Mennonites in Bolivia settled first in 1953 in Bolivia, coming mostly from Mexico and Canada. Mennonites in South- and Central America very seldom assimilate into other people groups, so in Bolivia too they founded colonies where native Bolivians are not allowed to settle.
They are settled in approximately 60 colonies, mostly in the Departmentos Santa Cruz and Beni.
Most are farmers of crops or cattle. Since the Altkolonier banished all modern (post-1920s) technological Items, these groups live without electricity, radio and so on. Many of these Altkolonier are very poor. Other groups are more open to civilization and they are more progressive.
Many of the Mennonites belong to the Altkolonier-Colonies. They are influenced by many human made laws that regulate even the simplest of everyday things (e.g. - the prohibition of colored tights, rubber tires for vehicles or wage labor). Most sermons are held in High German, which cannot be understood by most. The sermons are read from old collections of 150 years of age and are constantly repeated. Reading the Bible is forbidden to all who are not ordained preachers. Most previously lived a life that is characterized of alcohol and drug abuse. With baptism they have to accept the rules. If individuals start attending Bible-believing churches, they are excluded from the community (and family) and are economically marginalized. The non-Alkolonier often have a legal background, which leads to many problems in the church life. There are many divisions.
Several mission agencies are the Mennonites for about 20 years. Some have received death threats from Alkoloniern or mafia groups who cooperate with them. To train Mennonites as disciples, education is very important to enable people to an independent reading of the Bible. Since they only accept teachers with Mennonite background, these often come for a limited time from Germany.
|Profile Source: Anonymous|
|People Name General||Mennonites|
|People Name in Country||Mennonites|
|Population in Bolivia||70,000|
|Progress Scale||4 ●|
|GSEC||2 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Alternate Names||German, German Mennonite, Low German, Mennonite German, Mennonite Low German, Volga German|
|Region||Central and South America|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Santa Cruz department. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language:||Plautdietsch (70,000 speakers) People group listing|
|Language Code:||pdt Ethnologue Listing|
|Written:||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible Portions||Yes (1984-1987)|
|New Testament||Yes (1987)|
|Complete Bible||Yes (2003)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum of Bible Agencies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (FCBH)|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Plautdietsch|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible Gateway Scripture|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible-in-Your-Language|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: The Bible in Plautdietsch (Low German)|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 3.50 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|