From Hardship to Success
Celebrating the Mennonite's
50th Anniversary in Belize

By the Naturalight Team

Prime Minister Dean Barrow commenting on Menonite's valuable contribution to the country of Belize. The Mennonite community is one of the 10 diverse, friendly English-speaking cultures living in harmony in Belize. Join the 50th anniversary celebration of the Mennonites living, working and contributing to the development of Belize.

Between February 28th and March 2nd 2008, the Mennonite community at Spanish Lookout in the Cayo district of Belize celebrated their 50th anniversary of living, working and contributing to the development of Belize.

The members of this community belong to a modern sect which utilizes state of the art machinery and are an integral part of the Belizean economy in a variety of ways - poultry and dairy farming, suppliers of hardware, equipment and parts; and efficient land clearing are only a few of their contributions. The carefully planned and executed celebrations incorporated a wealth of history and skills including demonstrations of the difference in the way things were done 50 years ago as compared to today; singing, tours and contests such as a tractor pull. On hand were the new Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow and the recently elected and first Mennonite in the Belizean National Assembly, Hon. Elvin Penner.

Here we've shared excerpts from the anniversary program followed by a slide show of some 100 images.

Purpose of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations

  • To honor our Lord
  • To look back and to praise the Lord for survival in Belize
  • To remind us of all our blessings
  • To review the importance of working together
  • To rekindle unity in Spanish Lookout
  • To show our children what it took to get started in Belize
  • To honor our parents
  • To get to know ourselves better
  • To have a good time together
  • To make goals for the next 50 years.

Click on this image to see a larger version of the celebration program.

Menonite mother and daughter on side of the road in Spanish Lookout.

Bis hierher hat uns der Herr goholfen.
Thus far the Lord has helped us.
Hasta aqui nos ayudo Jehova.
I Sam. 7:12

The Mennonite Community of Spanish Lookout was first established in 1958 by several groups of brave families coming from the semarid state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. Ten years earlier they had come from Manitoba, Canada, where it is very cold in the winter. Most of the Mennonites of fair complexion are of European descent.

Today we celebrate 50 years of living in a mostly peaceful home the warm, green jewel that is Belize. And our prayer is that this would continue to be a peaceful place for us, our children, and our neighbors.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children.
Deuternonomy 6:5-7

Click on the slide show below to see over 100 images of the official ceremonies, displays, demonstrations and the welcoming nature of this community.

Click to begin image slideshow.
Begin slide show

Images Courtesy of:

  • Tony Rath


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