Los Repatriados
Los Repatriados > History > Colonization: Pan Y Tierra

Mexico had to find ways to integrate the masses into society after the Repatriation. One way was to use the new found farming skills of these Mexicans in new “colonies” throughout the formerly unwanted areas of Mexico. Mexico had the idea that these new workers would help improve the quality of living and create a new demand for goods; moving Mexico into a capitalist society. The invited repatriates to settle in these colonies by providing loans and all the machinery necessary. They also wanted to build irrigation canals and provide electricity. What the Government did not realize was that they could not afford all these big ideas. By instilling the idea of the “Madre patria” 1, the Mexican government made the individual states responsible for the colonies in their land.  There was anticipation of national pride in the fact that Mexico’s economy would improve and the citizens would be able to afford more things.
Before the immigrants returned, the Secretaria de Agricultura y Fomento asked for the results of a survey of Don Martin and Calles Dam colonies. 2 They wanted to know when the land would be ready and when the dam for irrigation would be built. The results were that the land was ready to be lived in, and that the dam would be finished by the end of the year. Groups of Mexican nationals were formed in the U.S, and they wrote to the Mexican government requesting aid and in return that they could become good citizens of Mexico. A specific group called the Vanguardia de Colonizacion Proletaria in California, stated that it had over 40,000 members and planned to raise over 12 million dollars for the cause of its own repatriation.3 They sought help from the government for assistance in obtaining land in Mexico when they arrived. However, a Secretaria established requirements that had to be met by anyone wanting to return to Mexico; applicants had to have experience farming and no previous criminal records. Once accepted they entered an iron-clad contract with the government including a partnership and taxes to the loans. Depending on how much aid a repatriate received, the interest was lower or higher. The rules tended to be too oppressive and in the end the colonies of these unwanted Mexican territories failed partly for the lack of help and the lack of quality of the land. At the same time, in the U.S., the Mexican consul had aided repatriates by advising them to be very wary, and not sign any contracts too soon with the Mexican Government for land in Mexico.
To avoid legal responsibility, the Mexican government then made every governor responsible for their colonization efforts, errors in surveys and omissions. So hoping to get in good favor with the national government, the governors began to compile and send surveys instantly.4 They also started to make more lands available trying to do better then other states. But the land given by the states was the worst and unused land they had. Harvests were unsuccessful & regulations were strict for the land.

Not only were the stipulations of moving back to Mexico hard to come by, but also the restrictions in the U.S. were difficult to deal with. Many Mexicans were desperate to sell their land and what they had.  Because of U.S.’s refusal of aid, loans or any help in general, Mexicans inevitably felt that they must depart quickly and sell what they had (including land) even if their selling price was much lower than the value.

When Mexicans from the U.S. arrived in Mexico in hopes to move on to the land they had been planning on having, they were in for a rude awakening. The funds that had been promised for some the colonies never arrived.  In a land where they knew no one or who to turn to, Mexican repatriates had to face a lonely existence until they would be able to possibly return back to the U.S.

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