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  • 0 read more Watching Las Reinas: Escuela Secundaria, Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, 1990s

    Watching Las Reinas: Escuela Secundaria, Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, 1990s

    by Abigail Carl-Klassen

    I never got to be in the contest

    for the beauty queens even though I was

    nominated every year since I started

    school with the Mexicans. I bet

    I would have won too—everyone here

    is in love with rubias. I just got to bake

    cupcakes for the fundraiser. I didn't

    march in the Independence Day parade

    or dance folklórico either. My parents

    wrote letters saying it was against

    our religion, but I still had to help

    decorate during art class. I loved

    cutting out hearts and flowers for

    the floats and getting to use spray

    glitter. No matter how ...

  • 0 read more Interview with Anna Wall

    Interview with Anna Wall

    by Anna Wall


    1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

    I grew up Old Colony Mennonite in Nuevo Ideal, Durango, Mexico. I have seven brothers and four sisters. I am the third oldest. My parents, all four of my sisters and one brother live in Mexico. Two of my sisters do seasonal work in Canada. I travel back to my colony in Mexico about once a year to visit.

    2. What was your community's relationship with storytelling, writing, and books?

    Storytelling in the forum of gossip was practiced incessantly in my community. Books and writing not so much; in ...

  • 0 read more Hopeless Mennonite

    Hopeless Mennonite

    by Anna Wall

    Since it was Saturday, and since when I threw the pen across the room, it got all dusty, I decided that it was time to clean my apartment with Pine Sol again. I put the TV on and just left it on a random channel as I began cleaning. That's when I realized that the smell of Pine Sol had an uplifting effect on me. That smell made me feel like I was still part of Mexico and my family.

    I thought about it and realized that whenever we had cleaned with Pine-Sol back home, we had had something ...

  • 0 read more Mennonite Girl gets a Sinking Feeling

    Mennonite Girl gets a Sinking Feeling

    by Anna Wall

    I got up and wiped the Mexican dust off my clothes from sliding down Izaak's car and went back inside. I was just going to open the box my mom had sent me when my phone rang. I thought, "Man, today went from 'Nothing to do,' to 'I can't catch a break.'"

    I answered the phone, and it was Bree. She had heard that a tobacco farm was looking for Mexican Mennonite workers and she thought of me.

    She said to be there by seven the next day and explained that it was just a few back roads ...

  • 0 read more Interview with Veronica Enns

    Interview with Veronica Enns

    by Verónica Enns


    1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

    I grew up in the Campos Menonitas of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, in the early 80's isolated from the surrounding Mexican communities, amongst strict monopolies of Mennonite denominations who prohibited public education and all media and literature other than the Bible. Amongst a few cousins, I was one of the first to go to public school in a small Rancho were I learned Spanish and another culture. However, after secondary school, I was held home for three years before continuing high school due do religious limitations. Homemaking and helping with ...

  • 0 read more Veronica's Art

    Veronica's Art

    by Verónica Enns

    Veronica Fusion (bio pic)

    Photo taken by Raul Kigra 2016

    Adaptación, Three Mennonite Graces, June 2017 Acrylic on canvas, encaustic layer. As in the photograph she is installed with two head coverings used by Mennonite women the white before, the black after marriage.

    The little cups representing the innocent and playful childhoods we enjoy before growing up as adults. The colors in the painting are also playful and soft with outlines as in colored books.

    Red Suitcase, 2005

    Mixed techniques of found objects, plastered foot ...

  • 0 read more Breakfast on Sabinal

    Breakfast on Sabinal

    by Kerry Fast

    Breakfast on Sabinal I. Papaya and Hot Chocolate

    I never actually had papaya and hot chocolate for breakfast on Sabinal. I had it at Restaurant Constantino at the corner of Calle Minerva and Avenida Benito Juarez in the grid of dusty grey streets that makes up the Chihuahuan desert city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. Constantino is not a restaurant I'd highly recommend; a little bit dumpy, tables and chairs sprawled messily throughout the room. Nor would I vouch for the food except for the lime-soured papaya and the frothy hot chocolate.

    Sabinal is a small isolated ...

  • 0 read more Finding Our Place in Nature

    Finding Our Place in Nature

    by Priscilla Stuckey

    "It’s as if this project of reconciliation lies at the heart of all the problems of the modern world—because when people forget their ties to Earth, they forget their ties to one another."

  • 1 read more AGES AND AGES HENCE: A Conservative Mennonite Woman's Secret Dreams of Education

    AGES AND AGES HENCE: A Conservative Mennonite Woman's Secret Dreams of Education

    by Hope Nisly

    The Dream

    "This I remember. How happy I was to be there."

    Edith Swartzendruber Nisly (1919-2017)

    The dream came to her soon after she turned ninety and she called to tell me about it. She laughed as she spoke, but it was more tentative than her usual deep-seated laughter.

    I was nearly the youngest of a large family and born when my mother1 was close to forty; I had a relaxed relationship with her. She was past the general chaos that came with a profusion of young children in a too-small house, past the point she worried over other ...

  • 0 read more Songs for My Mother - Miriam L. Weaver, a Woman who Lived Beyond Boundaries

    Songs for My Mother - Miriam L. Weaver, a Woman who Lived Beyond Boundaries

    by Carol Ann Weaver

    Sometimes boundaries need to be understood in a transgressive way, when persons thought of as insiders have actually had to live outside the generally accepted borders containing cultural clout, control, comfort, convention, and community norms. Due to life events, chosen and unchosen, my staunchly Mennonite mother Miriam L. Weaver, 1922-1997, had to live outside many boundaries guarding preferred lifestyle, leadership, opportunity, and pay equity. These areas affected dress, marital status, education, work and leadership. This essay deals not only with factors within my mother's life, but also with manners and stylistic idioms with which I, as a composer, have ...