Veracruz has a strong European influence in certain areas where foreigners managed to colonize. The work of the field and the constructions were important to keep the families in the then new territory
The state of Veracruz is a historical reference of the European colonization, since its port, was the main door for the entrance of foreigners who sought to expand their lands to the then new continent; some colonies failed, while others remain until today.
Today, three European colonies stand out in Veracruz founded by French, Italians and Germans. In the region of Las Altas Montañas, an area that prevails with a greater influence of Italy stands out, although Germany also tried to colonize.
The book “Foreigners in Veracruz: 19th and 20th centuries”, by David Alan Skerrit Gardner, and disseminated by the Secretariat of Education of Veracruz (SEV), dates that in the decade of the 19th century, Italians arrived in the area of Huatusco. The Europeans would have had some difficulties to adapt and populate the new territory, sometimes without success, and others like this one in Veracruz that was consolidated.
The colony founded by Italians is the Colonia Manuel González, locality belonging to the municipality of Zentla, adjacent to Huatusco.
“The Italians of Zentla took over the seat of an old town hall and its head moved to the community known as Colonia Manuel González. However, the original name remains for the official record.” Says “Foreigners in Veracruz: 19th and 20th centuries”.
“Xalapa Antiguo” narrates that on October 19, 1881, 428 Italian migrants arrived in Mexico on board the steamship Atlantic, distributed in 88 families to settle in lands of the Altas mountains to found the Colonia Manuel González.
Unlike other colonies where procreation between Europeans and natives was more common, in the case of Zentla, the idea of endogamy was maintained for a longer time, that is, the union between people who share the same ancestry or lineage. This rule would be respected more strictly in people with positions in the town hall.
“For example, in the case of Zentla (Colonia Manuel González), from 1955 to date, that is, more than fifty years, the presidency has been occupied by more than thirty men with one or both Italian surnames.” Says the book.
Another foreign group settled successfully, although in a smaller population, in the same area. In the middle of the 19th century, Germans brought by the businessman Carl Sartorius started a sugarcane exploitation project and the foreigners stayed to colonize.
The site occupied by the Germans was in the former hacienda of Acazónica, located between the municipalities of Comapa and Totutla. Currently the strongest influence is in El Mirador, a locality belonging to Totutla where methods of planting and harvesting coffee prevail.
“Allan Müller lives in the old house of El Mirador and is a prominent figure in the attempts of coffee growers in the region to modify the productive and ecological practices of coffee growing. To date, the already very reduced farm of El Mirador is in the hands of descendants of those Germans …” Says Skerrit Gardner.
In this region near Huatusco you can still find German surnames like Gromann, Sartorius and Müller.
Source: La Silla Rota