Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Colonia Juarez is located at the base Sierra Madre Mountains. It is in the northern state of Chihuahua.
When the Mormon Polygamists were having trouble with the US government, they began looking for places to escape with their families to live in peace. Porfirio Diaz offered those people an option to buy land in Mexico. So the Church sent people to explore the possibilities of purchasing suitable land for American citizens to come and bring their multiple families and be free from the harassment of the US marshals.
After eighteen months, suitable land was found and purchased, known as the Juarez Colonization Purchase. There were two colonies in Sonora, the remaining colonies were situated in Chihuahua. Colonia Juarez and Colonia Dublan are the only settlements left of the original colonies. At one time there were 4,000 American people living here in the Mexican colonies, known as the "Mormom Colonies". Now there are about 300 American citizens still living here. The Mexican Revolution of 1912 caused most people to move to the United States, where they could find safety from the war. Most of them did not come back, but continued living in various states in the US, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas. A few moved back to Mexico to reclaim their homes and land after the Revolution subsided.
They built a school here in Colonia Juarez, Juarez Stake Academy, which provided the needed education for their children. It became part of the Church school system, which is still maintained by the Church today.
People here earn their "daily bread" by raising fruit, ranching, and farming.
In 1999 one of the first small temples was built here, which greatly blessed the lives of those living far away from the temple in Mesa, Arizona.
Life in the "Mormon Colonies" provides its people with a diverse specter of culture, which enhances those who draw from the rich heritage of American and Mexican history in this area.
Carol Kirkham Hatch