by Carel Roessingh and Amber Schoonderwoerd
This article addresses the religious and entrepreneurial differentiation within Spanish Lookout, a Mennonite community in the Cayo district in Belize, Central America. In spite of the fact that most Mennonites live more or less on the edge of society, they have been able to establish a strong and stable economic position within Belize, although the different communities show a clear variation when it comes to social as well as in economic activities. Since their migration from Mexico to Belize in 1958, the Mennonites of Spanish Lookout, one of the modern communities, have developed a more differentiated economical system with commercial agriculture and agribusiness. The Mennonites maintain a remarkable transnational network, which consists of Mennonite communities and organizations in countries like Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico. These networks introduce innovations on different levels: from modern or better machines, to religious and social changes. The influences from Mennonites outside Belize on the social-economic system of the Spanish Lookout Mennonites, along with the developments within the community, will be the main focus of this article.
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Keywords: Mennonites; religion; entrepreneurship; agriculture; differentiation; collective identity.
Suggested APA reference: Roessingh, C., & Schoonderwoerd, A. (2005). Traditional farmers or modern businessmen? Religious differentiation and entrepreneurship in a Kleine Gemeinde Mennonite community in Belize. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 10(01), 65-77.