autonomy. Each Mennonite colony operates an agricultural co-operative system. The main source of income is beef cattle: they are expert breeders.
The Mennonites of the Chaco speak Plattdeutsch, a form of German although those of Canadian origin also speak English. They are also passionately Paraguayan. A visit to these unique communities and hearing their stories is a highlight of any visit to Paraguay and essential to an understanding of this complex country.
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Real Latin America Experts
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.
Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.
Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant
It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.