The Mennonites in Seminole - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/27/06

The Mennonites in Seminole

These four children are about to encounter the American dream.  They don't speak English,  only German. They came to Seminole from Chihuahua, Mexico four years ago to have a better life. They are part of a huge migrant Mennonite community.  Approximately 5,000 of them live in Gaines County. 

Tina Siemens has lived in Seminole since she was seven years old.  She understands the Mennonites, which is a religion and culture, not a race. 

"They believe if you stay secluded, if you stay more in amongst your own kind, you will be shielded from the world and not be influenced by all differences we face," said Tina.

They live modest, conservative lifestyles.  The women sew their own dresses, which make them and their little girls easily distinguishable.  Mennonites and the Amish are somewhat alike.  They believe in separation from the rest of the world.  However, Tina explained to us, more Mennonites, unlike the Amish, are adapting to modern ways.

Tina showed us three Mennonite villages in Seminole.  

"I would say this is the most conservative village in Seminole," said Tina. 

This one she showed us is called Taco Darp.  It is a quaint village with it's own church and private school.   It is the same village where we met the children, dressed in their dresses and the boys in jeans, T-shirts and hats.

Tina can relate to the kids, she was once like them 30 years ago.  Her family was the seventh migrant Mennonite family in Seminole. They came from farm houses in Mexico,  to mobile homes  with running water and electricity.  

Tina is married. Her husband builds houses for a living. They have two boys. Now, after 30 years in America, she's finally living "her" American dream.

History of Seminole
Learn more about the city of Seminole.

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