Daniel Caja

Mennonite Colony in South Mexico. I am sending you photos of my repeated visits to the Mennonite Colony SALAMANCA in the south Quintana Roo Mexico. After visiting them frequently I was allowed to camp in an elders garden for a week in March 2018. Visiting the colony felt like going back in time for 200 years. The Mennonites don’t use electricity in their homes, only mechanical trucks to work the fields. There is a clear dress code as women, older and younger, only wear dresses and the men wear overalls. Both wear hats to be protected from the sun. Even after being there several times the Mennonites stayed shy and hard to access, so first I got many photos of their heads turned away or down or from people running away. Connecting with kids was the easiest I guess. This is why I am sending you mostly images of them. What struck me the most was their innocence and curiosity. I general I experienced the Mennonites as shy but lovely and friendly people and I plan on returning more often, as I want to get to know them better. What I observed during my stay was the determination to work of all the Mennonites. They walk fast and straight and everyone seems to know what to do next. There are kids fixing the motors of the trucks and the girl help working in the fields when there is no school. For me, it will be interesting to follow how long a group can stay isolated in a world of infinite growing connectivity.

COUNTRY | Mexico

BIO | Parents migrated from Ex-Yugoslavia to Germany, Munich, where I grew up. Masters degree in history of art, history and social science. Worked in a publishing house before I moved to Mexico, Quintana Roo, in 2015 where I live and work as an independent photographer.

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