Mennonite community thriving in Seminole
SEMINOLE, TX (KCBD) - The Mennonite community is thriving in Seminole, since coming here in the late 1970s. However, it wasn't without a lot of hardship, and a lot of help.
Tina Siemens and her family are now in their 41st year as West Texans. They say they are "living the American dream, and that is such a joy."
Mennonites have moved around a lot throughout history and that includes the Siemens family.
Originally from Germany, Tina's roots can be traced from Poland to Russia, Canada, then to Mexico, before ending up here on the South Plains.
"We've had many, many ups and downs," she says. "But I can honestly say it's been the best journey."
The family faced a lot of challenges, coming from a very different culture.
"We didn't know anything in English. Our dress code was completely different. We were sticking out like a sore thumb."
Now Siemens says they are fully integrated into the community.
"As a whole, the Seminole community has embraced us, they have loved us from the start."
And their community agrees. Gary Laramore, the Superintendent for SISD, says the Mennonite community is, "vital to Seminole and to its economic stability and also to our public schools."
Shelby Concotelli, with the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, says members of the Mennonite community are,"some of my dearest friends have come from the Mennonite community. They're go-getters. We're blessed to have them."
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