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PROTESTANT STUDENT LEADER; A PRODUCT OF MODERN MISSIONS IN MEXICO Young Mexico

is looking to the United States to-day for friendship and help.

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BY

WHEELER V DWIGHT H. DAY B.

RODGERS

PHILADELPHIA

THE WESTMINSTER PRESS 1925

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W. REGINALD

JAMES

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COPYRIGHT, 1925, BY THE

BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE U. S. A.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OP AMERICA

754005 CONTENTS PAGE vii

INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I.

II.

III.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OP MEXICO

A

1

SELF-SUPPORTING PROTESTANT CHURCH IN

NORTHERN MEXICO THE MISSIONARY MESSAGE

9 IN THE

MOUNTAINS 15

OF OAXACA IV.

V.

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP IN MEXICO TO-DAY THE THREEFOLD SERVICE OF THE CHURCH IN

30

ORIZABA

XIV. XV.

34 VERA CRUZ, THE CITY OF THE TRUE CROSS SOME IMPRESSIONS OF THE PRESENT POLITICAL 38 AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN MEXICO THE CHALLENGE OF THE CHURCH IN CHIAPAS 46 A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER PROTESTANT 54 CHURCH IN SOUTHERN MEXICO 64 ACHIEVEMENT AND OPPORTUNITY IN JALAPA 68 MEXICO CITY AND THE VALLEY OF MEXICO YUCATAN AND THE PRECIOUS JEWELS OF 84 MERIDA OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION 91 REMAKING THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO 118 PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS IN PROTESTANT CO-

XVI.

THE LAND PROBLEM

VI. VII.

VIII. IX.

X. XI. XII. j

I i

XIII.

i

|

23

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

|

135

OPERATION IN MEXICO

AND THE CON-

STITUTION OF 1917

161

SOME POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1917 XVIII. THE CONSTITUTION OF 1917 AND PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS AND CHURCHES XIX. SOME ASPECTS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SITUATION IN MEXICO XX. THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN XXI. MISSION DEVELOPMENT SINCE 1922 A BRIEF READING LIST ON MEXICO XVII.

]

|

.

iii

.

183

202

216 256 284 289

ILLUSTRATIONS FACING

PAGE

STUDENT LEADER: A PRODUCT OF MODERN MISSIONS IN MEXICO Frontispiece " " 4 SMOKING MOUNTAIN OF MEXICO POPOCATEPETL, THE 12 CHURCH AND GIANT CYPRESS IN OAXACA 22 NATIVE CART IN OAXACA 34 THE MOONLIT BAY OF VERA CRUZ 44 RAILWAY TRANSPORTATION IN MEXICO 56 ON THE WAY TO EL RANCHO DEL AGUILA IN MISSIONARY AMERICAN THE MEXICANS GREET THE 70 THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA PROTESTANT VICTIMS OF AN ATTACK BY A ROMAN

A

PROTESTANT

CATHOLIC VILLAGE MOB THE RED FLAG IN VERA CRUZ AN OATH TO BE TRUE TO THE PROTESTANT FAITH

.

.

84 98 110

.

MEXICO PROTESTANT LEADERS OF THE PAST AND PRESENT GENERATIONS MAP OF MEXICO WITH COOPERATIVE DIVISION OF TERRITORY AMONG PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS " PYRAMID OF THE SUN AT SAN JUAN TEOTIHUACAN, THE " CITY OF THE GODS CALENDAR STONE OF THE AZTECS THE INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE DANCERS AT THE FESTIVAL OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE

122 134

146 158 170 182

THE BLACK CHRIST OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM 194 THE MEXICAN MISSION AT JALAPA IN 1924 206 SAN ANGEL SCHOOL AND TRACK TEAM OF COYOACAN f

PREPARATORY SCHOOL

218

THE HALSEY MEMORIAL BUILDING AT COYOACAN PREPARATORY SCHOOL TURNER-HODGE SCHOOL FOR BoYS AND GlRLS, MERIDA BIBLE INSTITUTE AND SOCIAL CENTER AT MERIDA, AND THE PROTESTANT CHURCH AT JALAPA A CONTRAST IN MEXICO CHILD LIFE THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN OUTLINE MAP OF MEXICO, WITH ROUTE OF THE COM.

MISSION

230 242 254 268 280

288 v

INTRODUCTION present volume is the outgrowth of a two months' trip to Mexico to visit the Presbyterian Missions in that country. The trip originated in the practice of the For-

eign Mission Boards and Societies of sending, at stated intervals, commissions or deputations to the Missions on the field and to bring to the United States direct word about them to those in-

visit

The

Board with whose concerned has approved of such a visitation for each of its Missions at least once in every seven years. In 1922-1923, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela were thus visited. In this book the work in Mexico is described; another volume, entitled Modern Missions on the Spanish

terested.

work

Main,

is

particular Mission

book

this

is

devoted to Colombia and Venezuela.

The Commission in Mexico was composed of Dwight H. Day, Treasurer of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions from 1906 to 1924; Dr. James B. Rodgers, who has spent ten years in Brazil and twenty-five years in the Philippines, where he was the founder of our Presbyterian Mission; and the Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Foreign Board for its Latin American Missions.

The Commission

crossed the Mexican border at October Laredo, 20, 1922, and spent two months vli

INTRODUCTION

viii

in Mexico, sailing from Progreso, a southeastern port on the Yucatan peninsula, on December 18.

we

from the northern boundary to within twenty miles of the Guatemalan line on the south, from the Atlantic to the Pa-

During

this

time

traveled

traversing twelve of the twenty-eight states of Mexico, and visiting fifteen cities and towns. In the latter part of November and early in December, cific,

the Commission joined in the Jubilee services that celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the found-

ing of our Church in Mexico; later we met with the Mexico Mission in its annual meeting; and after several days in Yucatan, on December 18, sailed for Havana. From this port Dr. Rodgers and Mr. Day departed for York, and the

New

Panama and

the South, where as Commission he was to visit the Missions in Colombia and Venezuela. The first half of the volume was written while the Commission was in Mexico; chapters written during the trip have been left practically unchanged. Major changes in the local situation and

writer sailed for

a

member

of another

progress since

made

in reaching objectives outlined summarized in Chapter

in the earlier chapters are

XXI. Mr. Day is chiefly responsible for Chapter " VII, Some Impressions of the Present Political and Economic Situation in Mexico," and Chapter " XVIII, The Constitution of 1917 and Property Holdings of Missions and Churches," as is Dr. " Rodgers for Chapter XIV, Remaking the Missionary Map of Mexico," and Chapter XV, " Progress and Problems in Protestant Coopera-

INTRODUCTION

ix

Dr. Moises Saenz, First Assistant in the in Mexico, has kindly Department of Education " written the section on Public Education in Mexico," in Chapter XIX, and Rev. Jose Coffin has tion."

"

A

Mexsupplied the material for Chapter IX, ican's View of a Pioneer Protestant Church in Southern Mexico." writer

is

responsible.

For the rest The volume

of the book the as a whole could

not have been produced without the help and guidance of the various members of the Mexico Mission and the Commission is grateful for their kind co-

We

wish also to thank Miss Augustine Schafer and Miss Mabel V. Schluter for their

operation.

assistance in preparing the manuscript and seeing the volume through the press, and the Westminster Press for cooperating in the publication of the book and for many courtesies during its preparation.

The Commission wishes to call attention to a volume entitled Report on India and Persia, by Dr. Robert E. Speer and Russell Carter, which contains a thorough study of Presbyterian Missions and of their environment in India and Persia, prepared during and after the visit of a Commission to those countries in 1921 and 1922. To these studies of modern missions on the other side of the world, the authors of the present volume are indebted for guidance and inspiration in preparing this book. Where property and equipment are mentioned in this volume, with suggestions as to additional items needed, the fact should be kept clear that the views presented are those of the Commission, and

INTRODUCTION do not necessarily represent the most recent actions of Mission and Board. These latter are of course "

the only actions that are official," and they should be secured by individuals who are interested in

such matters.

In conclusion, the Commission

desires to express

warm

gratitude for the innumerable kindnesses of the members of the Missions visited and of many " friends along the way. had happy meetings

its

We

with the missionaries of various denominations, inspecting their work in their company, and some of them entertained us with such generosity and even sacrifice as could spring only from hearts dominated by the utmost good will and brotherliness." " Mexico seems destined by Nature to be loved as " fervently as ever any land is loved and we shared in this feeling for this picturesque, beautiful, and

uniquely interesting country. No one can be with our missionaries there and know their problems and trials and triumphs without feeling the warm-

and admiration for them, and the deep There are passages in the Testament which have had a much deeper

est .affection

desire to serve them.

New

meaning since pur visit to Mexico. We have seen and talked with men who bear about in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus. Verses from the seventh chapter of The Acts apply truly to scenes " And they being enacted in Mexico to-day: " " stoned Alfonso, or Feliciano, or Fernando, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their

INTRODUCTION charge.

xi

And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Throughout the history of the Protestant movement, and even within recent months, there have been Mexican disciples of the Master who have thus fallen asleep in Him, and in Mexico, as in other lands, the Wood of the martyrs has been the seed of the Church. No one can associate with the

members of our Church and of the other Protestant Churches, and learn the record of their progress against such heavy odds, or come to know the people of Mexico as a whole, without realizing that in that great multitude which no man can number, who have come out of great tribulation and now stand before the throne on high, are those from Mexico who by faithfulness even unto death have won a place in that celestial throng; and that here and now on our own national borders are a people and a Church who are entitled to that high comradeship and association of helpfulness that Jesus meant when He said that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. j

W.

|

I

156 FIFTH AVENUE,

NEW YOHK

Crnr

REGINALD WHEELER

CHAPTER

I

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF MEXICO PUEBLA, MEXICO,

November

October 20,

ONDuring

we

2,

1922

crossed the border at Laredo.

the past twelve days

we have

visited

the cities of Monterey, Saltillo, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Mexico City and the

Federal District, and Puebla.

We have

attended

meetings of the local churches and have conferred with their representatives in each of these cities. In

my next letter I

will try to

summarize some of our

experiences in these conferences and meetings ; this letter will carry to you our general impressions of the land

and the people.

When we

crossed the international border at

Laredo, we were at once impressed by the pains taken by the government to keep peace within the state.

Our baggage was

carefully searched for other contraband; heavily

arms, ammunition, and armed guards were on board our train. The inspection of our trunks was most thorough, the officials investigating even the toes of the shoes packed therein and unrolling blankets and duffle bags.

Various books were in my trunk; the inspector paused for some time before one entitled The Conquest of New Granada, the cover of which i

MODEBN MISSIONS

2

IN MEXICO

was profusely decorated with swords. On the train the inspection was repeated. One Mexican gentleman was forced to hand over temporarily a revolver and ammunition which he had concealed in his overcoat. On the trains were guards armed with revolvers and rifles. Part of the time these soldiers rode as lookouts on the tops of the cars, where, with their sombreros and their slung rifles, they

made

Mexican

picturesque silhouettes against the clear sky. In spite of, or perhaps because of,

and precautions, our journey has been most peaceful thus far, and the indications are that President Obregon has the general support of the people in his program of peace and

the military atmosphere

reconstruction.

The people

of

Mexico have an extraordinarily Approximately ten per and European blood;

diverse racial background. cent are of pure Spanish

per cent are of pure Indian stock; the remaining forty per cent are of mixed race. In appearance many of these contrasted types are most have seen individuals who appicturesque. were parently pure-blooded Spaniards, with dark mustaches and eyes and thin faces as in a Velasquez Such an individual, when on horseback, portrait. with silver-mounted stirrups and bridle chains, a true cabalpresents a most impressive figure

fifty

We

lero of the

century.

women

Conquest transported to the twentieth

More numerous

are the Indians

the

blanketed and often carrying bundles or baskets on their heads; the men in towering sombreros, muffled in scrapes, or blankets, as Reming-

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF MEXICO

3

ton has so often pictured them. "Occasionally among these Indians one sees a face so beautiful that one might suppose such another was the Indian who enchanted Cortes; with eyes and hair of extraordinary beauty, a complexion dark but glowing, with the Indian beauty of teeth like the driven snow." Then there are the mestizos and others of mixed parentage. The students in a school present startling contrasts, especially from the standpoint of one who has come from the Orient where all the faces are so homogeneous and so impassively selfcontrolled. Here are boys and girls with dark eyes and dark hair and others with blue eyes and fair complexions; here, too, are dark-skinned Indians and ruddy Europeans, the stoical calm of the Indian contrasting with the mobility of feature and the scarcely veiled emotionalism of the Latin. The natural beauty of the country has also im-

pressed us.

The northern and central portion of we have traveled thus far, is a

Mexico, where

huge table-land with an average elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level; mountain ranges averaging 9,000 feet in height run north and south on this plateau.

The country

in general resembles

New

Mexico and California, though the mountains are more precipitous and sharply cut, and in the valleys and on the plateaus there is less irrigation with its consequent vegetation. Every city which we have been hemmed in by a veritable mountain a Chinese city is encircled by its anas rampart,

visited has

The evening in Mexico City when we saw Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl was mem-

cient walls. first

MODERN MISSIONS

4

IN MEXICO

These great peaks had been hidden by clouds until sunset. climbed to the roof of one orable.

We

of the city buildings and looked out toward the encircling chain of mountains that marked the

horizon to the north, west, and south. coco shone in the northeast distance.

western

hills

the sun

Lake TexOver the

was setting in a glory of gold.

we turned to the east we saw the towering " " the Old Popo and of Iztaccihuatl peaks of

Then

as

one a pyramidal cone crowned with snow, gleaming like silver in the rays of the setting sun, the other a great white shoulder bulking massively

Memories of Fujiagainst the darkening sky. and of the rau seen for the first time at yama Jungf just such an evening hour came back to me; the brown hills encircling the city recalled the Sierra

Madre

as they rise above Pasadena; here, were the grandeur and beauty of Japan and Switzerland

and California all in one place and at one time. In addition to the visible attempts to maintain political and military stability, to the racial diversity of the people, and to the beauty of the natu-

new

life,

we

noticed especially the currents of largely American and Protestant in ori-

ral scenery,

gin, which are running to-day in channels formed long ago by Spaniard and Catholic. Mexico was " New Spain " the character of originally called ;

its cities, its

cathedrals,

might justify

it

its

language, and

in retaining this name.

its art,

Here an

European civilization was transplanted to home of an American civilization even more

ancient

the

venerable, a civilization which has left records

and

MODERN MISSIONS

4

IN MEXICO

orable. These great peaks had been hidden by clouds until sunset. climbed to the roof of one

We

of the city buildings and looked out toward the encircling chain of mountains that marked the

horizon to the north, west, and south. coco shone in the northeast distance.

western

hills

the sun

was setting

Lake TexOver the

in a glory of gold.

we turned to the east we saw the towering " " the Old Popo and of Iztaccihuatl of peaks Then

as

one a pyramidal cone crowned with snow, gleaming like silver in the rays of the setting sun, the other a great white shoulder bulking massively

Memories of Fujiagainst the darkening sky. seen for the first time at and of the yama Jungfrau just such

brown

an evening hour came back

to

me; the

encircling the city recalled the Sierra as they rise above Pasadena; here, were the grandeur and beauty of Japan and Switzerland hills

Madre

and California all in one place and at one time. In addition to the visible attempts to maintain political and military stability, to the racial diversity of the people, and to the beauty of the natu-

new

life,

we

noticed especially the currents of largely American and Protestant in ori-

ral scenery,

gin, which are running to-day in channels formed long ago by Spaniard and Catholic. Mexico was " New Spain " the character of originally called ;

its cities, its

cathedrals,

might justify

it

its

language, and

in retaining this name.

its art,

Here an

European civilization was transplanted to home of an American civilization even more

ancient the

venerable, a civilization which has left records and

t>

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF MEXICO

monuments

as old, perhaps, as

5

any known in Eu-

rope or in Asia. The atmosphere of age is over all an air that I have not breathed since leaving

The great cathedrals with their bells that clang by day and by night seem to set the approving seal of the Church upon the scene and to sound China.

a warning against any attempts at transformation or change. But signs of a different spirit are not lacking.

Ford

cars traverse the (ancient streets ; appeals for votes for this or that representative of the Republic

adorn the monastery walls; the spire of a Protestant church rises in the very shadow of the great cathedral. Trenches, newly made and occupied in the last revolution, zigzag along the hill crest on which stands the bishop's palace built nearly three

hundred years ago.

are a symbol of the violent reaction of the people against unfair and un-

They

scrupulous privilege and power, whether military or ecclesiastical.

The contrast between the everyday scenes in the United States and in Mexico has been well drawn by Senora Calderon de la Barca, wife of the first Spanish minister to Mexico, in her book, Life in Mexico, first published in 1842. Although her words were written eighty years ago, they are still apropos to-day: " If anyone wishes to try the effect of a strong contrast, let

him come

direct

from the United

States to this country. It is in the villages esthat the most striking. Travelcontrast is pecially

ing in

New

England, for example, we arrive at a

MODERN MISSIONS

6

IN MEXICO

The wooden churches

small and flourishing village. or meetinghouses are perhaps a bright red.

all

green paling, as clean

and there are

all

new,

painted white, or

Hard by is a tavern with a and as new as the churches,

also various

smart stores and neat

new, wooden, all clean, and all ornamented with slight Grecian pillars. The whole has a cheerful, trim, and flourishing aspect. dwelling houses

;

all

all

stores, and taverns, all are of a are suited to the present emergency, piece. They whatever that may be, though they will never

Houses, churches,

make

fine ruins.

equality,

present itself.

Everything proclaims prosperity, the

consistency!; all in all,

No

past

forgotten,

the

and the future taking care of

delicate attentions to posterity,

who

can never pay its debts. No beggars. If a man has even a hole in his coat, he must be lately from the Emerald Isle. " Transport yourself in imagination New England village to that of , .

.

.

from it

this

matters

not which, not far from Mexico City. Look on this picture, and on that. At a little distance a hacienda,

like

a deserted palace, built of solid

masonry, with its inner patio surrounded by thick stone pillars, with great walls and iron-barred windows that might stand a siege. Here a ruined arch one cannot but wonder how the stone ever crumbled away. There, rising in the midst of old, faithful-looking trees, the church, gray and ancient, but strong as if

and

cross, so solidly built that

designed for eternity, with

and martyrs and

relics,

and virgins, silver and and gold

its saints

its

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF MEXICO the precious stones, whose value would buy up all spare lots in the New England village; the leper

with scarcely a rag to cover him, kneeling on the marble pavement. " Here, everything reminds us of the past; of the conquering Spaniards,

who seemed

to build for

eternity; impressing each work with their

own

grave, and religious character; of the triumphs of Catholicism; and of the Indians when Cortes first startled them from their repose, and solid,

stood before them like the fulfillment of a half-

forgotten prophecy. It is the present that seems like a dream, a pale reflection of the past. All is

decaying and growing fainter, and men seem trusting to some unknown future which they may never see. One government has been abandoned, and there

is

none in

its

place.

One

revolution follows

another, yet the remedy is not found. beware lest half a century later, they be

from

Let them awakened

and find the cathedral turned into a meetinghouse, and all painted white; the railing melted down; the silver transformed into doltheir delusion,

lars; the Virgin's jewels sold to the highest bidder;

washed (which would do it no harm) and round the whole, a nice new wooden paling, freshly done in green and all this performed by some of the artists from the wide-awake republic farther the floor

,

north." la Barca wrote these parathe entrance of the before graphs thirty years Protestant Church into Mexico. During these past twelve days we have seen something of the fruits

Senora Calderon de

8

MODERN MISSIONS

have been some loss values but there has been undeniable gain

of this movement. in artistic

IN MEXICO

There

may

and practical service, in and of brotherhood, and in of truth appreciation true sonship with God through Christ. in character, in unselfish

At Monterey we were met by Dr. William Wailace, one of the veteran members of our Mission, and by two Mexican pastors. After reaching our hotel and before setting but on our work in that Dr. city, we paused for a brief prayer together.

Rodgers prayed in Spanish and Sefior Reynaldo Avila in English. Our hearts were united in these prayers; we thanked God for bringing us together; for the opportunity He had given us of serving Him in this land, and for the fellowship, both hu-

man and

and we prayed for His blessing upon the work of His Church both in Mexico and in the United States. divine, in this service;

| | | f | |

|

|

CHAPTER

II

A SELF-SUPPORTING PROTESTANT CHURCH IN NORTHERN MEXICO OAXACA, MEXICO,

November

THE

six

days from October 20 to 26

4s,

we

1922

spent

in visiting the Presbyterian centers of work in five main cities situated on the table-land between

the

United States border and Mexico City.

The Presbyterian churches

in these cities are all

self-supporting and independent of the Mission and the Board, as far as current subsidies or formal relationships are concerned. They have become in-

dependent during the past three years, since the putting into effect of a division of territory and responsibility among the various Mission Boards at work in Mexico. brief review of this co-

A

operative plan of work is perhaps necessary to enable you to understand clearly the development of these Presbyterian churches.

The

Mexico among the vawas decided upon in 1914 when, at the taking of Vera Gruz by the United States marines in April of that year, all Americans were withdrawn from Mexico. There had been much overlapping and duplication of effort among the various denominations. Two thirds of the country was territorial division in

rious Missions

MODERN MISSIONS

10

IN MEXICO

by Protestant forces, one third had practically no resident missionaries. The evacuation of the country gave an opportunity for readjustment and regrouping; the

fairly well served

of the territory

plans for this step were laid at Cincinnati in 1914; in Mexico City in 1917 and 1919, various modifications were approved, but the general plan stood as first proposed.

initial

The work

of our Mission had been chiefly in the territory north of Mexico City. The Mission had centers also in and near Mexico City and in the " " state of Vera Cruz, and had a sphere of interest in the six states and territories farther south.

This region was its

climate

and

tant viewpoint,

on account of and, from a Protes-

difficult to serve

inaccessibility least developed in all

was the

Mex-

In 1914 our Mission and Board agreed to withdraw from the cities north of Mexico City, where other denominations were to work, and to concentrate on meeting the needs in the southern section, the Mission retaining a share of the work 1 in Mexico City and the Federal District. When the Cincinnati Plan was first proposed, it was expected that the various native churches would ico.

combine or

affiliate

with the denominational group

assigned to their respective cities. This combination took place in many instances, but in certain cities the churches did not wish to change their de-

nomination, and chose rather to continue independently without Mission subsidy. The Presbyterian churches in the five cities 1

we

visited all took

For a more detailed description of the Cincinnati Plan and cooperative developments, see Chapters XIV and XV.

A SELF-SUPPORTING CHURCH

11

"

Presbythey helped to organize a and have of the National Frontier," gradutery ally built up a self-supporting, self-propagating,

this position;

Their membership is 4,000, twenty-seven individual churches; they contributed last year over 50,000 pesos, or more than $25,000 in American currency, out of a total of 80,000 pesos given by the Mexican Presbyterian Church as a whole. One church of 250 members gave 18,000 pesos last year; one of 200 members, 10,000 pesos, an average per member

and self-governing body.

now

with

over

of fifty pesos or twenty-five dollars in American money. When you consider the average income of these people, you admire their spirit of sacrifice and devotion. There are not many Presbyterian

churches in the United States that give in such proportion. Our schedule called for travel for meetings

by rail by day and and conferences in the afternoon and

evening, with one-night stop-overs in each of the five cities. At Monterey, an iron and coal center

of 85,000 people, pastors,

we were met by two Mexican

Reynaldo Avila and Pedro Rodriguez.

The Presbyterian church was packed

that night,

and it was a joy to look into the faces of the people, to hear them sing the familiar hymns, and, in the service and the individual greetings after the meeting, to feel the bond of unity and fellowship that all. At Saltillo, a city of 35,000, known as the educational center of northern Mexico, we visited the fine, new building of the Girls' School,

united us

maintained by the Methodists,

who have

invested

MODERN MISSIONS

12

IN MEXICO

We

this plant. viewed the cathedrals of the city, also, with their great towers and massive walls and decorated interiors. The Protestant

$150,000 in

churches, Baptist and Presbyterian, that stood near

and plain by comparison. Our church was little more than a roughly built hall, with whitewashed walls and ceiling. There was both pathos and truth in the Spanish inscription " above the simple pulpit: Surely God Is in This

by, seemed small

Place."

At San Luis Potosi, a city of 90,000, at an altitude of over 6,000 feet above sea level, and at Aguascalientes, with a growing population that now totals 65,000 people, a city famous for its hot springs and mineral waters, our native churches The Disciples have just attained self-support. Board (Christian Missionary Society) has missionaries in both these cities they have been most generous and helpful in all their relations with our churches and with our Mission's representatives. At Aguascalientes the whole native Protestant ;

community was represented, and after the meeting we had an informal conference with the leaders of the three denominations at work there. At Saltillo thie Presbyterian pastor is Leandro Garza Mora; at San Luis Potosi, Pedro Garcia; at Aguascalientes, Pablo catecas,

The

Mena y

Jimenez; at Za-

Pedro Rameres.

was held under the most unusual circumstances of any of the meetings which we attended. This town is 8,010 feet above sea level. It was formerly a center for silver mines service in Zacatecas

&

_Q

MODERN MISSIONS

12

$150,000 in

IN MEXICO

We

viewed the cathedrals with their great towers and massive

this plant.

of the city, also, walls and decorated interiors.

The Protestant

churches, Baptist and Presbyterian, that stood near Our by, seemed small and plain by comparison. church was little more than a roughly built hall, with whitewashed walls and ceiling. There was both pathos and truth in the Spanish inscription "

above the simple pulpit: Surely God Is in This Place/ At San Luis Potosi, a city of 90,000, at an altitude of over 6,000 feet above sea level, and at Aguascalientes, with a growing population that now totals 65,000 people, a city famous for its hot springs and mineral waters, our native churches have just attained self-support. The Disciples Board (Christian Missionary Society) has missionaries in both these cities they have been most generous and helpful in all their relations with our churches and with our Mission's representatives. At Aguascalientes the whole native Protestant 3

;

community was represented, and after the meeting we had an informal conference with the leaders of the three denominations at work there. At Saltillo the Presbyterian pastor is Leandro Garza Mora; at San Luis Potosi, Pedro Garcia; at Aguascalientes, Pablo catecas,

Mena y

Jimenez; at Za-

Pedro Rameres.

The service in Zacatecas was held under the most unusual circumstances of any of the meetings which we attended. This town is 8,010 feet above sea level. It was formerly a center for silver mines

o >1

~ "

.t;'

~*

'x>

'C

CO

bJ.

">.

"*>

-.J.

X

,

I"

Pi <*

^ w

!: .:/ -H ~.

^

Hr

?

^ CJ

_2

^

T:

A SELF-SUPPORTING CHURCH

13

of great value and in 1910 had a population of about 80,000 people. The mines were abandoned during the series of revolutions which spanned the years 1910-1920, and the population has dwindled to a scant 12,000. Everywhere were deserted adobe houses, crumbling arches and walls, and over

a general air of ruin and desolation. It seemed a city of the dead; and the white sanctuary at the crest of the mountain back of the city, with the in" Fiva Maria/' in black letters across its scription, seemed its tombstone. walls, Our Mission owns a vast edifice which was formerly the chapel of the Convent of Saint Augusall

had been confiscated by the government during one of the earlier revolutions, and later the Mission had purchased it at a low cost. We entered

tine; it

the chapel through a subterranean passage like the corridor of a feudal castle. When we emerged,

the light from the white walls and ceiling was almost dazzling. The walls were fully fifty feet in

height above the center of the church rose a dome, the ceiling of which was eighty feet above the floor. The niches in the walls where the images of the ;

had stood had been filled up in their places Testament texts in gilt letters. That night services were held in this church; the great dome above us which had once resounded with the chant of friar and nun gave back to us the echoes of our Protestant hymns; and as I listened to the pastor tell of the battle the Protestant Church was waging in Mexico and of the persecution it was enduring, and as I looked about at the transformed saints

were

;

New

MODERN MISSIONS

14

IN MEXICO

interior of this venerable ecclesiastical building,

it

seemed that the clock of time had slipped back, we had been translated to the early sixteenth century, and that we were now witnesses of the

that

launching of the Reformation. The next day, the twenty-sixth, for

we left Zacatecas been had The tremendously City. days Our minds were flooded with new impresand experiences. But more real and lasting'

Mexico

full.

sions

than any memories of strange and novel scenes, or of a people invariably picturesque, were the impressions in our hearts of the courage of our Mexican brothers, of their spirit of sacrifice

on behalf of the

Church, and of our deep and true fellowship in Christ.

CHAPTER

III

THE MISSIONARY MESSAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA OAXACA, MEXICO,

November

8,

1922

Tuesday, October 81, we left Mexico City en route for Oaxaca (pronounced Waha-ka), the youngest station in our Mexico Mission. spent a day and a half in Puebla, a strong center of Methodist work, on our way to Oaxaca, and had five days in and near Oaxaca City. I am writing you now concerning our experiences

ON

We

there.

The

Oaxaca has a population of and an area of about 35,000 square 1,000,000 people There are few miles, roughly that of Indiana. in the Oaxaca cities state, City, the capital, large and the next having 40,000 people, largest city, state

of

Inhaving a population of 13,000. numerable small towns and villages are scattered among the mountains and practically every trail leads to one of these little clusters of thatched adobe houses. Eighty per cent of the people in the city and ninety-five per cent of those in the

Zaachila,

country are pure-blooded Indians, chiefly of the Mixtecan; and Zapotecan races. Porfirio Diaz and Benito Juarez were natives of Oaxaca, and there 15

y

MODERN MISSIONS

16

is

IN MEXICO

a strong spirit of local pride and independence

among its citizens. Our Board and Church in the state

and

are the only ones at work have the full responsibility for car-

rying the Protestant message to the people there. Our missionary force consists of two couples, Rev.

and Mrs. L. P. Van Slyke, and Rev. and Mrs. A. W. Wolfe. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe have been in Mexico for three years, but have been in Oaxaca only ten months; Mr and Mrs. Van Slyke have been in the state for two years. Both couples are stationed in Oaxaca City, though their work radiates far to the east and to the west. Oaxaca City is a twelve-hour ride on a narrowgauge railroad from Puebla. The mountain ranges which we saw from the train were far rougher and more irregular than those on the plateau to the north.

Organo

cactus, with clustered stems like the

pipes of an organ, grew in profusion on the tain sides. crossed various streams,

We

was good to

see

mounand

it

running water after the arid

stretches of the table-land.

The

valleys in Oaxaca evidences of their pro-

are most fertile, and we saw ductivity in the sugar cane, corn, alfalfa, grapefruit, oranges, and bananas which grew along the railway. The track was only three feet in width and the grades were exceptionally steep, being over three per cent in certain sections.

Oaxaca

is

a great mining center, but the revolu-

away most of the foreign capitalThe American population of Oaxaca City before the revolution was over two hundred; now tions have driven ists.

THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA

IN

17

there are less than twenty, mostly miners and prospectors, with only one household in addition to our

two missionary

On the

families.

was the usual military guard, the soldiers riding on top of the box cars which were reached in front of the passenger coaches. train there

We

Oaxaca City Friday night and learned later that the next train which ran from Puebla to Oaxaca on Saturday was attacked by a group of bandits and revolutionaries, with the express car as their objective. Two soldiers to the report which the

were

killed and, according

American consul gave us two Mexican passengers were killed and two were wounded. The guard drove off the attackers, and the train came through, although it was late in reaching the city. Such occurrences, however, are rare and we do not expect to come so near one here,

again.

We

had started at five o'clock in the morning and we reached Oaxaca City about six in the eveWe were met at the station by the Van ning. Slykes and the Wolfes. It was growing dark as

we drove home with them. with

All about us lay the

multitude of unfamiliar sights strange city, and sounds. For the first time since we had reached

Mexico,

its

we had the sensation of isolation in a forHere were no Americans except these

eign land.

two young couples; nothing to recall the familiar scenes and activities of the homeland. The stars shone over the silent

hills beyond the city borders, and America seemed far away. With a rush the memories of my own first experiences on the mis-

18

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

came flooding back the sense of isolation, wave of loneliness, and the feeling that only the power and presence of Go^Pcouldrslteady' and sion field

;

the

keep

oiie

Happy

and' strong in the work.

It seemed

Him

to foras if one ought to reach out and touch what ahead this oneself for was by tify living and tangible contact. Surely the men and women who

up their homeland and all that is dear in it to work in such alien centers deserve the hundredgive

fold blessing that Christ has promised to those who will relinquish loved possessions for His sake.

Surely Christ's Church in the United States should

men and women are given the moral and financial support which will enable them to do an effective and lasting work for Him. During our stay in Oaxaca, we have seen and met with congregations both in the city and in the mountainous country outside. On Sunday morning, the fifth, we went to the church and Sunday school, where Mr. Day spoke, and where we heard a young Indian, named Martin Lopez, tell of his narrow escape at the hands of a Catholic mob which attacked him and two other young Protestants who had been preaching in a near-by village. His head was still bandaged, and the simple story which see that these

\

he told recalled vividly the persecutions suffered by the early apostles and by the Protestant leaders of the Reformation. had seen one of his comAlfonso in the hospital at Puebla, Sosa, panions, and had heard his account of the attack there. In another letter I want to tell you the story of the

We

two men

as they told

it

to us.

IN

THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA

19

Sunday evening we met in the church again and Dr. Rodgers and I spoke, telling of the prayers and good wishes of the Presbyterian Church in the United States expressed in a letter which the Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. C. C. Hays, had given us to transmit to the Presbyterian churches in this country. The meeting was held in a church building which our Mission had purchased from the Methodists, following the transfer of territory between their Mission and ours. The building is in an excellent location, but half of it is unroofed and has never been completed, so that the general effect is not happy. The church property contains rooms which might be of service for institutional work; there

is

room

for expansion, but

it

will require $10,000 to complete the present auditorium and to put the building into a presentable

condition.

state.

This

is

the only Protestant church in its size in the whole

and the only one of

the city

The

making,

local congregation has made, and is a sacrificial contribution to the completion

of the church.

Surely there must be individuals in who will see the strategic im-

the United States

portance of supplying the necessary additional equipment for the work which this group of Christ's followers can do in the capital city of a great state.

Monday and Tuesday, the sixth and the seventh, we spent in visiting two congregations in the country one of them at Rancho del Aguila, the other at a little town called Nazareno. The first was ;

reached after a half hour's ride on the narrow-

gauge

train,

and a seven hour's horseback

ride

MODERN MISSIONS

20

IN MEXICO

and over a mountain range. Mr. Wolfe and Mr. Van Slyke accompanied us, as did also a Mexican evangelist called Marciano Cruz. Our blankets and extra outfit were packed on three burros, and we made quite a cavalcade as we moved off. It was a joy to be in the saddle, riding under the blue sky toward the mountains which stood out in such crisp outline in the clear Mexican air. The across the plain

over the mountains carried us up over 3,000 feet so that we were over 9,000 feet above sea level when we reached the top. trail

The built

Aguila was held in a little church The of roughhewn boards and shingles. service at

houses that clustered near looked

much

like the

thatched houses in a mountain hamlet in Switzerland, and the sound of a horn blown to call the people to the services added to the Swiss atmosphere.

The people who came

into the little church were all Mixtecan Indians, the women wrapped in rebozos (shawls), many of them carrying babies, and the men in scrapes and broad-brimmed sombreros. Most of them did not understand Spanish and it was necessary for Mr. Day and me to speak first in English, which Mr. Van Slyke translated into Spanish, his words again being put into Mixtecan by one of the Indians. The candles and the lamp in the little church shone dimly and at times flickered and almost went out. So, it seemed to us, the light of the gospel had burned in this mountain village, feeble

but kept aglow as a witness to the

fidelity of the missionary and the evangelist, and as a promise of the brighter day to come.

IN

THE MOUNTAINS OF OAXACA

21

of us slept that night on the wooden platof the church as there was no room elsewhere,

Some

form and early next morning we started for the trip down There in a room of the mountain to Nazareno. one of the adobe houses the second service was held, with Indians in attendance as at Aguila. There is a remarkable beauty and nobility of expression in the faces of some of these Indians that justifies the description of Senora Calderon de la Barca Jesus was known quoted in an earlier letter. as the Nazarene and our hope and prayer is that

many

of these people

be led to follow in his

may

steps.

Aguila and Nazareno are only two points in one of the circuits which Mr. Van Slyke regularly covers. His full schedule on this mountain route on horseback runs like this :

"Etna (by Nazareno

To To To To To To To

rail) to

Nazareno, 1 hour

to Aguila, 7 hours

Oro, lj hours Santa Inez, 3 hours

Nuxaa, 3 hours Carizal, 3 hours

Rio Minas, 3 hours

San Francisco de Telixtlahuaca,

5 hours

Nazareno again, 3 hours."

over mountain ranges and valleys by a rough, broken trail with another circuit on the other side of the railroad Mr. Wolfe has an even

All

this

!

more extensive route in another direction among the Zapotecs. But a whole section of the state to

MODERN MISSIONS

22

the south

is

not covered at

openings on every hand. Our work in Oaxaca is

IN MEXICO all,

still

in

and the

city has

its

pioneer stages. being preached verbally; the comand of the pastor are being freely counsel radeship given; and the sacraments of the Church are being

The gospel

is

administered.

ment

But

there

is

need for the develop-

of our full fourfold

program of service in evangelism, education, medicine, and the supplying of Christian literature. The first steps in educational work have been taken by Mr. and Mrs. Van Slyke in providing room and board in their own house for a dozen boys and girls attending city schools, and by Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe in purchasing a lot in Telixtlahuaca for the site of a " school for the poorer boys. work-your-way These two young missionaries and their wives, with "

the local church leaders, are making a brave endeavor to meet the needs of the field. But they cannot do it without reinforcements. The Station

asking for an additional ordained missionary, for a doctor, and for a woman missionary for social

is

The

service.

field is there, the

need

is

there, the

setting fascinating, the call is clear and strong. " He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." is

.5_ jQ

O

s s

>

v +->

C r-)

0)

o

TJ fli


S 50

C-

a-

tu

^o

> G cd

a o

MODERN MISSIONS

22

the south

is

not covered at

openings on every hand. Our work in Oaxaca is

The gospel

IN MEXICO all,

still

and the

city has

in its pioneer stages.

being preached verbally; the comand counsel of the pastor are being freely radeship given; and the sacraments of the Church are being administered. But there is need for the development of our full fourfold program of service in evangelism, education, medicine, and the supplyis

ing of Christian literature. The first steps in educational work have been taken by Mr. and Mrs.

Van

Slyke in providing room and board in their own house for a dozen boys and girls attending city schools, and by Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe in purchasing a lot in Telixtlahuaca for the site of a " " school for the poorer boys. work-your-way These two young missionaries and their wives, with the local church leaders, are making a brave endeavor to meet the needs of the field. But they

cannot do is

it

without reinforcements.

The

Station

asking for an additional ordained missionary,

and for a woman missionary for social field is there, the need is there, the fascinating, the call is clear and strong.

for a doctor, service.

The

setting is " that hath ears to hear, let

He

him

hear."

CHAPTER IV

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

IN MEXICO

TO-BAY En

Route

to

ORIZABA, 10, 1922

November

Mexico the observer of religious conditions if he were living in the early days of the

INfeels as

Reformation.

The Roman

Catholic Church

where, the Catholic Church as

it

is

visible every-

was prior

to the

as we know it in the United The Protestant movement in Mexico is States. One of the just beginning to gather strength.

Reformation and not

tragic consequences of the interaction of these two religious bodies is the occasional but too frequent

persecutions of the Protestants by the Catholics. Despite the generally observed constitutional arti-

guaranteeing freedom of religious belief, these attacks are sometimes made with much of the fierce-

cle

ness

and unrestraint of the persecutions of the

so-

called heretics of the early sixteenth century. From reports we received as we traveled through

the country, there appears to have been a recrudescence of such attacks in the past few months.

These reports come from all sections of the country; from Durango in the north, from Chiapas in the south, and from the central states. Concerning some of these attacks we have received accounts at 23

MODERN MISSIONS

24

IN MEXICO

hand: I will give the story of two of them as they were told to us. The first attack was upon a young Protestant

first

lad in Matehuala, in the state of San Luis Potosi, north of Mexico City. The incident occurred about

four months ago. The hoy was a native of that town and was a member of the Friends Church. The priest of the Roman Catholic Church there

had preached a violent sermon,

inciting the congregation to attack all Protestants, declaring that it was a religious duty to kill them. This Protestant

boy was passing the church when the service ended; the people came rushing out and fell upon him. He was knocked down, beaten, and left for dead. His old mother, hearing of the attack, came up sometime later, found that he was still living and had regained consciousness, and tried to pick him up to carry him away. She succeeded in dragging him about three hundred yards toward their home. The Catholic crowd again collected and, seeing the boy's condition, told him that if he would call " Viva la Virgin de Guadalupe!" they would out, let him live. He replied, " I can never do that; I know in Whom I have believed," whereupon the mob closed in upon him and killed him. This account was given us by Rev. J. P. Hauser of the Methodist Mission at Puebla, on November

2.

The account

of the second attack

from the

we took down

two young Protestants who had narrowly escaped death. One of them was ourselves

named Alfonso

lips of

Sosa, the other,

M artin !

Lopez.

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

25

Both were members of the Presbyterian Church Oaxaca from which we have just come. This attack occurred on September 6, 1922, in the state of

in the little village of Yucanama near Teposcolula, in the northwestern part of the state. Sosa is about

twenty-five years old; Lopez is somewhat younger. Sosa has been a teacher in government schools; last year he taught in the Presbyterian school in Huaclilla.

He was

also for a short time a student

We

in the theological seminary in Mexico City. saw him in the Latin American Hospital main-

tained by the Baptists and Methodists at Puebla. Lopez we heard speak in the Presbyterian church

Oaxaca

Both were City. to the cording report given us in

still

bandaged. Ac-

by Dr. Wall in the Puebla hospital, Sosa had sustained a cut from a machete which went to the bone from ear to nose on his right cheek, his right arm was broken, the third finger on his left hand was shot away, and his head and body were severely cut and bruised. Lopez's skull was fractured, his left arm was broken, and he was also cut and bruised. Their wounds were seriously infected, due to the fourdays' delay in proper treatment. Sosa's story, as he told it to us in the hospital and as it was translated from Spanish into English,

was as follows: "Rev. A. W. Wolfe, of the Presbyterian Mission at Oaxaca, Martin Lopez, and I were on an itinerWe had been ating tour in northern Oaxaca. threatened in Yucanama, a town of about four hundred people, some weeks before, and we had

MODERN MISSIONS

26

IN MEXICO

from the governor had not expected to go to Yucanama again on this trip, but the group of believers there, about ten in number, asked us to come and hold service. Mr. Wolfe had gone on to Teposcolula; but Lopez and I went to Yucanama and held a service there that night. Next morning the owner of the house was put in jail on the ground that his house door was open after eight therefore secured a safe conduct of the state.

We

a local law requiring that all houses be I asked permission to visit him in jail, but this was denied me. " left town about nine-thirty, September 6, o'clock,

closed at that hour.

We

and a half miles away, believer from where Mr. Wolfe had gone. to

go

to Teposcolula, four

A

Yucanama accompanied us. As we reached the edge of the town we saw people gathering. We had gone about a quarter of a mile when they began to cross the road in front of us and to threaten us. After another quarter of a mile we approached a little ravine. The people were insulting us and I was afraid we would be attacked in the ravine, so we turned back toward town. Then they surrounded us and began to stone us. I talked to them trying to persuade them to stop; then I was hit with a large stone in the body, and a man came close with a pointed revolver. I hand and the bullet went through

put up

my hand,

my

left

smash-

my fingers. Then we ran into the field; was knocked down with stones the brother Lopez from Yucanama was hit with stones, but he got away and Lopez also escaped.

ing one of

;

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

27

"

The crowd kept stoning me and shooting at me. One of them hit me across the face with a machete; when I fell I lifted up my right arm to protect myself and it was broken by a blow from a machete: I heard other pistol shots; then I fainted. " When I waked up after two hours a man who was passing by called out, 'Are you not dead on. I asked him to carry me About seven in the evening but he refused. away I dragged myself away through the fields. Soon I '

yet?

and then went

saw some people coming up in the moonlight with stones and rifles. They came to me and carried me up into the hills. I asked for water and then I asked them to allow me to make a prayer. I prayed for myself and for them and I told them that if they would pick up the books and Bibles which had been thrown out along the roadside, they would find things good for them; I tried to preach the gospel to them. " They took me to the top of the hill and said,

You are in bad shape, we had better put you out ' of your misery.' No,' I said, leave me here; God will take care of me.' So they left me. " I stayed there all night. Next morning I felt '

'

had stopped and I found that I could get up and could walk. I walked over the hills toward a town called San Juan Topostoluca.

better; the bleeding

When

men

looking for me I hid from them and about ten o'clock reached the town.

Some

I saw some

believers lived there

and carried me was.

We

and they made a

litter

to Teposcolula where Mr. Wolfe reached there at 1.30 P.M. September 7.

MODERN MISSIONS

28

IN MEXICO

"

That night we stayed there. The next evening Mr. Wolfe and ten others started carrying Lopez and me to the railroad at Parian, forty miles away. We arrived there the evening of the ninth and reached Puebla the evening of the tenth." Sosa told voice

his story simply,

and with no

without raising his

malice toward his perse-

visible

cutors.

Four days later, in the Presbyterian church in Oaxaca, we heard Lopez speak of the same incident. He said that when he was knocked down, he called out, "O Jesus, save me!" One of the villagers seemed to take pity on him and helped him up, and

so he escaped to the hills friends.

and then to

Teposcolula where there were

Long after Lopez ceased speaking his words echoed in our ears, "O Jesus, save me!" That prayer of a humble follower of Christ in desperate need was answered.

There

is

need to-day for

contrary to His will

His and of peace and

Wolfe has reported

the death of

prayers of equal sincerity that Jesus will save Church in Mexico from hatred and violence

from

all

that

is

truth and love.

Rev. A.

W.

three Protestant workers in January, 1923, in this

same "

district.

He wrote

Some months

later,

:

a brother

who

closely re-

sembles Alfonso Sosa, visited Teposcolula, and the report that Alfonso had returned without a scar scared some of the Indians nearly to death. That

was their only punishment, as Senor Calles took no notice of complaints lodged with him.

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

29

"

The following January the same priest and the politician who incited and protected the assassins of Yucanama stirred up trouble in San Juan Teposcolula where thirty families were worsame

shiping under the sincere but indiscreet leadership of Feliciano Martinez, a lad just over twenty-one, of promising intelligence and great consecration. Following a rousing sermon by the priest, sixty armed men took Feliciano from his home at night,

hacked him to pieces, and carried his head and his heart as an offering to the image of Mary in their church. devoted friend, Fernando Reyes, died with him. Another was killed later. All the Protestants were compelled to flee or recant; and all the families but one fled, losing most of their

A

property. "

No one was

ever punished; but one of the mur-

derers became a captain in the army of De la Huerta. Our workers have not ceased to visit the

The blood

Mixteca. Christ.

Probably

of martyrs has bought

Rome

will take

more

it

for

lives be-

fore religious toleration and an open Bible become the rule in these mountains ; but we go forward. '

the way the Master went; " Should not the servant tread it still?

It

is

'

CHAPTEE V

THE THREEFOLD SERVICE OF THE CHURCH IN ORIZABA

En

Route

to

VERA CRUZ,

November

11,

1922

on the morning of November 9 we left Oaxaca for Puebla, en route to Orizaba. The passenger coach in which we rode was marked by bullets which had been fired in a raid on the train made five days before. We learned at Puebla that the attacking party thought some high military official was on the train and therefore opened fire on the first-class coach as well as on the military guard farther forward. The revised list of casualties showed three soldiers killed and seven wounded, one train employee

AT

five-thirty

killed,

one

first-class

The pay car

passenger killed and several our train on the ninth

wounded.

last car of

was the

of the road,

and some of the more

nervous passengers grew apprehensive when, about three o'clock in the afternoon, the train stopped in the center of a wide plain. The engine was de-

tached and off

went, ostensibly for some needed us repairs, leaving engineless in the middle of a cornfield on the plain. It was dark before another it

engine returned but we reached Puebla without a mishap about eleven o'clock that evening. so

THE CHURCH The next morning we is

IN ORIZABA

31

Puebla

left for Orizaba.

7,200 feet above sea level.

over 4,000 feet in altitude.

The

Orizaba

is

a

little

route between the

most picturesque, and reminds one of certain portions of the Canadian Pacific line. The drop of 3,000 feet between the two cities is largely made in one section of seventeen miles, between Gralera and Maltrata. The view of the latter village, as we saw it shining in the sunlight below us from our vantage point on the cloud-wrapped mountains above, was beautiful and impressive. Above us towered Mt. Orizaba, the second highest peak on the North American continent and the That third highest in the Western Hemisphere. our the clouds hid it from day, however, sight.

two

cities is

Orizaba

is

a city of 'about 35,000 inhabitants,

situated half-way between the tierra caliente (hot country) of the coast and the highlands of the central plateau.

It

is

a center for cotton

mills, sugar, is business there most prosordinarily, perous, but now, like most of the cities we have visited, it is experiencing a depression due to the

and

coffee

;

effects of the revolutions in the past and to the certainty of guarantees as to the future.

un-

Our Mission and Vera Cruz Station are represented by Rev. and Mrs. Newell J. Elliott. Aside from a single family representing the Plymouth Brethren, there are no other missionaries in main responsibility for Protestant have upon our own Church. two m'ain properties, which we acquired by purchase from the Methodists after they had evacuated

the city, and the work there rests

We

MODERN MISSIONS

32

the district

and

IN MEXICO

city in accordance with the Cincin-

One of these properties, on Escandon includes the church building and also the Street, residence of the pastor, Placido Lope, and several nati Plan.

rooms which are used as 'a dispensary. The latter represents an interesting experiment in medical Dr. M. P. Colmenares, a physician of service.

good reputation in the

city, offers his services

with-

out charge in the direction of this dispensary, and

Mr. and Mrs.

Elliott assist in its administration.

Only people who do not have the money to buy drugs, or who are in evident need, are served by the dispensary.

It

was opened

in August, 1921, 577 January 1, 1922, prescriptions for people of this type have been filled and four major operations have been performed in the little operating room.

and

since

In the other property, on Calle Ref orma, are located a school for boys and girls and the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Elliott. In the school, which is of primary grade, including the first six years of instruction according to the governmental standards,

are enrolled 123 students, evenly divided between boys and girls. The principal of this school is a

Mexican lady, Senora Sherwell, who is most efficient. There are three other Mexican teachers but " " no foreigners on the faculty. The school is administered at a small expense and is undoubtedly meeting a

On

vital

need in the community.

the evening of November 10, the day of our arrival at Orizaba, the closing exercises of the school were held in the Llave Theater. Practically

THE CHURCH IN ORIZABA

33

the seats and boxes in the theater were taken and the audience was cordial and appreciative. Songs were sung and games were played by little children of the kindergarten, who made a most happy and appealing impression. Little Red Riding Hood, La Capercita.wsis acted by the children all

of the lower primary grades.

The

childish voices,

with their sweet Spanish cadences, sounded clearly through the theater and surely reached the hearts of

some

ofi

those

who had come

in a spirit of indifto all for which the

ference or of open antagonism school stood. Diplomas were given out to the graduating students and the performance, in true

Latin-American

style,

continued until after mid-

night.

The next day we

visited the various properties, conferred with the local pastor, with Mr. and Mrs.

and with two Mexican leaders who had come from Vera Cruz to meet us. At three o'clock we started on the four-hour trip by rail which would bring us to Vera Cruz. The work at Orizaba has passed the stage of oral exhortation and already there are visible developments along educational and medical lines. These developments are good and are clearly worth while. Elliott,

But

in these three types of service for body, mind, and spirit, there is need for greater integration and cohesion, and the pervading consciousness that, in Christ, they are not three

i

i

but one.

CHAPTER VI

VERA CRUZ, THE CITY OF THE TRUE CROSS En

ON

November 11 we

in four hours

sea level at

left

Route to CHIAPAS, November 15, 1922

Orizaba by

dropped down

rail

and

4,000 feet to the

Vera Cruz.

a spirit and atmosphere about any city or locality where events of historical importance have taken place, or where human attention has

There

is

is more than subSuch an atmosphere

been repeatedly centered, that

jectively pervasive 'and real. perceptibly exists in Vera Cruz.

To

one without a

Mexican history, it would at once be apparent: when one remembers the events that

knowledge of

have taken place there during the past four centuries, there is ample justification for such an historical aura.

Into Vera Cruz Harbor on April 21, 1519, rode the ships of Hernando Cortes, the first European to visit its shores; there these ships were sunk, that his men might have no retreat; from Vera

Cruz he

set

out

on the expedition that was Aztec Empire

to result in the downfall of the

under the Montezumas, the acquisition by the " New Spain " and evenSpanish sovereign of tually of territory ranging from the sources of the 34

CO

2 J3

O 03

6 c OS

"1 Js

r^

gj

>

4J

-s

w

.

.

58 3 g O

O

o dJ 4-"

3

o
CO

'S

CHAPTER

VI

VERA CRUZ, THE CITY OF THE TRUE CROSS En

Route

to CHIAPAS,

November

ON

November 11 we

left

15,

Orizaba by

1922

rail

and

dropped down 4,000 feet to the Vera Cruz. a spirit and atmosphere about any city

in four hours

sea level at

There

is

or locality where events of historical importance have taken place, or where human attention has

been repeatedly centered, that

is

more than sub-

jectively pervasive 'and real. Such an atmosphere perceptibly exists in Vera Cruz. To one without a

knowledge of Mexican history, it would at once be apparent: when one remembers the events that have taken place there during the past four centuries, there is ample justification for such an historical aura.

Into Vera Cruz Harbor on April 21, 1519, rode the ships of

Hernando

Cortes, the first

European

were sunk, that his men might have no retreat; from Vera Cruz he set out on the expedition that was to result in the downfall of the Aztec Empire under the Montezumas, the acquisition by the " New Spain " and evenSpanish sovereign of tually of territory ranging from the sources of the

to visit its shores; there these ships

34

CtJ fc

.> Lj .

-

03

!

a

V.

M-

'S

K

Jj

L_

i,

C

"C

X o o

= =

*

VERA CRUZ

35

Mississippi River to Cape Horn, one the total territory of the three Americas.

half

of

Over the San Juan de Ulua last floated the Spanish flag, before it was finally furled in 1824, when Mexico became a free and independent state. In 1847, American warships gathered in the bay, and an American army invaded the city; in 1862, a fleet of French, Spanish, and English vessels [anchored there as a prelude to the enactment of the drama that was to place a Hapsburg prince on an American throne; on April 21, 1914, on the same day of the month that Cortes landed there, but five years less than four centuries later, American cruisers entered the bay and United States marines took possession of the city. So the turbulent drama of Mexican history, its glory and its pathos, have been castle of

epitomized in the pageantry of this port.

The

responsibility for the development of the Protestant movement in this important city was

transferred to our Mission and Board, following the approval of the Cincinnati Plan. Our work

being developed in four distinct ways. Senor Rosales is pastor of the local church. There on

is

Sunday, Mr. Day spoke in the morning and Dr. Rodgers and I in the evening. Senor Rosales was formerly a Methodist, as that denomination was at work in Vera Cruz before 1914; he is now working with our Presbyterians in the true spirit of cooperation which the Cincinnati Plan aimed to foster and build up. Medical work is represented by a free dispensary for the poor, the forerunner of the visited. dispensary in Orizaba which we had

already

MODERN MISSIONS

36

A local Mexican doctor

IN

MEXICO

giving his time freely to Mirabal Lausan manages the service there; Senor the detailed

ing room

work

is

of the dispensary

associated with

it,

and the read-

with Mr. Elliott as

general supervisor.

A

monthly magazine called El Faro is published in the office of The Lighthouse This magazine supplements the the dispensary. union magazine called El Mundo Cristiano larger which is the organ of all the Protestant Churches in Mexico. Quotations from El Faro have been little

made

in the publications of such far-away cities as

Quezaltenango, Guatemala, and Lima, Peru; the rays of this little lighthouse thus radiate from Mexico to Central

and South America.

Educationally, there is a primary school in the city under the management of Senorita Rioja,

which receives purely local support. In a fine location near the beach and the new lighthouse of the a primary and secondary school for girls administered by our Mission. Miss Mary F. Turner is the directora. Miss M. B. Taylor and port, there

is

temporarily Miss Ethel Doctor are teachers there. The school, which is called Institute Morelos, is a successor of the former school under the principalship of Miss Turner in Aguascalientes, which was

given up in accordance with the Cincinnati Plan, in 1916. The present enrollment is eighty-five.

The school is in rented quarters, although rents in Vera Cruz are abnormally high. Our Mission and Board maintain two other schools for girls in Mexico,

one of which

still

lacks

permanent property,

VERA CRUZ as in

Vera Cruz, and

it

37

has been a strain

upon

the

current budget of the Mission to continue the payments for rent and upkeep necessary for the main-

tenance of these three schools. The problem would be largely solved if funds for property could be secured.

On November

14,

we

left

Vera Cruz for the

three-day journey which will take us to Chiapas. On the train we talked with an oil prospector, who,

on behalf of a

New York

corporation, is drilling said that already Cruz.

He a new well near Vera over $200,000 had been spent in sinking this single I thought of what well, with no return as yet. could be accomplished by the investment of such a sum in the work which our missionaries are carrying on in Mexico ; how it would meet our need for property for our institutions, and of the visible returns which we had seen obtained through the in-

vestment of a mere fraction of such a sum. Our work goes forward through increased financial support but the true secret of that portion of it which is living and which will be permanent, rests not on money for the work but on the sacrificial workers. The road to new life and to from the many ills to which Mexico is by this sacrificial way; in this way the rep-

spirit of the

salvation heir

is

resentatives of our Church,

who

are so bravely con-

tending against heavy odds in Vera Cruz, have a unique opportunity and responsibility to make the city in fact as well as in

Cross.

name, the place of the True

CHAPTER

VII

SOME IMPRESSIONS OF THE PRESENT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN MEXICO November

20, 1924

have been one month in the Republic of Mexico and many impressions have been formed in our minds, so varied that it is a matter of extreme difficulty to set them down in any logi-

WE

Our study

before coming prepared us had learned to survey a very old civilization. that its roots run back into a dim antiquity. This cal order.

We

had had imposed upon it three hundred years of unrestricted and ruthless Spanish rule. In 1810 the people of Mexico began a revolution which was destined to end in the independence of civilization

the country in 1824.

Since that date

been from among Mexico's

its

rulers have

own people

(with the

exception of the short sway of Maximilian, who foisted upon the country by the French at the

was

At

Roman

Catholic priests). the end of the autocratic rule of Porfirio Diaz

invitation of the

there started in "

Mexico what

is

now

called the

Revolution," which lasted for eleven years during which some ten different men held the reins of

power, the chief figures being Madero, De la Huerta, Carranza, and the present President Obregon who has held office for about two years. Dur38

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION

89

ing Carranza's administration a new Constitution for Mexico was drawn up based on the Constitution

promulgated on February 5, 1857, under The Carranza Government adopted new Constitution also on February 5 in the

Benito Juarez. this

year 1917.

It is because of provisions in this latter Constitution affecting the ownership of property in Mexico by foreigners that the government of

President Obregon has not been recognized by the This Constitution for-

United States of America. bids the ownership of

any real estate by a religious or its body; representatives, and with relation to all other foreign owners of property, clauses in the Constitution have been interpreted as forbidding ownership unless the foreign owner will place himself entirely

under Mexican laws as a Mexican with

regard to such property. of minerals and of

The

"

nationalization

"

products of the subsoil, includas to whether these provisions are retroactive have been given much attention in our American press. ing

oil,

and the question

The

Constitution also provides that large estates be may taken over by the government and parceled out to small owners, compensation being made for thus taken. properties Many large estates have thus been broken in some cases without up,

any

compensation being made to prior owners, in other cases the government making payment in bonds is claimed, are worthless. Not infrethe main ranch house and some surrounding quently land has been left to the former owners, but in the state of Yucatan it has been common to take over

which,

it

MODERN MISSIONS

40

IN MEXICO

,

the entire estate and, to parcel it out, leaving nothing to the family who had inherited the property. It ought to be said that it is the common under-

standing that most of these large estates had been acquired in various military campaigns or by other

more or

less ruthless

methods.

The lands

have been taken from tribal or communal groups: these, of course, were really Indian tribes which

from the

have held large districts, cultivating whatever portion he desired.

earliest times

each

man

The

large estates of

modern times represent lands

taken from entire tribes or communities, and " " the present confiscation is simply a method in the eyes of the people of returning the land to the former tribes or communities. To put it in plain

language, it is returning stolen property to the rightful owners.

The present

situation

is

one of rather unstable

equilibrium, for although the process as described is going on with the sanction of the government,

owners are living in hope that something will put an end to the system of confiscation and that they will be restored to their prior rights.

Many

fine

pieces of property have been turned over by the government to generals of the successful revolu-

tionary armies whose enjoyment of them depends entirely upon the maintenance of the present regime. To the credit of President Obregon be it said that he has compelled the restitution of a

great deal of such property to owners who were deThere are many spoiled by the revolutionaries. complications and variations in the situation, but

it

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION can readily be seen that

it is

41

almost impossible to

any considerable property at the present time by ordinary sale and purchase, as all titles are practically in doubt, and prospective purchasers are very doubtful as to what they are actually get-

transfer

when they pay

the purchase price. the basic cause of the slowing down of business which has been in evidence in the republic

ting

This

is

some time, and which has been marked by a

for

rather precipitous movement since October, 1921; the month of October, 1922, being the worst, from

a business standpoint, during this period.

To add

to the business depression, crops have been short

for three years in many of the states because of The masses of the people the lack of moisture.

have nothing with which to trade at the shops in the cities and towns. This makes for general discontent and a great deal of the local banditry is due to these severe economic conditions. Not long ago it was reported by a villager in the mountains that a band from a neighboring village had attacked " a train, as they always do when they have a short

The

vicious circle

complete: political instability and confiscatory laws render the position of capital and especially of real estate uncertain; current business is paralyzed; discontent is engendered and becomes bold; governmental authority

crop."

is

threatened and defied,

making for political and revolution. instability Two world movements are involved in these factors of the vicious circle and give impulse to them

is

:

one

is

the radical or communistic revolt against

MODERN MISSIONS

42

capitalism,

IN MEXICO

and the other the depression

in busi-

general throughout the world. In the first mentioned of these Mexico has participated to

ness which

is

a degree second only to Russia and the peak has not yet been reached. In Vera Cruz, Red demonstrations are an almost daily occurrence, and tenants who decide that they will no longer pay rent

hang a red

flag out of the

window

or over the front

door to signify their repudiation of this contractual obligation. They continue to occupy the premises,

and the United States consul

in

Vera Cruz

told

us that owners consider themselves helpless. In the state of Yucatan where formerly capital had be-

come most despotic and ruthless the reaction is likewise most radical. Both the mayor of Vera Cruz and the governor of Yucatan are radical anticapitalists.

The

heaviest taxes levied against Mexicans fall the upon shopkeepers who are almost being ruined Small manufacby this form of confiscation. turers also feel the heavy weight of the tax burden almost to the point of annihilation. This may be

One instance came under our at Oaxaca in which a soap eye directly

either local or state taxation.

manufacturer, thoroughly expert in the business,

whose small but complete plant was located near the home of an American, was compelled to shut

He

down because

of the high local taxes imposed. able, however, to manufacture his product in the hills some fifteen miles from the city and to

is

have

hauled to the town in oxcarts, thereby avoidsmall dealer in cheap ing the municipal tax. it

A

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION shoes told the writer that

it

was

43

practically impos-

to the fact sible for him to make any money owing to that he was compelled pay sixty pesos (thirty tax. a as monthly dollars)

be employers of labor cannot atthe of appreciated without some understanding titude of labor and the leaders of labor unions in

The

difficulties of

Mexico.

In many

localities

they use the red and

black banner, the radical emblem.

In some

in-

stances they have taken complete possession of factories in which they were formerly employed,

them by themselves. The shipping at the ports of Vera Cruz and Prowho greso is completely at the mercy of the unions, their to of work hours fix the terms and according own ideas. We saw thousands of packages of and are attempting

to operate

paper, each package weighing not less than 250 pounds, dumped out on the ground near the docks

Vera Cruz

by the unionized stevemove it since, owing to some difference between the union and the shipping companies. The rains of five months have of

in

dores

last spring,

who have

refused to

course ruined the paper. President Obregon has thus far shown himself

capable of holding matters with a firm and steady hand, having put down all local uprisings. In spite of an undercurrent of opposition the president has boldly taken steps to reduce the army, but every train has its quota of soldiers ready for defense in case of attacks from bandits or revolutionaries.

There are, however, other factors which must be mentioned as favorable. Mine owners are no longer

44

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

robbed of their dynamite and then compelled to buy it back from the robbers, though mining operations have by no means been resumed on a large Operators are enjoying a greater sense of The repair shops for the railway in security. Monterey and Aguascalientes are gradually in-

scale.

creasing the number of men employed, and the smelter at Monterey has 1,500 men at work. Large

grazing areas which had been denuded of cattle are being stocked again, the papers reporting that many thousands of head have been driven across the

northern boundary line from Arizona and New Mexico. The magnificent grazing lands of Chia-

pas in the far south were made picturesque by the herds which we were told had wholly disappeared

during the latter years of the revolution. The testimony of business men residing in Mexis quite contradictory as to the present state of business and its trend. Some men who have re-

ico

mained continuously

in

Mexico during the

entire

period of revolution and since, told us that conditions are better than they have been for fifteen years.

On

the other hand, we heard of man after conducted successful business enter-

man who had prises in

Mexico for many years, who now has given

Some advisers strongly that the wave of confiscation or "denounceurge " ment of property has about subsided and that the

up and

left the country.

the very time to make purchases of real estate, taking such title as can be acquired either by a civil incorporated company or by an individual.

present

is

Schools and social centers can be established and

o c .

rt

at

CJ

O

O fc H-t

< H


O

8 M H

co

^

a P J O >-*

03

to cS

!? hH

fe;

o

rt

o Pi

en fc
d o cS

a

2

PH

'43


to

B<

'S

o H


P* to ID

Q tf

0)

44

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

robbed of their dynamite and then compelled to buy it back from the robbers, though mining operations have by no means been resumed on a large Operators are enjoying a greater sense of The repair shops for the railway in security. Monterey and Aguascalientes are gradually in-

scale.

creasing the number of men employed, and the smelter at Monterey has 1,500 men at work. Large

grazing areas which had been denuded of cattle are being stocked again, the papers reporting that many thousands of head have been driven across the

northern boundary line from Arizona and New Mexico. The magnificent grazing lands of Chia-

pas in the far south were made picturesque by the herds which we were told had wholly disappeared

during the latter years of the revolution. The testimony of business men residing in Mexis quite contradictory as to the present state of business and its trend. Some men who have re-

ico

mained continuously

in

Mexico during the

entire

period of revolution and since, told us that conditions are better than they have been for fifteen years.

On

the other hand, we heard of man after conducted successful business enter-

man who had prises in

Mexico

for

many years, who now

has given

up and left the country. Some advisers strongly urge that the wave of confiscation or "denounce" ment of property has about subsided and that the

make purchases of real can be acquired either by a civil incorporated company or by an individual. Schools and social centers can be established and

present

is

the very time to

estate, taking such

title as

POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION

45

assembly rooms provided in which church groups can meet without molestation, and without subjecting the property to denouncement on the ground that it belongs to a religious body. Certainly there

are in a

number

of our Presbyterian centers at1 had at low prices.

tractive properties to be

DWIGHT H. DAY i

For further discussion of these

XVIII

inclusive.

topics, see Chapters

XVI

to

CHAPTER

VIII

THE CHALLENGE OF THE CHURCH IN CHIAPAS En

Route to JALAPA, November 23, 1922

work that is being done for Christ in the JL state of Chiapas holds a unique place in the forward movement of our Church in Mexico to-day.

npHE

This work

unique, first, because of its location. in the most inaccessible and the least deis

Chiapas is veloped portion of Mexico. The eastern boundary of the state is contiguous with the northern border of Guatemala; on the south lies the Pacific Ocean which we glimpsed from the train as we skirted its shores on the north and west are the undeveloped states of Oaxaca and Tabasco. The trip by train from Vera Cruz to Tapachula, the chief center of our work in Chiapas, took us three days; Tuxtla ;

Gutierrez, the state capital,

is

three days

by horse-

back from the nearest point on the railroad. The state has a population of approximately 400,000 and in area is about the size of the state of Ohio. Palenque, the ancient capital of the Itzas, whose walls were built nearly two thousand years before in Chiapas; over eighty per cent of the inhabitants of the state to-day are pure-blooded Christ,

is

Indians.

Some

of these Indians are descendants

of the great Maya race which followed the Itzas in the possession of the land and were in turn driven

THE CHURCH

IN CHIAPAS

47

out by the two succeeding waves of racial immigration that preceded the coming of the Aztecs to

Mexico. sons

There are to-day

among

six distinct tribal divi-

the Indians in Chiapas; the majority

do not speak Spanish. One of the tribes, the Lacandones, live according to their primitive customs, use bows and arrows for weapons, and have never recognized the authority of the Mexican Government. of two of the largest

The work

unique, in the second not the work of any foreign mis-

in Chiapas

place, because

sionary or

tribes

it is

is

movement which is

foreign funds, but

directly subsidized

by

largely the work of the Rev. Newell J. Elliott, of

it is

people themselves. our Mission, has general supervision over state; he has planned the development of the

the field

and has worked out the guiding principles for the growth of the Church, but his home is in Orizaba, three and one half days distant by rail, and, with his responsibilities in that section of

Mexico, he

has obviously not been able to keep in close personal contact with the congregations in Chiapas. The local leader there is Rev. Jose Coffin, the son of a Scotch father and a Mexican mother, a striking and pleasing

man

of

who combines

personality, the creative fire of the Latin with the stanch persistence of the Scotch. The method is direct personal

work among and by the people themselves.

At

persons are sent to explore a certain district; then colporteurs with Bibles begin their work; then

first,

teachers of catechism are sent.

(Here we perceive

the Scotch influence at work.)

The

district

which

MODERN MISSIONS

48

IN MEXICO

known thus far as a field of missionary " action is now called a mission," and the work is carried on by native missionaries who hold meetings

has been

comes for the establishment of a church group and the designation of a room or building as chapel. These new be-

in friendly

homes

until the time

must pass through a six months' period of probation, and when this period of probation is over, those who have conformed their lives to Christ's teaching are received as full members of the Church, and the congregation is considered as a unit in the larger community of the Church as a whole in Chiapas. In this way, in five years, seventy-two church groups, large and small, have lievers

been formed, including four large church centers, " " missions," twenty-three chapels," twenty-four and twelve "missionary fields of action," with a total communicant membership of 817 and with more than 2,000 candidates waiting for admission. In 1921, 400 children were baptized and 200 persons were admitted to full membership. With the exception of Mr. Coffin, two thirds of whose salary paid by the Mission, all of the leaders in the church are voluntary workers. There is no current subsidy from the Mission, aside from a small sum for the travel expenses of Mr. Coffin, nor has the mission thus far invested any money for

is

property.

On

Saturday, November 18, at an afternoon session of the conference attended by representatives sections of Chiapas, we heard the direct reports of the work in the various

of the Church

from

all

THE CHURCH portions of the state.

IN CHIAPAS

Fifteen

men from

49

as

many

made reports; all of them had come at their own expense or through the gifts of their local over groups. One of them had traveled eight days these of The mountains to be the spirit present. districts

men was most impressive to the

work

as they gave their witness and in

of Christ in their communities

own lives. They continually laid stress upon the part each individual could play in bringing others to Christ. Some of the incidents which were

their

related revealed true heroism; there repeat only a single instance:

is

space to

A

year and a half ago, a Church member named Alvino Lopez, who lived near Tapachula, was threatened with death if he should continue to hold to the Protestant faith. One night he was shot and killed from ambush as he opened the door of his home. memorial service was held there by the little congregation of twenty people. Afterwards

A

they gathered at the Tapachula chapel on horseback, and took a solemn oath with uplifted hands to be true to the Protestant faith, to preach the gospel, and, in memory of their fallen comrade, to win others to Christ. They had kept this pledge, and in the eighteen intervening months, in the

face of persecution and threat of death, had brought 132 individuals into the Church. Such a spirit is

and during our days in Tapachula we saw abundant evidence of its many triumphs.

invincible

The work

in Chiapas is exceptional, in the third because there a practical plan is being put place, into effect to develop Christian communities which

MODERN MISSIONS

50

IN MEXICO

through ownership and cultivation of the land shall become independent and self-supporting. visited one of these agricultural colonies, called Eisleben in memory of Martin Luther, which, numbering sixty-two families, had purchased one thousand acres of land and was going forward sucThere a cessfully in this practical experiment.

We

was held on November 17, the day after our arrival, when we saw some of the products of this community. pavilion had been built, with upof natural saplings and roofed with cocorights nut-palm leaves. The platforms and the supports of the roof were festooned in a most wonderful fiesta

A

fashion with the fruits of the region. Coconuts, cacao pineapples, papayas, pods, corn, oranges,

bananas, and sugar cane dangled before us and above us as we addressed the people. noted

We

eighteen different varieties of fruit and vegetables ; one of them, a huge cluster of coconuts, had an inscription which was typical of the spirit of the day and of the practical and independent aims of the

agricultural center "

Within

and of the Church:

five years I will

produce

fuel, fiber,

and lighting, and lubricant for Without airplanes. exhausting the soil as do my friends the corn and banana, I shall be giving fruit soap, oil for food

to the Presbyterians at their second centennial in (Referring to the founding of the

2072 A.D."

Presbyterian Church in 1872.) Finally we felt the work of the church in Chiapas was unique because of the exceptional warmth

and glow of

its spirit

of Christian fellowship and

THE CHURCH

IN CHIAPAS

51

That spirit was in evidence throughout hour of the three days' conference: it showed every in the welcome that was given us when we first arrived it was apparent at the fiesta on the following

devotion.

;

day, in the services there, in the personal work carried on during all the functions of the day, in fe JJ Fivas! given for the country and the the rousing

Church, and in the chorus of voices uniting in " It was present Gloria y honor a Jesu-Cristo! the next day in the conferences for the giving of reports and for meditation and prayer it marked the

ff

;

public meetings Sunday morning, afternoon, and " evening when we spoke of the living water of " Christ that could bring new life to Mexico, to

our Church, and to each one of us; and when

we

missionary work

in other parts of the talked of world, in Siam, in the Philippines, and in China.

It

was audible when one

of the

members

of the

Church, out of deference to us, sang in English, country, 'tis of thee," and when with the na-

"

My

tional flag before us,

we

ff

all

sang,

Meodco, mi Mex-

ico" It was given clear expression in a statement read by Mr. Coffin at the final meeting on Sunday evening, in which he reviewed the work of the past

and spoke of

their

hopes for the future;

it

was

finally articulate in the farewell given to us when our train pulled out of Tapachula at five o'clock on

Monday morning. There are certain things which it is not wise or right for our Mission and Church to do for this

work

so well begun in Chiapas. Certainly nothing should be done which in any way will check or re-

vA

MODERN MISSIONS

52

IN MEXICO

tard the present tendencies toward self -propaga-

and financial independence. Certain sections in the state, however, including the non-Spanish speaking members of certain of

tion, self-government,

the Indian tribes, are not being reached. There is a need for American missionaries who will set themselves to learn the

Indian dialect and to carry the

own language. Later, as the church in Chiapas develops, there will be a need of a training school for its younger leaders, and gospel to

them

in their

American educators will be needed in this school. Funds will be required for the property for such a school and certain limited investments could wisely

made

at once in order to help congregations in the more important centers to purchase church

be

properties.

Anyone who

will invest life or

money

here can be certain of a satisfying return. Mr. Coffin closed his statement on Sunday night with a verse from one of the hymns which we have often sung together:

"

Trabajad, trabajad, somos siervos de Dios; Seguiremos la senda que el Maestro trazo; Renovando las fuerzas con bienes que da, " El deber que nos toco,, cumplido sera!

"

To

the work, to the work,

we

are servants of

God, Let us follow the path that the Master has trod; With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,

Let us do with our might what our hands to do."

find

THE CHURCH IN CHIAPAS

53

/

Mr.

Coffin gave a ringing emphasis to these closing words, and as we heard him speak, and as we thought of all that we had seen and heard of the

work going forward under

his brave

and wise

lead-

we

resolved that anything which we as a ership, Mission and as a Church could wisely do to support

and sustain done

by

this

work

anything that ought to be would be done.

the grace of God,

CHAPTER IX A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER PROTESTANT CHURCH IN SOUTHERN MEXICO unique power and growth of the indigenous Church in Chiapas have been described in the preceding chapter. Reference was made to

THE

the striking address

movement, Rev. Jose

made by

the leader in this

Coffin, at the last session of

the church fiesta in Tapachula. The Commission was so impressed by his words that they asked Mr.

what he had said. This he kindly consented to do and a translation of the address in part is here reproduced. Coffin to write out

CHIAPAS AND

OUR MISSIONARY WORK

The Presbyterian Church in Chiapas is a missionary movement and nothing else; but it is a movement whose reach it would still be premature to calculate.

I come before you to present some of the characteristics of this

movement whose

will reach across

we know because we are

effect

many generations, of one of those religious awakenwitnesses living which the ings people themselves initiate and sustain until they accomplish the reforms of their impelling motive. 54

and progress

A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER CHURCH

55

Such progress has come through the method here employed. The method is none other than that of most patient personal work. "

and

One by

one, little

hy

little," is

in less than five years

our slogan here,

we have

established

seventy-two congregations where before there was not one. How? Simply in this way: every new convert is made to feel that the chief aim of a member is to

be a propagandist of the gospel and that in his period of probation, of at least six months, he ought to give testimony publicly in his conversations, establishing the family altar, making special visits

new persons and places, contributing his money work of the Church. There is hardly a member who has not brought several persons to

to

to the

the light before he himself has been baptized; in many cases the members have displayed heroic

The

heroic congregations of San Cristobal, Las Casas, Chiapa del Corzo, and other congregations were established by candidates in their

effort.

period of probation.

Our plan of evangelization of different points includes the following steps: First they are consid" " ered as fields of missionary action and are by persons who only explore the field, establishing the greatest possible number of points of

visited

contact; these are followed immediately by the catechism teachers and colporteurs, until public

opinion has been formed, as one might say, in our favor; then we designate that field as a Mission, and it is attended to by native missionaries. These

MODERN MISSIONS

56

IN MEXICO

workers hold meetings from place to place in friendly homes, generally without any set form, continuing in this manner until these sympathizers believe that a formal meeting is opportune. Immediately the pastor or an elder examines the

new

officially

believers,

who

and commence

tion, unless the session

are thenceforth recognized their six months of proba-

should waive this or other

detail of procedure.

This period of probation over, all those who have conformed their lives to the teachings of Jesus are received, and the rest are given one or two years of further probation in order to conform their lives. If, at the end of this time, they have not moralized their lives they are definitely rejected and the other sessions are notified so that they may not be deceived by false believers; the same is done in the

case of anyone

who

is

unworthy of Church fellow-

ship.

When the new congregations are thus formed the Mission

is

raised to the standing of a chapel, a

room for meeting is arranged for, a chaplain is named with his assistant, and a collector of funds who receives the offerings and renders an account to the treasurer of the session.

Every chapel group commissions, and groups which it desires, but the officials as well as the members of these chapel groups have a vote simply as

may name the committees,

members of the church under

the session whose rulhave the force of law in their jurisdiction. ings These lay preachers called native missionaries and chaplains, respectively,

renew

their

appointment

MODERN MISSIONS

56

IN MEXICO

workers hold meetings from place to place in friendly homes, generally without any set form, continuing in this manner until these sympathizers believe that a formal meeting is opportune. Immediately the pastor or an elder examines the

new

officially

who are thenceforth recognized and commence their six months of proba-

believers,

tion, unless the session

should waive this or other

detail of procedure.

This period of probation over, all those who have conformed their lives to the teachings of Jesus are received, and the rest are given one or two years of further probation in order to conform their lives. If, at the end of this time, they have not moralized their lives they are definitely rejected and the other sessions are notified so that they may not be deceived by false believers; the same is done in the

case of anyone

who

is

unworthy

of

Church fellow-

ship.

When the new congregations Mission

is

are thus

formed the

raised to the standing of a chapel, a

room for meeting is arranged for, a chaplain is named with his assistant, and a collector of funds who receives the offerings and renders an account to the treasurer of the session.

may name which

it

Every chapel group and groups

the committees, commissions,

desires,

but the

officials as

well as the

mem-

bers of these chapel groups have a vote simply as members of the church under the session whose rulings have the force of law in their jurisdiction. These lay preachers called native missionaries and chaplains, respectively,

renew

their

appointment

v:

3.

il

A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER CHURCH every six months.

These

officials

57

hecome the future

sessions.

Our

present organization consists of four sessions with twenty-three twenty-four chapels, of action. fields and twelve Missions, missionary

The

total

number of communicants

in full

mem-

bership according to the latest statistics is 817. The amount collected for missions, benevolences,

and construction forms a

total of 2,141.80

pesos.

During the last synodical year we have performed eighty baptisms of children, received eighty-three adults, and performed seventy-six marriages. But the beginning of Presbyterianism will go down in history as the real triumph of the agrarian

which does not ruin the rich or give false hopes to the poor, because it is well within the law of respect for the rights of others. This is not opportunism or bad politics, but good sense Chiapas will always be an agricultural state and the future ideal,

;

of Presbyterianism valley.

is

in the (mountain

and the

now

as never

Ranch owners and

laborers

before need, and are seeking far and wide, not so much people of initiative and ability as people of honesty, just the old honesty of Bible morals. In the face of this great need of the day only the austere Presbyterians have been able to make a

reply in acts. This fact logically brought on the other necessity of establishing our brethren, so to

who are not yet landowners own homes in the country or in the

speak, stimulating those to

buy

their

MODERN MISSIONS

58

towns, until

IN MEXICO

possible no family or individual others for a livelihood. We, the

if it is

need depend on

teachers of religion, do not have to give classes in agricultural instruction in order to make sure that

the creed of the joyful Presbyterian peasant is ex" Prayer, work, pressed in three simple words and watchfulness."

creed in practice glorifies God without exploiting either rich or poor, without cultivating vice, laziness, or the crime which is so characteristic

The

of festival days. One of the consequences of

its adaptation to circumstances has been the surprising facility in finding volunteers for missionary work, men and

women

of practical character, self-sacrificing to the of heroism and martyrdom, accustomed to point depend upon themselves and to direct others, strict

and orthodox in doctrine. So the wise counsel of Rev. N. J. Elliott in 1919 that the

in discipline

evangelization of Chiapas ought to be done principally by the Chiapanecos, stimulating them in spirit

and fact by frank cooperation, understand their else; this

own

in the faith that they people better than anyone

prudent advice, I say, has been followed

to the letter.

As to

our agrarian policy, I will simply say that dreams of one of our martyrs, the humble Alvino Lopez, who in view of the suffering of the peasant families who had been driven by it

realizes the

war

to vagrancy, misery, prostitution, and sickness, initiated on his land an agricultural colony,

the

a few days before the hand of an assassin took him

A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER CHURCH

59

the idea has triumphed, for we have fourteen agrarian colonies, some of which are made

from

us.

But

laborers, others of renters, and others of small property owners. Last year to celebrate the

up

of!

day

fourth centenary of the reform proclaimed by Martin Luther, we established the colony of Eisleben in which there are 130 hectares of good farming land, near the

Pan-American Railroad's branch from Tapa-

line to Suchiate, eighteen kilometers

chula.

The Company has

sold us land at the rate of

two meters square for one centavo in the urban part and six meters square for one centavo in the farming land. Although we are not so optimistic? as one of our geologist friends who assures us that Eisleover petroleum deposits, we are sufficiently Presbyterian not to forget that Eisleben is a mag-

ben

lies

nificent missionary point in a vast region frontier.

Among the

on

this

valuable testimonies which prove the

success of our particular system of colonization established in 1920 in Soconusco, I will cite the words

of the Secretary of Agriculture in an official report rendered August 16, 1921, to the general office of the Department in this zone: " I note yours of the seventh instant to which I

add the documents relative to the colonization which Senor Jose Coffin is carrying out in the state of Chiapas.

I have sent these documents to the

De-

partment of Colonization for the purpose of having them duly studied and the points of benefit noted.

Thanking you,

etc."

The General Agent

referred to in this personal

60

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

dated November 8, 1921, honored me with the following words " I was able to see the Subsecretary of Agriculture for the purpose of seeing what had come of

letter

:

the plan of the Secretary for promulgating a colonization law. I was informed they were about

law of colonization to the Chamber of Deputies in which it is planned to adopt your system for the agrarian colonies which have been formed under the protection of the educational and to send a

work

of your Mission. Civil ( Signed by " Castellanos Ruiz.) I must say here that we have not for a moment solicited help from the government, much less have

religious

Engineer M.

we mixed

in politics or party issues, but we have, according to law, respectfully submitted reports and data with all promptness and clearness.

Also we have not neglected the instruction of children. Opportunely and according to necessity, we have opened up rural schools and Bible schools in connection with them.

It

the duty of the teachers in the day schools to help with the religious instruction of the children on Sunday. In is

order technically to organize the educational work on our field we have named a Presbyterian Committee of Education, which will unify all the elements of the four sessions in this important depart-

ment of our work. I should say

in passing that we our systematic religious teaching on the Shorter Catechism. Now that I am speaking of our different depart-

found

all

ments, I must refer to one that

is

of capital im-

A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER CHURCH

61

portance for us, and which corresponds to medical missions. should not be real Presbyterians if we did not remember that since the time of Dr.

We

Prevost, blessed among the blessed of God, and up to the time of Mr. Elliott and Sefior Mirabal, our Church has represented the true beneficence of national medical evangelization.

Here we have

al-

ways included the medical outfit with the Bible. Without pretending to act as doctors, we have offered our humble help as nurses under the orders of regular physicians and at times the doctors have helped us generously. Perhaps you could understand later why at the present time the preachers accept the burden of the medical kit, but those who accompany us through the desert places where there are wild beasts, reptiles, and threatening microbes, or through populated districts where the people

follow us with sticks and stones and knives and

who know that in Chiapas a small perthe of centage population live in towns of importance and have access to medical help, will under-

pistols, those

And the great majority who live in the have country only the quack doctors and the Indian medicine men (witches) who practice the superstand

this.

a thousand years ago. Because of all are calling aloud for medical missionaries to fight not only against sickness but also against its age-long ally, neglect! Yes, neglect, to which stitions of

this

we

must be charged skin leprosy, among other great evils! We plead to God, to the Church, to your sympathy, brethren, to send us missionary doctors to teach hygiene, to give true medical instruction

62

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

your neighbors who were born and where the two the eternal where Americas meet, and lullaby of two oceans is heard. Gentlemen, although in the matter of ritual

to thousands of

will die in this beautiful region

everyone has his

own

we

choice,

are, here in this

farthest corner of our fatherland, celebrating the Jubilee of our Church; and this modest celebration has become an event because of the presence of

most worthy delegates whom our mother Church has lovingly sent from far-off lands. With the same pleasure with which we welcome them we

these

We

ask of you to be give you another salutation. the bearers of our fraternal regards to your noble Mission Board which represents the missionary of our great Presbyterian family in the whole earth. Say to our great fraternity that under its offices we have raised up a people which will carry forward the blue standard of Scotch Presbyterianism, Catechism and all, in spite of the attacks

power

of all the allies of

Rome.

Brothers and Coworkers: To the memory of Procopio C. Diaz, who in 1885 began the literary propaganda in Tabasco and corresponded with friends in Pichucalco; to the porteurs, who, like the humble dez, did all they could; to the

memory

of the col-

Manuel M. Fernanmemory of him who

ago had the great missionary vision of remote Chiapas, the renowned Dr. Arcadio Morales, whose last thoughts were for this field; to the memory of the Mexican Synod under whose austhirty years

pices twenty years ago

Mr. McDonald and

wife, of

A MEXICAN'S VIEW OF A PIONEER CHURCH

63

spirit, and Senor Rodriguez, of Tuxtla Gutierrez, came to preach the gospel here in honor of the veterans who are gone and those

Livingstonian

;

who

as a testimony of our supreme faith Church triumphant of the future, we have made ours the words of the hymn: still live,

in the

"To

the work! to the work!

we

are servants of

God, Let us follow the path that the Master has trod; With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,

Let us do with our might what our hands find to do." A)

it

CHAPTER X

ACHIEVEMENT AND OPPORTUNITY IN JALAPA MEXICO CITY, November

25, 1922 '<

range of mountains which bounds the central plateau of Mexico on the east is pierced

npHE JL

passes, through which it is possible to reach The the lowlands bordering the Mexican Gulf. on November 10 which we visited of Orizaba, city and 11, is situated on the railroad built through one

by two

of these passes the city of Jalapa is located on the There we line which traverses the second valley. ;

arrived the evening of the twenty-third and spent the following day visiting the city and our work before going on to Mexico City that night. Jalapa is the capital of the state of Vera Cruz, a city of about 25,000 people, built on a mountain slope, with steep, narrow,

winding streets paved with cobblestones that remind one of the streets of Clovelly, in Devonshire. Spanish, and there are

But

the city

is

typically

some imposing governmental buildings that give it character and distinction. Every street is bounded by an unbroken line of stone and brick houses that stretch out like interminable prison walls. The illusion of enforced confinement is heightened by the barred windows

which are so often present in the houses of Mexico. 64

IN JALAPA

The windows

are long

65

and cut low, so that an un-

given of the people within. The women and girls who peer through these bars seem like prisoners, and prisoners in one sense they have obstructed view

is

been indeed, for they have been bound by fetters of economic and ecclesiastical forging, from which they are only

Jalapa

is

now breaking

situated

free.

on the Camino Meal, which was

main thoroughfare of the Spanish conquerors between Mexico City and Vera Cruz. Tradition says that before the coming of the Spaniards, relays of swift Indian runners passed over this trail, carrying fish fresh from the bay at Vera Cruz to the table of Montezuma. Jalapa, Orizaba, and Vera Cruz make up the three centers of the Vera Cruz Station of our Mission, and over this same Camino Real messengers are passing to-day who own allegiance to a King with a far wider realm than that of which a Montezuma or a sixteenth century Spanish sovereign would have dared to dream. Rev. and Mrs. H. A. Phillips are stationed in Jalapa, with the responsibility of the oversight of the work in the capital and also in the many neighboring towns and villages that look to this city as the

We

stayed at their house overnight and with them inspected the new church building which had been erected under Mr. their metropolitan center.

Phillips' supervision.

An

earthquake in 1920 had

destroyed the previous church building

and

certain

adjoining property. Funds were provided for the erection of a new church, and the present struc-

MODERN MISSIONS

66

IN MEXICO

which has been built of reenforced concrete, is one of the two or three really attractive Presbyterian church buildings which we have seen in Mexhad a service in that church in the eveico. ning, the pastor, Senor Vazquez, a full-blooded descendant of the original Mexitl or Aztec Indians, presiding. The church needs an additional $1,000 to complete its building and there is need for the ture,

We

securing of property for a school and residence. An adjoining lot next to the church might be

bought for this purpose if funds were available. There is need also of additional recruits to reenforce our single missionary family there.

In the afternoon we visited the chapel of the Virgin de la Piedad out on the border of the city. In this chapel there is a picture believed to have healing power. It has been in the possession of a certain Mexican family for two generations, and the chapel in which it is contained has become the

Mecca

for

many

sick

and

infirm.

The

walls of

the chapel were covered with pictures and inscriptions by those who had declared themselves to be

miraculously healed after they besought the help of the Virgin. In front of her picture was a motley

assortment of glass vases, candlesticks, and bowls, which presented the appearance of a secondhand junk shop. Indians doffed their sombreros, as they entered, to kneel on the pavement before the

and before this motley assortment of glassmothers ware, brought their sick children, and prayed for their recovery. The owner of the picture, a frowsy, unkempt individual, stood and picture

IN JALAPA

67

watched these supplicants as they came and went, leaving some financial payment for the service they so confidently expected to receive. were reminded of similar scenes enacted " before the picture of the Black Christ," in a cathe-

We

dral in Puebla. The picture had been festooned with white ribbons, placed there by those who, like

had come seeking the healmercies which ing they thought could thus be these people of Jalapa,

As we watched and thought of these things, anew the pathos of such blind and ignorant devotion and the unescapable obligation which is

gained.

we

felt

placed upon those

who know

the Christian gospel

in its purity and power to share the light and joy of that gospel with these people groping in the

dark.

The

of the grace

took on a

verses of Sidney Lanier which speak " " and beauty of the Crystal Christ

new meaning, and

the words of that

Christ rang in our ears with a new significance: " God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must

worship in

spirit

and truth."

CHAPTER XI MEXICO CITY AND THE VALLEY OF MEXICO En "

Route to YUCATAN, December 8, 1922

nPHE history of ancient Mexico

is substantially that of the Valley of Mexico, that beautiful spot where once beat the heart of the great Aztec Empire." So wrote Prescott in his unique history

X

of the conquest of Mexico ; with almost equal truth it might be stated that the history of modern Mex-

and of the work of our Protestant Church, and especially of the Presbyterian branch of that

ico

Church,

is

epitomized in the developments in that

same valley. In this letter I will try to give you some of our general impressions of the city and valley, and of our work there, as these impressions came to us during our stay from October 27 to November 1, and from November 25 to December 8, in this interesting and historical center. The Valley of Mexico is a vast basin, about fifty miles long by forty miles broad, with an elevation of 7,500 to 8,000 feet above sea level. The valley is thought to be the one-time floor of an extinct

volcano whose walls were the surrounding mountains. Within this valley there were once five great lakes, mountain-locked,

"

Floating Gardens

have dwindled in

"

and formerly dotted by the These lakes

of the Aztecs.

size so that 68

Lake Texcoco, near

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO Mexico

69

City, alone remains of appreciable extent.

The

valley is drained by a canal and a tunnel cut through the mountain range, a work that was at-

tempted by the early Aztecs, but not completed until the regime of Porfirio Diaz.

The valley is completely surrounded by mountain ramparts, with Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl standing, sentinel-like, in the southeast distance.

When we stand

down

viewed

this scene, it

was easy

to under-

why the migrating peoples who had swept in successive waves from the north had de-

cided to go no farther, but had chosen to settle there and build their cities and homes in this watered

and protected valley. Three of these migratory invasions are of

special interest: that of the Toltecs, of the Aztecs, and

that of the Spanish conquerors. The Toltecs came to the Mexican valley probably as early as the seventh century of our era.

some fifty Mexico City, and other cities nearer the present capital. The ruins of certain of these cities are of special archeeological and religious interest to-day. On December 2, we visited one " of them, San Juan Teotihuacan, The City of the Gods," about thirty miles from Mexico City. Two great pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, the former equaling in ex-

They

built their capital city of Tula,

miles north of

tent the largest of the pyramids in Egypt, are Near by are the ruins of the stone houses

there.

of an ancient city; beneath its very foundation, recent excavations have revealed other houses which

70

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

belong to an epoch even more ancient. In similar fashion, two temples have been discovered, one superimposed upon another, the sculptured gargoyles and decorations indicating two distinct eras of civilization and art. But most impressive of all is the great many-staired altar that stands within a vast rectangular enclosure, which in turn is flanked on three sides by twelve lesser altars,

four on each side of the enclosure, with the double temple at the farther end. There is a symmetry

and a precision about the whole plan that is most impressive, which recalls the beauty and inspired simplicity of Hellenic art; there is also something of the spirit there that surrounds the Temple and

Altar of Heaven in Peking. City of

No

one can stand on "

San Juan Teotihuacan, The the Gods," under the beautiful Mexican

this ancient altar in

and not feel that here, just as in Athens, were " a people who were seeking after God, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him." The record of the Aztecs is written indelibly on Mexico. The very name of the country comes from sky,

their patron war god, Mexitl. The seal of the nation reproduces the eagle and the snake which were

the prophetic symbols of the appointed place for the building of the Aztec capital. Guided by this

stopped on their southward journey, and on the margin of Lake Texcoco laid the foundations for their chief city, Tenochtitlan. This was sign, they

and for nearly two centuries their empire dominated the continent. There they built their

in 1325,

temple to the war god, Huitzilopochtli, and, in

fa

o to fc

fc t>

O

H K

H W tf

O 175

&? SA\

.>

>

,..; |

4' f **!. ;{

'

-"

w a

MODERN MISSIONS

70

IN MEXICO

belong to an epoch even more ancient. In similar fashion, two temples have been discovered, one superimposed upon another, the sculptured gar-

and decorations indicating two distinct eras of civilization and art, But most impressive goyles

the great many-staired altar that stands vast within a rectangular enclosure, which in turn is flanked on three sides by twelve lesser altars, of all

is

four on each side of the enclosure, with the double temple at the farther end. There is a symmetry

and a precision about the whole plan that is most impressive, which recalls the beauty and inspired simplicity of Hellenic art; there is also something of the spirit there that surrounds the Temple and

Altar of Heaven in Peking.

No

one can stand on "

San Juan Teotihuacan, The the Gods," under the beautiful Mexican

this ancient altar in

City of sky,

and not

a people

feel that here, just as in "

who were seeking feel after

Him

they might The record of the Aztecs

Mexico.

The very name

after

and is

find

Athens, were

God,

if

haply

Him."

written indelibly on

of the country comes

from

their patron war god, Mexitl. The seal of the nation reproduces the eagle and the snake which were

the prophetic symbols of the appointed place for the building of the Aztec capital. Guided by this

stopped on their southward journey, and on the margin of Lake Texcoco laid the foundations for their chief city, Tenochtitlan. This was sign, they

and for nearly two centuries their empire dominated the continent. There they built their

in 1325,

temple to the war god, Huitzilopochtli, and, in

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

71

1486, dedicated it with the sacrifice of 20,000 human In the National Museum is the wonder-

victims.

ful Calendar Stone of this people, a mammoth circular block of basaltic porphyry> twelve feet in

diameter and weighing twenty-four tons, upon which are marked a sundial and the seasons and months and days of the Aztec calendar, significant proof of their high level of culture and civilization. There, too, is the image of Huitzilowhich at one time stood upon the top of pochtli,

and was ignominiously tumbled down therefrom by the disrespectful soldiers of Cortes. In a suburban town where stood another temple of Teocalli,

Huitzilopochtli, which gave its name to the village, is now located a fine country club and golf links,

the Aztec

name

of the district being transformed

more peaceful and pronounceable Spanish version of Churubusco. In the museum, sculptured figures and faces of Toltecs and Aztecs and to the

forerunners bear striking resemblances to Egypt, China, and Japan, and seem to bear out the theory that the original racial stream of Mexico came both from North America their

similar relics in

and from Eastern Asia. the so-called

Mexico was a portion of

New World, but it was old long before

the coming of the Europeans to its shores. The familiar lines concerning its ancient glories are

indeed true: "

World wrongly called the new

When first the Age

And

!

this

claim was old

Spaniards came, in search of gold. after age its shadowy wings had spread, man was born and gathered to the dead;

MODERN MISSIONS

72

IN MEXICO

dwindled to decay, Empires were formed, then darkly swept away; Cities arose, ruled,

Race followed

race, like cloud-shades o'er the

field,

The The

stranger last

still

grand

to strangers

line that

doomed

swayed

to yield.

these hills

and

waves,

Like

wandered long 'mid wilds and caves, settling in their Canaan, cities reared,

Israel,

Then

Fair Science wooed, a milder Till to invading

And pomp,

art,

God

revered,

Europe bowed their pride, power, with Montezuma died."

In 1519, Hernando Cortes landed at Vera Cruz, and after two years of bloody warfare, Tenochtitlan surrendered to the Spaniard. For three cenSpanish flag floated over Mexico. With

turies, the

the soldiers

Church.

priests of the Roman Catholic of the first acts of Bishop Seiior

came the

One

Zumarraga was the collection of the manuscripts and paintings deposited in the Texcoco library and their public destruction, thus attempting to do away with the writings of false religion, but, incidentally, accomplishing the destruction of records of incalculable value to science and history.

In 1531, ten years

after the surrender of the

Az-

tec sovereign, according to the popular tradition, appeared the vision and picture of the Virgin of

Guadalupe.

An

Indian of the poorer class was

passing the rocky hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City, when the Virgin Mary appeared to him and told

him of her

desire to have a church built in that

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

73

communicated and the other church leaders proved skeptical, and after two further visions, on her third appearance, on December 12, as a proof of her reality, the Virgin caused a garden of beautiful roses to appear on the At her comcrest of the rocky hill of Tepeyac.

place, and that this desire should be to the bishop. Senor Zumarraga

mand, the Indian gathered the flowers in his mantle, or tilma, to take to the bishop, and when the mantle was unrolled, upon it they saw painted a picture of the Virgin. This picture on the sacred tilma is said to be in existence to-day and is exhibited in the cathedral of Guadalupe which has been built at the base of the hill of Tepeyac. The Indians have identified the Virgin of Guadalupe with their

own

Tonantzin, goddess of earth and corn and and throughout Mexico and especially among the Indian population, the

their special protectress,

Virgin nation.

regarded as the divine patroness of the Miguel Hidalgo carried her banner when

is

he proclaimed the independence of Mexico on the night of September 5, 1810; through such association, her influence is both religious and nationalistic.

The cathedral and town of Guadalupe are the Mecca of the Roman Catholic Indians, and on December 12, the anniversary of the appearance of the picture of the Virgin, tremendous crowds visit the shrine.

We went to

Guadalupe on December

3,

and

as

soon as we entered the village, we felt the air of emotional fervor and excitement. The cathedral was jammed with Indians, the men in blankets and

MODERN MISSIONS

74

sombreros, and the

women

IN MEXICO

with shawls and staring,

round-eyed babies, each of the men and women kneeling with a tall lighted candle in their hands.

The

was dark, and the flame the candles cast an eerie light of flickering over the dusky faces and huddled bodies of the interior of the cathedral

Before them was the high altar, built of marble and bronze, with the sacred tilma and painting of the Virgin enclosed in a gold frame. Below the picture was the gigantic kneeling figure of a priest, cut in marble, whose silent, gray form added a grotesque and sepulchral touch to the scene. Above, through two windows near the roof, came two shafts of clear, warm sunlight that streamed through the murky semidarkness below, bringing a message of light and peace from the fair heavens above. So, I have seen the sunlight pierce the a Buddhist temple in the Far East, addof gloom ing a new and strange luster to the image of the " " and thus I have seen the torches Light of Asia borne by ConfucJanist devotees at the spring festivals in China fade out in the clear morning light of a new day's dawn. After viewing the ceremony in the cathedral, Indians.

;

we

visited the chapel

on the

said to have bloomed.

hill

where the roses are

Then we descended

to the

chapel of tne well, at the foot of the hill. In the one of the rooms of this chapel is a well of

floor of

water which

is

regarded by the Indians as possess-

ing healing and medicinal properties. The spring of water is said to have gushed forth at the ap-

pearance of the Virgin and

we found

the

room

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

75

crowded with Indians seeking to dip up water from the well which they might carry with them. As we watched, we heard the strains of music in There, we saw a dozen Indians, men and women, with elaborate feather headdresses, engaged in a rhythmical

the adjoining auditorium of the chapel.

dance to the strange music of han jo-like instruments played by two of the Indians as they danced. Three of the men held up banners on which were pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, topped with crosses. Thus the old Indian impulses to worship

by dance and music had been incorporated, or

at

approved, as a part of the ritual of the Catholic Church, just as Buddhism admits into its pantheon all gods and rites that have

least tacitly

local

Roman

a vitality of their own. In this valley, with its Toltec, Aztec, and Spanish background, and on the very site of the ancient

modern City of Mexico stands to-day. The Spanish rulers have been gone for nearly a century; during the past hundred

city of Tenochtitlan, the

years,

many new

forces have been at work.

Most

visible are the signs of French and American influence. The architecture of palace and church and

predominantly Spanish, but many of the beauties of parks and avenues in origin are French. Maximilian laid out the magnificent Paseo de la Reforma, with its circles street,

residence

is still

(glorietas),

and

its

statues

and

its

winding course

through the beautiful Chapultepec forest, with its lakes and inlets and inviting paths under its great cypresses.

Here

is

a second Bois de Boulogne,

MODERN MISSIONS

72

IN MEXICO

dwindled to decay, then darkly swept away; were formed, Empires Cities arose, ruled,

Race followed

race, like cloud-shades o'er the

field,

The The

stranger last

still

grand

to strangers

line that

doomed

swayed

to yield.

these hills

and

waves,

wandered long 'mid wilds and caves, Then settling in their Canaan, cities reared, Like

Israel,

Fair Science wooed, a milder Till to invading

And pomp,

art,

God

revered,

Europe bowed their pride, power, with Montezuma died."

In 1519, Hernando Cortes landed at Vera Cruz, and after two years of bloody warfare, Tenochtitlan surrendered to the Spaniard. For three centuries, the Spanish flag floated over Mexico. With the soldiers

Church.

came the

priests of the

Roman

Catholic

One

of the first acts of Bishop Senor was the collection of the manuscripts

Zumarraga and paintings deposited in the Texcoco library and their public destruction, thus attempting to

do away with the writings of false religion, but, incidentally, accomplishing the destruction of records of incalculable value to science and history. In 1531, ten years after the surrender of the Aztec sovereign, according to the popular tradition, appeared the vision and picture of the Virgin of

Guadalupe.

An

Indian of the poorer

class

was

passing the rocky hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City, when the Virgin Mary appeared to him and told

him of her

desire to have a church built in that

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

73

communicated and the other church leaders proved skeptical, and after two further visions, on her third appearance, on December 12, as a proof of her reality, the Virgin caused a garden of beautiful roses to appear on the crest of the rocky hill of Tepeyac. At her com-

place, and that this desire should be to the bishop. Senor Zumarraga

mand, the Indian gathered the flowers in his mantle, or tilma, to take to the bishop, and when the mantle was unrolled, upon it they saw painted a picture of the Virgin. This picture on the sacred tilma is said to be in existence to-day and is exhibited in the cathedral of

Guadalupe which has been

built

at the base of the hill of Tepeyac. The Indians have identified the Virgin of Guadalupe with their

own Tonantzin, goddess their special protectress,

and

of earth and corn and and throughout Mexico

the Indian population, the Virgin is regarded as the divine patroness of the nation. Miguel Hidalgo carried her banner when especially

among

he proclaimed the independence of Mexico on the night of September 5, 1810; through such association, her influence is both religious and nationalistic.

The cathedral and town of Guadalupe are the Mecca of the Roman Catholic Indians, and on December 12, the anniversary of the appearance of the picture of the Virgin, tremendous crowds visit the shrine.

We went to

Guadalupe on December

3,

and

as

soon as we entered the village, we felt the air of emotional fervor and excitement. The cathedral was jammed with Indians, the men in blankets and

74

MODERN MISSIONS

sombreros, and the

IN MEXICO

women with

shawls and staring,

babies, each of the

round-eyed kneeling with a

The

tall lighted

men and women

candle in their hands.

interior of the cathedral

was dark, and the

flickering flame of the candles cast an eerie light over the dusky faces and huddled bodies of the

Indians. Before them was the high altar, built of marble and bronze, with the sacred tilma and painting of the Virgin enclosed in a gold frame. Below the picture was the gigantic kneeling figure of a priest, cut in marble, whose silent, gray form added a grotesque and sepulchral touch to the scene. Above, through two windows near the roof, came two shafts of clear, warm sunlight that streamed through the murky semidarkness below, bringing a message of light and peace from the fair heavens above. So, I have seen the sunlight pierce the a Buddhist temple in the Far East, addof gloom a new and strange luster to the image of the ing " " and thus I have seen the torches Light of Asia borne by Confudanist devotees at the spring festivals in China fade out in the clear morning light of a new day's dawn. After viewing the ceremony in the cathedral, we visited the chapel on the hill where the roses are said to have bloomed. Then we descended to the ;

chapel of the well, at the foot of the hill. In the floor of one of the rooms of this chapel is a well of

water which

is regarded by the Indians as possessand medicinal properties. The spring ing healing of water is said to have gushed forth at the appearance of the Virgin and we found the room

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

75

crowded with Indians seeking to dip up water from the well which they might carry with them. As we watched, we heard the strains of music in There, we saw a dozen Indians, men and women, with elaborate feather headdresses, engaged in a rhythmical the adjoining auditorium of the chapel.

dance to the strange music of hanjo-like instruments played by two of the Indians as they danced. Three of the men held up banners on which were pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, topped with crosses. Thus the old Indian impulses to worship

by dance and music had been incorporated, or

at

approved, as a part of the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church, just as Buddhism

least tacitly! local

admits into

its

pantheon

all

gods and

rites that

have

a vitality of their own. In this valley, with its Toltec, Aztec, and Spanish background, and on the very site of the ancient

modern City of Mexico stands to-day. The Spanish rulers have been gone for nearly a century; during the past hundred

city of Tenochtitlan, the

years,

many new

Most French and American in-

forces have been at work.

visible are the signs of fluence. The architecture of palace

residence

and church and

predominantly Spanish, but many of the beauties of parks and avenues in origin are French. Maximilian laid out the magnificent Paseo de la Reforma, with its circles street, is still

(glorietas),

and

statues

its

and

its

winding course

through the beautiful Chapultepec forest, with its lakes and inlets and inviting paths under its great cypresses.

Here

is

a second Bois de Boulogne,

76

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

and above the wood, on a bold

cliff,

like that of

Stirling Castle, stands the castle of Chapultepec, the former residence of the French emperor and

more recently of the Mexican

presidents.

Almost

within the shadows of this castle and along a prolongation of the Paseo de la Reforma, enterprising

Americans have marked out modern city blocks, and are beginning the construction of residences and bungalows of approved California pattern. Trolley cars of American make and speed carry one out to the beautiful suburban villages of the In the city itself, there are said to be district. automobiles. Fords and Packards vie with 40,000 one another in these crowded streets. The population of the city is estimated to be more than half a million with nearly three quarters of a million

After traveling Federal District. the where the standards country regions, through of living seem so low, one marvels at the evidence of apparent wealth and financial activity in this within

the

metropolis, where the commercial spirit of one of our twentieth century American cities seems to be

work in a European setting and an environment of long ago. The focal point of the past history and present life of Mexico and of the capital, has been and is

at

main plaza of the city, called La Plaza de la Constitucion or, more popularly, the Zocalo. On the site of the Teocalli, on the north side of the

in the

now stands the great Cathedral of Mexico, the corner stone of which was laid in 1573. On the plaza,

east side of the plaza

is

the Senate.

Above

its

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

77

doorway hangs the famous liberty bell first rung by the patriot Hidalgo in 1810 and rung again each year on the anniversary of that September night. On the south side of the Zocalo central

stands the Municipal Palace, occupying the site of the former residence of the Aztec commanders. In this square raged the final battles between the

Aztecs and the invading Spaniards. There, in was de Iturbide 1822, Agustin proclaimed Emperor of Mexico. The American flag floated above the National Palace in 1847 and it was followed in

1863 by the Tricolor of France. Here, in 1867, General Porfirio Diaz was first greeted as a national leader,

and

here, in 1911, his resignation, Madero, was made public. The full

demanded by force of the Decena Trdgica

(tragic ten days), at Huerta into the

the time of the entrance of General

culminating in the death of President MaFrom this square, President dero, was here felt.

capital,

Carranza set out, in 1920, on the tragic journey which was to end with his death. And here President Obregon was inaugurated and began his present term of office. And finally, in this place, we were afforded a glimpse of the quick flaring action of the

Mexican populace, which has made

possible tragedies in the comparatively short history of their existence as an independent nation. When we met for the Mission conference, the

so

last

many

week

in

that the city

November, in Mexico City, we found had been without water for nearly ten

The reason for the failure in the municipal water supply was never clearly stated, but whatdays.

78

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

its original cause, the resentment of the people of the city grew more and more strong. On the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, November 30,

ever

a large crowd

collected

and marched through

the streets, protesting against the lack of water. The crowd entered the plaza and drew up before

the municipal palace, about seven o'clock, just as

Dr. Rodgers and I arrived by street car from the suburb of San Angel. The crowd made a rush at the palace where the municipal authorities were thought to be; the soldiers on guard opened fire; and the next moment we found ourselves in the crowd of frightened people who were seeking cover behind every possible object, including the street cars and statues in the plaza. As the firing continued, we worked our way across the plaza and so into a side street. The crowd returned to the at-

tack later in the evening; eleven of them were

and sixty wounded in the fighting, and the palace was set on fire in the mlee. That night we killed

heard groups of

men going through "

the streets, crying, Agual Agua! (water! water!) but there was no fighting outside the Zocalo. Such an incident was exceptional, however, and from our obff

servation of conditions in

Mexico

as a whole,

believe life there to be as safe, at least, as in

York

we

New

'

City.

In this pulsating and historic city and valley, the work of our Church was begun fifty years ago.

We

were impressed at once by the strategic position of our largest congregation, called El Divino Salvador. During all this period, until the day of

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO his death this past year,

79

Senor Arcadio Morales

was pastor, and in that time built up the church and won a place of leadership and influence throughout the whole country. The church of San Pedro and San Pablo is also situated in Mexico City and the A. R. Wolfe Memorial Church is located in the suburban district of Tacubaya. At Coyoacan, a suburban town about five miles from

the center of the city, is our preparatory school for ,/ boys, the only Protestant school for boys in the

whole city and Federal District. Coyoacan is than Mexico older, historically, City; there Cortes had his first headquarters. The house in which he

hundred years ago, is still standing there to-day. Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Brown, and Rev. and Mrs. Bancroft Reifsnyder live in Coyoacan, and Mr. Brown as director and member of the faculty and Mr. Reifsnyder as supervisor of evangelistic work are carrying a large load of responsibility and service. The Southern Presbyterians are united with us in the school, Mr. R. C. Morrow being a member of the faculty from their constituency. There are over 100 boys enrolled, seventy-three of them being boarders. Senor E. Z. Perez is the pastor of the Coyoacan Church, which meets in the beautiful McMurtrie Memorial Chapel on the school campus, where the congregation of Coyoacan and San Angel students is most inspiring.

lived four

At San Angel, a beautiful suburb about a mile from Coyoacan, is the Girls' Primary and Normal School. It was a joy to see the beautiful old trees and ample grounds surrounding our school there.

MODERN MISSIONS

80

IN MEXICO

Miss Lucile L. Sage and Miss Florence M. Beatty are our representatives on the faculty, with Miss Alice McClelland from the Southern Presbyterian Miss Ivy V. Yeaworth, a newly apMission. pointed

member

of the Mission,

is

doing part-time

work there during her period

of language study. girls are there, most of them

Nearly one hundred being boarders. In January, Miss Mary F. Turner will come from Vera Cruz to be the Directora of San Angel. The death in 1922 of Miss Jennie Wheeler, who, for so many years, first at Saltillo and then at San Angel, had served the girl students of our Church, and who had won a unique place in their hearts, was a blow to all who knew and loved her; but the work of the school is going forward in her spirit of courage and devotion. the city is the Union Theological Seminary, which our Church is cooperating, with Dr. William Wallace, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Mission, as our representative on the faculty. In the city, also, is the playground and social center, called El Faro, under the direction of Rev. Charles Petran, who is also the treasurer

In

in

of the Mission.

that the

It

American

to contribute a

was

at

Mr. Petran's suggestion Mexico City decided

residents in

to the city and nation as their gift at the celebration of the centennial of Mexican independence, and this

playground

is

community playground

a living symbol of the American

spirit of altruism

expressed in practical service to the children of the community. The Mission is also cooperating in a union press and bookstore

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO and in the publication of a union weekly paper

81

in

which eight denominations are united, so that it represents the Protestant cause as a whole in Mexico. There is no question of the strategic importance of the work of our Church in the city ,and Federal

and of the notable and abiding service which has been rendered; there is also no question but that the Church and Mission need reenf orcements and additional equipment, if the opportunities for the fullest and widest service are not

District,

to be lost.

Eight missionaries are trying to do

justice to the work of a girls' primary and normal school, of a boys' preparatory school, of a theolog-

seminary, of a press and periodical, of a social center, and of direct evangelism in the capital and

ical

metropolitan district with a population of three The standards of school, quarters of a million. press, and Church cannot be maintained at the right level of efficiency, and the many individuals need-

ing personal help and guidance cannot be served by such a limited force. Surely the challenge and

opportunity of service in this historic and picturesque valley where once beat the heart of the Aztec empire and where beats no less the heart of Mexico to-day, will be heard and answered by the young

men and women of

our Church in America. The need for new life comes first; but there is also a need that cannot be ignored for additional

property and equipment, if this life is to be invested in the most serviceable way. The church building of El Divino Salvador is well located, but there

i

82

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

are no rooms in this former convent hall for social activities

church.

and

young people of the The Mexican Presbyterian Church is classes for the

planning to build in 1926 a cathedral church in the city which will be worthy of the Presbyterian cause in Mexico, and the Church in the United States should have a share in this building. The school at Coyoacan, the only Protestant school for boys in the city and Federal District, has only a chapel and a recitation hall and one faculty residence as

permanent property; parents of prospective students, after viewing the present temporary dormitories, one of the halls being built of adobe and all of them being most inadequate, have sent their boys elsewhere.

New

dormitories for the students

and residences at once.

At

for the faculty members are needed the San Angel school there is no as-

and for the gathvisitors; at the commencement exercises, held one December evening, the graduating class and the audience were forced sembly

hall for chapel exercises

erings of the students

and of

to sit in a cold, unprotected corridor of the court-

yard, a circumstance which robbed the evening of much of its value and impressiveness. I wish

some of the people in the United States who and service of young have could watched those people girls, in their

that

are interested in the education

white graduating dresses, trying to ignore the cold and dampness and to carry off the occasion in the appropriate commencement manner. By their support of the Christian education of the

youth of Mexico, Americans can truly reveal the

MEXICO CITY AND VALLEY OF MEXICO

83

and of inspired and inspirto a ing helpfulness near-by nation that deeply

spirit of neighborliness

needs such encouragement and help. From November 26 to December

3, the Church and Mission, celebrated in Mexico City the Jubilee The annual of Presbyterian work in Mexico. Mission meeting was held from November 28 to December 7, and representatives of the Mission were in attendance at the sessions of the Jubilee. The meeting for prayer on the first day of the Mission's annual conference was most impressive. We had come from far-away points in the United States and from isolated and lonely stations in Mexico, and we were joined in fellowship with one and another and with Christ. He seemed very near to us that morning and all through the conferHe ence, and at the closing communion service. seemed to speak through those who spoke at the Jubilee sessions of Mission and Church, as the events of the past fifty years were reviewed and the coming half century was faced. In the final meeting, Dr. Arellano, a veteran in the service of the Church, led the memorial service for those who had gone on into the larger service of the life beyond. The church was decorated with roses and as he named each of the men and women who had died, he dropped a single flower at our feet. So they, be-

ing dead, yet spoke to all of us there assembled; and I believe their voices will reach beyond the Rio

Grande to the hearts of those in our homeland who possess the gifts of life and means to answer their undying summons and appeal.

CHAPTER

XII

YUCATAN AND THE PRECIOUS JEWELS OF MERIDA On

December

steamer from PROGRESO, December 19, 1922

the day after the close of the Mission meeting, we left Mexico City to go

ON to

8,

Yucatan.

The Yucatan Peninsula forms the toe of the Mexican boot which is pointed eastward toward Cuba and the West Indies as if in the act of scattering these islands by a violent thrust over the Caribbean Sea. The population of the states of

Yucatan and Canipeche and Quintana Roo, which make

of the territory of up the peninsula, is

roughly half a million, with 400,000 in Yucatan, 85,000 in Campeche, and 15,000 in the little known and unsettled territory of Quintana Roo. The inhabitants of the peninsula are largely Maya Indians, descendants of the great race which first settled there nearly 2,0,00 years ago. Ruins of their ancient cities at Uxmal and Chichen-Itza are still visible

and in the words of their discoverer, J. L. Stephens, who first made them known to the world in 1841: " These remains are different from the works of any other known people, there being nothing in Europe like them. They are of a new order and

CO

O en

o u

cq

O :

SEH

W

N W 0,

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o o tf

n M .EH CO >-< i-t

H O fc

EH


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EH

03

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O co

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W EH O

CHAPTER

XII

YUCATAN AND THE PRECIOUS JEWELS OF MfiRIDA On

steamer from PROGRESO,

December

December to

8,

19,

1922

the clay after the close of the we left Mexico City to go

Mission meeting, Yucatan.

The Yucatan Peninsula forms the toe of the Mexican boot which is pointed eastward toward Cuba and the West Indies as if in the act of scattering these islands by a violent thrust over the Caribbean Sea. The population of the states of

Yucatan and Campeche and of the territory Quintana lloo, which make up the peninsula,

of is

roughly half a million, with 400,000 in Yucatan, 85,000 in Campeche, and 15,000 in the little known territory of Quintana Roo. The inhabitants of the peninsula are largely Maya Indians, descendants of the great race which first settled

and unsettled

there nearly 2,000 years ago. Ruins of their ancient cities at Uxmal and Chichen-Itza are still visible

and

in the

who

first

words of

L. Stephens, world in 1841 " These remains are different from the works of their discoverer, J.

made them known

to the

:

any other known people, there being nothing in Europe like them. They are of a new order and 84

O T.

73

K

O O!

O fn

M

YUCATAN AND M&RIDA

85

and absolutely anomalous." On his fourth and last voyage in 1502, Columbus picked up a canoe off the Yucatan coast which was filled with Yucatecos, and brought the first word of these people to the rest of the world. It was not until 1517, however, that Europeans landed on the Yucatan mainland; Fernandez de Cordoba in that year explored the coast as far as Campeche. Yucatan was thus the first portion of the Mexican continent

entirely

made known to Europeans. To-day, its people are among the most progressive of any of the Mexican inhabitants. The chief industry is the to be

growth of henequen, or sisal, which, in its finished product, makes up into a rough twine much in demand in certain sections of the United States. Ninety-eight per cent of the income of the state of Yucatan is derived from the sale of this product. The peninsula has no connection by railroad with the Mexican mainland and is reached by boats sailing from the port of Vera Cruz to the port of ProWe embarked on December 9, our boat greso. making the trip in thirty-six hours. These ships of the Ward Line sail originally from New York and make successive stops at Havana, Progreso, Vera Cruz, and Tampico.

The

first

glimpse of the Yucatan coast resembles mouth of the Yangtse as it ap-

that of China at the

pears to the traveler approaching from the sea. The land is flat and level and our experiences in the transportation by tender made me think of simi-

from Woosung to Shanghai. Merida, the and chief city of Yucatan, is fifty minutes

lar trips

capital

MODERN MISSIONS

86

IN MEXICO

by rail from Progreso. As we traveled over the Yucatan plain, we felt a curious lightness and expansion of spirit, that apparently came from the fact that for the first time in two months we were in a locality that was not surrounded and hemmed in by mountain walls. The first impression of Merida City was most pleasing. Its streets are wide and clean and well-paved; the houses are well-built and give evidence of the prosperity of their owners; there are no factories to darken their white walls;

and the "

total impression

is

that of the legendary

Spotless Town," whose virtues are extolled certain sections of the United States.

in

Our Mission has

representatives stationed at the of Campeche, the capital of the state of the city

same name, five hours by rail from Merida, and in Merida itself. Campeche is a city of 20,000 people, built on the shores of the Yucatan Gulf. It was a well-known objective of the pirates and buccaneers of the Spanish Main and portions of the stone wall which was built as a defense around the city are still visible. Rev. and Mrs. L. C. Schaumburg and Miss Etta McClung are stationed in this city and have the responsibility for the supervision of the work in outlying districts and in other centers of the state. The work is still in its pioneer stages; our missionaries live in rented quarters; the little congregation meets in a rented house and ;

there

is

school.

no permanent property for church or for Already, however, our missionaries and

Church members are making friendly contacts with the people of the town and Mr. Schaumburg was

YUCATAN AND MERIDA

87

greeted with unmistakable cordiality wherever he went.

In the

state of

Yucatan, there are four main

centers of work: Merida, Progreso, Muna, and Ticul. visited all but Muna and took part in

We

the services in these various churches, carrying a message of greeting from their Mexican brethren to the north

United

and from our own Church in the

States.

In the

Merida, our work is going forward in a well-balanced way, in church and social service and school. Rev. and Mrs. J. T. Molloy have the city of

special responsibility of the social

work

there

;

Miss

Eunice Blackburn and Miss Elfreda McLennan are the

American teachers

in the

Turner-Hodge

School for Girls, Miss Blackburn carrying the re-

Senor Blanco is sponsibility of the directorship. of the local which has a membership church, pastor of 230

and which, under his leadership, is doing fine Bible and reading rooms, under the super-

service.

vision of the Molloys, are helping to reach certain classes of people who would not otherwise be

The school we found most inspiring. The and students are housed in what was forfaculty merly the residence of a wealthy hacienda owner, who had built a mammoth house, of seventeen served.

great rooms, with twenty-foot ceilings, ranged about a beautiful patio in the center. There are

125 students there, two thirds of them being girls, and we shall never forget the picture which they presented in the Spanish setting of this ample mansion. The Spanish names of some of these

MODERN MISSIONS

88

children

are

most

IN MEXICO

attractive:

Angelita,

Gloria,

Natalia, Margarita, Maria, and Mercedes were there enrolled. The patio was full of roses and these children seemed like living flowers as they

gathered in the sunlight of the courtyard. Some of them had come from low and squalid surroundings they seemed full of happiness and the lightheartedness of well-protected freedom; as we ;

watched them, and thought of the environment to which they would return after leaving the school, and of the terrible toll that Mexican women still have to pay because of the present standards of society and its unchecked evils, we could not but wish that by some miraculous process they might be kept in such a state of blessed innocence and joy. That consummation can be only when Christ's spirit and principles are regnant throughout Mexico.

Our missionaries and Church leaders in Merida, with great courage and patience, are laying the foundations for the coming Kingdom of God. But need reinforcements in equipment and personnel. The able pastor of the local church is forced to live in quarters which have been a menace The church has subto himself and his family. scribed half of the cost of a new manse and our Mission hopes to give an equivalent amount. In they, too,

time a

new church

building will be required, as the one in certain seasons is stifling. Property present should be secured for the Bible and reading rooms,

which are in rented quarters, and especially should the opportunity be grasped of purchasing the prop-

YUCATAN AND MfiRIDA

89

erty in which the school is now housed, which is on the market for $50,000, half of the cost of its buildTwo additional ings only twenty years ago. teachers are needed at once, as the burden of work in this large school is too great for two American girls to carry alone.

A

cial service in the city is

work

woman who

can do

so-

needed and the expanding

of evangelism will soon require another or-

dained

The

man

to cooperate with Dr. Molloy. churches in Yucatan were the last which

we

Mexico. Since crossing the northern border on October 20, we had visited fourteen large cities and centers of work, from the boundary of Texas on the north to the borders of Guatemala on the south. In his interpretation of one of our visited in

speeches at Merida, Dr. Wallace spoke of the work there as being the brocha de oro (" brooch of gold," a favorite Mexican expression of approbation) , in the long chain of Presbyterian churches which we had visited. As we met in the church that morning,

we heard

hymn

"

the

little

children singing in Spanish the

Precious Jewels."

to that

hymn

sung to

sleep.

I remember listening when I was being

as a small child,

In

my own home,

with

my own two

small boys, on the day that I left for Mexico,

we

sang that same hymn. Merida was truly the brocha de oro of our work in Mexico, but the jewels in that brooch were the children whom we had seen in school and in church. As we sailed away from Progreso, on December 18, and as we saw the Mexican shore fading on the horizon, the words of that

hymn

echoed clearly in our ears

:

MODERN MISSIONS

90

"

Jesus de los

IN MEXICO

cielos

Al mundo

bajo,

En

busca de joyas Que amante compro.

Coro:

"Los

ninos salvados

Serdn como

el sol,

Brillando en la gloria Del Eey Salvador." "

The

Christ from the heavens

To earth did come down In search of the jewels He bought for His crown. Chorus

" :

The

children, the saved ones,

Shall shine as the sun, They'll dwell in His glory,

Of

such

is

By

Christ they were won."

the

Kingdom

and happy indeed, are

all

of heaven in Mexico,

those

part in the bringing in of that

who can have

Kingdom.

a

CHAPTER

XIII

OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

J_

ico

work of the Presbyterian Church in Mexwas officially begun in Mexico City in

Dr. Henry C. Thomson has written of Mexico as one of the Pres-

1872.

his early experiences in

byterian pioneers: " It was my fortune to have been a

party of missionaries that sailed

member of a New York

from

City on September 10, 1872, on a steamer bound for the

Mexican

shores.

Upon

reaching Vera

Cruz, the party gathered together for an earnest hour of prayer and supplication, that our work in this

new land

to

which we had come might carry

the blessings of almighty God. " Our experiences on reaching the City of

with

it

Mex-

were various, and I well remember how we listened to a sermon preached in Spanish by Brother Rodriguez without understanding any ico

part of

it

as

we knew

so very little or nothing at

We

the language. found that the British Bible Society had a well-organized Bible House and were distributing the Bible and parts of it

all of

the natives. Also the American Bible work its had actively carried out by placing Society on each steamer bound for numbers of Bibles large Mexico, with especial orders for them to be dis-

among

91

MODERN MISSIONS

92

tributed to as

many

as

IN MEXICO

would freely wish

to take

them."

Work had

been begun informally in 1852, radifrom Brownsville, Texas, as a center, and ating from Matamoros, opposite Brownsville. This work was under the direction of Miss Melinda Rankin. In her book entitled Twenty Years Among the Mexicans Miss Rankin reproduces many an interesting scene in this initial Protestant service on behalf of the people of Mexico. Miss Rankin crossed the border for this work in 1865, antedating by five years the entrance of the first missionary organizations, the Baptist Home Missionary Society, followed in 1871 by the Friends, who sent a missionary to Tamaulipas. Miss Rankin's work in Mexico was eventually transferred to the Congregational Church. The description of her

experience in securing the first funds for her school in Brownsville has a message and a meaning for modern missionaries who are trying also to initiate

new work and

to find financial support and their Board's approval of that work: " Leaving New Orleans, I went to Louisville, Ky., and was kindly received. As the churches

were engaged in making

their

annual contributions

to other objects I received no present aid, but was promised that at some future time they would assist

jne

in

my

enterprise.

March

phia, arriving

morning.

I then went on to Philadel4, 1853, at two o'clock in the

At

was wending terian Board

nine o'clock of the same morning I my way to the rooms of the Presbyof Education, with a letter of intro-

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

93

duction from Rev. Dr. Hill, of Louisville, to the secretaries, Dr. Chester and Dr. Van Kensselaer. With these reverend gentleman I had to pass another severe and trying ordeal. All the difficulties of the enterprise were again brought forward, and

paraded with considerable embellishment. I met them with arguments which I thought ought to have weight, but they seemed to make little impression

upon

either of the gentlemen,

upon Dr. Chester.

particularly

He seemed determined that my

After talking some time, without making any apparent impression favorable to the cause, I arose and said:

enterprise should prove a failure.

'

Gentlemen, I leave the responsibilities of the proper education of the youth of that portion of the country upon your hands. I have done what I can,

and henceforth

my

skirts

are clear of the

criminal negligence of leaving the beloved youth of the Rio Grande Valley to the baleful influence of foreign popery.' Dr. Chester immediately arose to his feet, and with much emphasis, said: I am not going to take the Rio Grande upon '

my

shoulders,

We

you

are the one to bear that burden.

have fully tested your proper understanding of the difficult enterprise, and your ability in carry-

ing

it

forward.

We

are

now ready

to inquire of

*

I must have money.' do you want of us? I felt quite subdued and modestly replied, Two or three hundred dollars.' He replied: 'You must not leave Philadelphia with less than five hundred. If the Board of Education does not see fit to give

your wants.' *

How

I replied,

much,' said he,

'

'

'

MODERN MISSIONS

94

IN MEXICO

you two hundred Dr. Van Rensselaer and I will pay it out of our own pockets, and the remaining three hundred I will put you in the way of obtain" ing from the Preshyterian churches of the city.' Soon after the war of 1846, Dr. J. M. Prevost, of an old Huguenot family in Philadelphia, who had served as a surgeon in the American Army in Mexico, settled in Zacatecas, then one of the chief mining centers in the central table-land of Mexico. While accumulating a fortune, he preached the gospel, and for over forty years was known as the "

Protestant Bishop," the wise counselor of a suc-

cession of missionaries

who manned

this Station.

In 1873 work was formally opened up in Zacatecas; in 1878, in San Luis Potosi; and in 1884, in Saltillo. These formed the Northern Mexico Mission. Another Mission was opened up in the South, with Mexico City as its center, there being at that time no railways connecting the North and South. Rev. N. N. Hutchinson opened up work in Mexico City in 1873, and was succeeded by Dr. Milton Greene.

Under

these missionaries, Presbyterian

congregations were established in the states of Yucatan, Tabasco, Vera Cruz, Michoacan, and GuerIn 1894, Chilpancingo and Zitacuaro were rero.

made Mission

stations; in 1897, Jalapa;

Yucatan in

1911 and Oaxaca in 1919. All this southern territory formed the Southern Mission, until the two ;

Missions were united in 1894.

In 1907, the work

in

Aguascalientes, which had been carried on independently since 1897 by the Mission of the Cumberland Presbyterians, through the union of this

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

9S

Church with our own in the States, now came under our Board. established by Miss girls' school had been Jennie Wheeler in the city of Monterey in 1888. In 1890 this school was moved to Saltillo. In 1907, Miss Mary F. Turner organized a school in Aguascalientes under the Presbyterian Board, this school having originally been a part of the work of the Cumberland Board. In 1897 a boys' school was established in the Federal District, and later a girls' school, known as Posadas, which was aftermission press had been ward called San Angel.

A

A

organized, that printed a periodical called El Faro and did other printing for the Mission and

Church. Its work was under the direction of Rev. C. A. Petran. In the Annual Report covering 1914, the Mission reported

eight principal stations, seventyseven outstations, with a total of nineteen missionaries and a native force of 111. The total number

of communicants was put at 3961. This was the situation when at the capture of Vera Cruz by the American forces on April 21, 1914, all American missionaries were ordered from the country. The enforced cessation of mission work gave an opportunity for the restudy and redistribution of the representatives and responsibilities of the various Mission Boards in that country.

There

had been much overlapping and and the disturbed conditions

duplication of effort,

gave an opportunity for wiser adjustments.

A

conference of missionaries and of representatives

MODERN MISSIONS

96

IN MEXICO

of practically all the Boards involved, was held at Cincinnati from June 30 to July 1, 1914, and an agreement concerning the redistribution of terri-

drawn up and was referred to the various For details and Boards concerned. and conference its the results, see concerning

tory was Missions

Chapter

XIV.

The period

of revolution, dating from Novema stormy one for the people of was ber, 1910, Mexico, including, of course, the members of our Church. brief outline of the events from the

A

fall of

Diaz, in 1910, to the election of General

Obregon, in September, 1920, prepared by the

Pan-American Union, that time : " 1.

The

fall of

indicates the turbulence of

Diaz

discontent engendered

in 1910,

by

which was due to

the granting of excessive

privileges. "

2. The Madero regime, 1911-1913, which failed because of attempted compromise with conserva-

tives

"

and

3.

reactionaries.

The Huerta

regime, February 19, 1913, to

July 15, 1914, which began with the murder of Madero and Suarez, and became a military dictatorship.

"

a. United States occupation of Vera Cruz, April, 1914, to November, 1914. " b. Refusal of the United States to recognize a government which gained its power

through intrigue and assassination. "

United States advises withdraw from Mexico. c.

its

nationals to

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION "

97

President Wilson's policy of 'watchful

d.

waiting.' " e.

United States lends aid to the Constituunder Carranza.

tionalist revolution

"

'ABC powers

'

mediate, as a result of which Huerta is eliminated. " 4. Carranza regime, July, 1915, to May 5, f

.

1920.

"a. Recognition by the United States in October, 1915. " b. Attacks on Americans by Villistas. "

c.

Villa

raid

March, 1916. " d. United March, "

e.

fect "

on Columbus, N.

States

punitive

Mex.,

expedition,

1916, to February, 1917.

New Mexican Constitution put into efMay 1, 1917.

on

f . Presidential succession of 1920.

" g.

Revolt in Sonora, spreading to

all

but

three states, due to alleged partiality of Carranza in the electoral campaign.

"h. Flight and death of Carranza, May, 1920. "

5 Huerta, interim president,

May

to

Novem-

ber, 1920.

"

a.

Candidacy

of,

General Obregon as con-

stitutional

president practically unopposed after withdrawal of the Carranza candidate. " b. Efforts by the interim government to obtain recognition by the United States. "c. Orderly elections of September, 1920, in which General

Obregon

receives

whelming vote for president."

an over-

MODERN MISSIONS

98

IN MEXICO

A

message from a Presbyterian pastor in Tabasco speaks of the tragedy of the war which threatened to arise between the United States and

Mexico " "

:

Very dear Brethren I

am

in the

Lord:

sure that no true Christian in your nation

war with Mexico, because such desires would be the denial of his Christian sentiments. desires

May

the thousands which

tion in the !

make up our denomina-

'States express frankly and attitude opposed to the terrible

United

openly their

struggle, foreign to Christianity and civilization, clearly against the culture of that great Ameri-

and

can people.

Our Church should be

the

first

to

raise its Christian voice in authority against the

take both peoples no them with desolation, ruin, telling whither, covering and ignominy, because the struggle would be terribly costly and long drawn out and one in which the blind fury of hate would let loose the most hor-

savage struggle which

rible

may

deeds imaginable for the misfortune of both

nations. "

Brethren, very beloved, it is urgent that you, in these moments, make your Christian influence felt so that the evil should not advance, but that on the it may be clearly seen that the great spirit of Christ which abounds in you has dominated the

contrary

blind passions of men. I beseech you to take into consideration my poor suggestions and to do all that you can in the way indicated. Would that we see again tranquillity and peace extending themselves, so that our holy Christian cause

might soon

THE RED FLAG IN VERA CRUZ This flag was hung out to show the tenants were on rent strike (p.

The

University of Ghicag* Ubrarie

MODERN MISSIONS

98

IN MEXICO

A

message from a Presbyterian pastor in Tabasco speaks of the tragedy of the war which threatened to arise between the United States and

Mexico " "

:

Very dear Brethren I

am

in the

Lord:

sure that no true Christian in your nation

war with Mexico, because such desires would be the denial of his Christian sentiments. May the thousands which make up our denomination in the United States express frankly and desires

openly their

attitude

to

opposed

the

terrible

struggle, foreign to Christianity and civilization, and clearly against the culture of that great Ameri-

can people.

Our Church should be

the first to

raise its Christian voice in authority against the

savage struggle which telling

may

take both peoples no

whither, covering them with

desolation, ruin,

and ignominy, because the struggle would be terribly costly and long drawn out and one in which the blind fury of hate would let loose the most horrible

deeds imaginable for the misfortune of both

nations. "

Brethren, very beloved, it is urgent that you, in these moments, make your Christian influence felt so that the evil should not advance, but that on the it may be clearly seen that the great spirit of Christ which abounds in you has dominated the

contrary

blind passions of men. I beseech you to take into consideration my poor suggestions and to do all that you can in the way indicated. Would that we

might soon

see again tranquillity

and peace extend-

ing themselves, so that our holy Christian cause

THK UK was

1)

liiuifr

FLAG

IX

VKUA CHUZ

out to show tin

rent strike

(//.

1

tenants were on

.'/2).

u University of Chicago

Li-brarii

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

99

advance with more vigor than ever before in country that so much needs regeneration by Christ! May the Lord help you in your labors!

may this

"

The

Your

affectionate brother in Christ."

on the fortunes of members was indicated by let-

effect of the revolution

our Church and

its

from the field. From the veteran Senor Arcadio Morales, pastor of the Prespastor, byterian Church of El Divino Salvador in Mexico City, came this letter in 1914 " The disembarking of the American troops in Vera Cruz; the most alarming rumors of their adters received

:

vance towards the capital of the republic the proclamation of the Virgin of Guadalupe as the patron saint by the Minister of Public Instruction at a ;

great public banquet; the appearing in one of the newspapers of the largest circulation, El Impartial, of General Huerta pictured with this same Virgin, as the Priest

usually painted; the soand corporations of all classes marching through the streets in manifestations hostile to' the is

Hidalgo

cieties

neighboring country and stoning everything that had the appearance of Yankee; the incendiary articles of the famous poet, Diaz Miron, who with

people to raid and destroy everything that had protection under the Stars and Stripes; the rabid propaganda carried on by

fiery phrases invited the

the Chapultepec, Vera Cruz, and Clmrubusco,, the yellowest of newspapers edited in the offices of the

government, with the exclusive purpose of inflaming the patriotism of the people in favor of General Huerta and against the Americans; the zealous ef-

100

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

begun by the Roman clergy against the invasion, making use of the pulpit, the confessional, the press, and all the numerous elements which they

forts

could control in order to promote a Catholic rising all this against those who did not support them

produced a panic, an extraordinary excitement in the capital. "

Everyone looked for the coming of a tremendous catastrophe; and we, the Protestants, so in-

timately related to the missionaries of the neighboring republic, felt that we were in greater danger

than anyone

else,

expecting every

moment

that

would come down upon the Protestants a furious persecution that would be another St.

there

Bartholomew's. "

Under such adverse circumstances the session of El Divino Salvador Church had a meeting to decide what we should do with the services, especially those in the

to pay rents and it was would be lacking both from money

continue for lack of certain that

wards, which surely could not

money

;

inside the country. But the session decided that the entire work should be carried on until

outside

it

and

was absolutely impossible

to fulfill our mission to

proclaim the gospel of eternal salvation. " And so we did. Day by day and night after night, the doors of our church were always open at the accustomed hours ; with the exception of one

Sunday during the month of April when it seemed wrong to expose the families by coming to church on a night of dangers. With this one exception all the congregations held their services regularly and

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

101

the faithful and worthy helpers of the pastors were at their posts. There were times when the pastors had to urge the men not to come to the services on account of the conscription which truly desolated the capital, but in spite of all they did all

not "

fail to

attend the divine services.

We had, of course, to mourn the loss of twentywho were

conscripted in the army, there being one shot and three dying in battle, all the rest returning to their families, notwith-

three of the brethren

standing the fact that they were taken by land and sea to the farthest regions of the republic, but best

was that while they were there they confessed Christ as their Saviour and worked for the heavenly

of all

Kingdom. "

probably not necessary to say that we have held our services at the places and times arranged for, but that we have received members, baptized children, remembered the death of our Lord in It

is

communion, performed marriages, held funeral services, and attended the meetings of the Christian Endeavor and Sunday school. We, of course, did not have to close any place of meeting for the lack of funds, for in spite of the great poverty of the church, all the missionary work of the city has been

We

had the pleasure of informing our brethren that the congregation of Lerdo, which for twenty-five years had been a paralytic that we

carried on.

had

to carry in the arms of our faith, at last has entered into an era of such prosperity that fre-

quently the meeting place

is

modate the people who come

too small to accom-

to the services.

MODERN MISSIONS

102

"

IN MEXICO

Regarding the purpose of the Catholics of ex-

terminating the Protestants, with the pretext of the

American invasion and profanation of the most holy Virgin of Guadalupe, we can say that it failed completely, for not only were our places of meeting respected, as also our schools and our persons, but

moreover we did not hear a single word of threat or insult from the inhabitants of the capital. are convinced that the work which we have carried on in the pulpit, in the school, and in the press, dis-

We

seminating the gospel truths for fifty years, has

changed the opinion of the Mexican people, who have been convinced that the Protestants carry on a moral work, reforming the character of whatever person is near to us, and that all this about at last

'

'

the Pacific Conquest is a gross deceit. " On account of the perilous circumstances which

threatened the capital, the pastor had to change his residence to Tacuba. In order not to lose the connection which

it

was necessary for him

to maintain

with the congregations in the capital, he opened an office in Divino Salvador, discovering the confidence which the place inspires, as no less than one

hundred people "

visited

him there each month.

We are

convinced in this hour of security that the prayers of all our friends and brethren outside and inside the country have influenced greatly and to

them we are

Some

also deeply grateful."

of our American missionaries did not es-

cape threats and actual imprisonment. In 1914, Rev. N. J. Elliott was imprisoned for fifteen days in Saltillo, when he and his companions faced hard-

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

103

and the daily threat of death. Mr, Elliott has into put writing the experiences of those days telegram flashed into Saltillo, Mexico, on ship

:

"A

April 21, 1914: "

Intervention

landed in Vera Huerta. Hang

is

American Marines have

on.

Give

Cruz.

this

publicity.

Gringoes.' (It is believed that some operator added the last sentence.) " The first I knew that anything serious had all

happened was that same afternoon when a policeman stepped up to me on the street and asked, Are you an American? When I replied in the '

'

affirmative, he said, realize

'

Come

with me.'

what was ahead of me.

Little did I

When we

arrived

and were passing saw the American Consul entering just ahead of me. At that moment we knew he was a prisoner, too, and I felt there was little hope for our lives. " We were taken into a rear room and searched. An armed guard was placed at the door. Some minutes later we heard the tramp of soldiers toward our door and another American was brought in. The guard at the door was doubled and the

at the military headquarters through the line of soldiers, I

order given,

Shoot any of those goats

if they try fourth American was brought in were searched again. were made to

to get out.'

and we

'

A

We

understand that we would be shot at midnight. could hear the mobs yelling wildly in the streets

We

'

outside,

Death

to the Gringoes

' !

As

the

town

clock struck the midnight hour, we listened intently, but there was only the shuffling of the guards as

MODERN MISSIONS

104

they walked up and down.

IN MEXICO

When

An

we heard

the hour of one officer

struck, footsteps. appeared and motioned for the Consul to follow. We waited anxiously for the volley. There was no sound and suddenly the officer appeared again and called for

Again we

another one of us.

listened.

When

the

appeared the third time, I was taken into the corridor; there I was again roughly searched. officer

American between two rows of soldiers. I was placed in line also. The fourth American was brought out and placed behind me. Orders were given to march and we

I saw the Consul and the other

passed out into the in behind us. "

street.

A troop of cavalry fell

As we marched on toward

waited for the order. '

given,

To

'

the left!

it

the

main

street

we

Should the command be meant the graveyard and

only twenty minutes more of

*

life

;

if

To the right

' !

the penitentiary was before us. Anxiously w|e waited the command. heavy voice was heard

A

above the rattling of the sabers and the clatter of the horses' hoofs, To the right breathed a '

'

!

We

sigh of relief. It was two o'clock in the morning. In the penitentiary were imprisoned some men who

had lost their reason. We heard them in; their cells on the first floor, howling and raving. The cells were built in tiers around an open court. We were put in cells on the fourth tier. We were anxious for the events of the morning for we knew that sunrise was a favorite hour for the shooting of prisoners. Our cells were dirty, foul-smelling, and alive with; vermin. I fell into a brief sleep, only to

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION awaken

105

we had neither bed nor was a hideous night. The guards numbers roughly every fifteen minutes.

chilled through, for

blankets. called their

It

There were guards at the double cell-house door, guards outside the cell house, guards on the roof, guards in the outer court. Seven iron-barred doors separated us from liberty. As daylight began to appear, I waited once again for the footsteps of the executioner.

The morning wore on. No one The jailer served food to the

came to my cell. Mexican prisoners, but neither food nor water came my way. I thought I was to be left to die of starvation and thirst. In the evening of the second day, however, some prison food was brought to me coarse corn cake and ugly-smelling soup which I could not eat. I learned from the guard that there were eleven Americans in the prison, some of them down on the first tier of cells. I found directing my voice at just a certain angle the against opposite wall I could talk with those Americans on the first tier. " On the third day of our imprisonment, a big basket of food was sent to my cell with the card of

that

by

the British Consul of Saltillo.

Those fried eggs

and that bread and

my

eyes.

pail of coffee brought tears to I sent the basket of food and coffee

around to the other American prisoners. Some were afraid to eat it, fearing that poison had been added after the food had reached the prison. In the afternoon blankets were sent in to all through the kindness of the British Consulate.

'

You'll be here for a day or two,' the guard would say, and '

MODERN MISSIONS

106

IN MEXICO

then you'll be sent to the wind.'

At

night

we were '

The Prepare to meet your God at sunrise strain of close confinement and mental torture be'

told,

gan

!

to tell

on

us.

The

nights were hideous with

the howling maniacs. "

We

knew nothing of the international events taking place. If we had known the actual facts we should have been less hopeful. On the fifth day of our imprisonment the American Consul was ordered to give the combination to the Consulate safe. This looked bad for us, for the United States

Government Code Book was

to be taken.

We

Thus

the days wore on and no news came. learned from the guard that there had been clashes

between the United States marines and Mexican soldiers in

"

As

the

Vera Cruz. Mexican rebel

forces approached Saltillo an added danger faced us. If the rebels should attack the city, held by the Huerta federal forces

who held us

as prisoners, the federals

would mas-

sacre us before retreating, and place the blame on the rebels. learned of the mediation offer of

We

Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and that we were being held to see how it would terminate. On the fifth day the American Consul was taken before a military court and we had little hope for his life. In the afternoon of the same day we were taken be-

same court and we thought that the mediation had failed between Mexico and the United States. We were asked to sign a document declaring that we had been imprisoned for our own protection and that we had been treated with all fore the

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION kindness.

107

There was no hesitancy in signing such

We

were a document to get out of this place. allowed to go to the British Consulate under guard, where we were most kindly treated while we awaited the first train south to Mexico City. The British Vice Consul, H. J. Wheeler, had been tireless in his efforts to help us during our imprisonment. The train left two days later and we were taken as

prisoners under guard to Mexico City and turned over to the Brazilian Ambassador who was in

charge of the American Embassy, and who had worked for our release. arrived in Mexico

We

The

Ambassador urged Mexico City and assist him in the Embassy, but I was anxious to see the United States again. The next day we went down to Vera Cruz. When we saw the American soldiers and marines in abundance on the streets and American battleships in the harbor, it was a sight to cheer a weary soul. When I saw 'Old Glory' waving from the flagstaff, I reverently took off my hat and thanked God that though I was not yet in my own land, I was safe under my own

May

10.

City, to remain in

Brazilian

me

flag."

;:*!f>!

;

,

Some

of our missionaries returned the first part of 1915 and gradually, as conditions became better,

the full force entered

upon

the

work

there.

The

decisions in regard to the redistribution of territory were not fully carried out until after the confer-

ence held in 1919 in Mexico City. At a conference same city in 1917, agreements were made with reference to the organization of the Union

in the

108

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

Theological Seminary, of a joint printing plant, paper, and depository, and of a local committee of

In 1917, the work at Saltillo and Aguascalientes was given up, Miss Wheeler, of Saltillo, going to take charge of the school at San Angel, Miss Turner and Miss Spencer going to Vera Cruz, after spending a few months in Chiapas cooperation.

the preceding year.

Yucatan was occupied more fully in 1916, Dr. and Mrs. Molloy and Miss Bonine being sent there. The next year further reinforcements were added and a school for girls was opened at Merida. According to the original plan drawn up at Cincinnati the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, or Northern Presbyterian Church, was to be responsible for the evangelization of the nine states and territories south of Mexico City, and was also to continue working in the Federal District in conjunction with the other second conference was held in 1919 Boards. in Mexico City at which Dr. W. E. Browning was present. Here the decision was reached to turn over two of these states, Morelos and Guerrero, to

A

Church in the United States, the Southern Presbyterian Mission. Oaxaca was ocReinforcements cupied as a station that year.

the Presbyterian

were sent after that to Orizaba. Such, in brief, was the development of the Mission to the year 1922, the year of the visitation of the Commission.

The present

territory for which the Mission is includes six states, one territory, and a responsible

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION share in the

work

in the Federal District.

109

This

area includes approximately one fifth of the population and one fourth of the area of all Mexico.

The

area and population of these states, accord-

ing to the census of 1910, with the comparison of density of population with states in the United States are as follows:

Name

MODERN MISSIONS

110

IN MEXICO

This last has already been formed. This reduction in the size will make possible more

byterians.

'

frequent

and more

'

(a Spanishism for meeting) efficient work on the part of the native

re-unions

organization, "

-

The synod was an

inspiring meeting. Every and every congregation reported in presbytery better condition than a year ago. The two surThe Presbiterio prises came from the extremes.

National 'Frontenw, composed of the congregations in the territory from which the Presbyterian Mission retired under the Cincinnati Plan, twenty-four organized churches an!d twenty-nine congregations, fourteen ministers, three licentiates, three students preaching, seven

reported

school-teachers studying in the Presbytery's seminary in Saltillo, 2,956 members (half the total number of Presbyterians in Mexico), and $44,000

(pesos) raised.

The

Presbiterio del Golfo, com-

prising Yucatan, Campeche, and Tabasco, met and reorganized after seven years, ordained a couple of men, licensed three more, and reported $40,000 (pesos) raised by the congregations, there being quite a number of self-supporting congregations."

The second follows

letter,

dated July 12, 1922, was as

just back

from a splendid meeting of

:

"I am synod. "

Cohesion and unanimity were manifest

among

the branches of our widely scattered Church. The self-sustaining presbytery was the only one all

t'*?i'^vrtlvs"$*' '

,

^"^S^tC.yk

AN OATH TO BE TRUE TO THE PROTESTANT FAITH Sworn

in

memory

of

a leader

by Roman Catholics

The

who had been (p.

killed

40).

University qf Chicago Librarie

MODERN MISSIONS

110

This

byterians.

frequent

and more

has already been formed.

last

possible more (a Spanishism for meeting) efficient work on the part of the native

This reduction in the '

IN MEXICO

re-unions

size will

make

'

organization. "

The synod was an

inspiring meeting.

Every

presbytery and every congregation reported in better condition than a year ago. The two surcame from the extremes. The Presbiterio prises

National Fronterizo> composed of the congregations in the territory from which the Presbyterian Mission retired under the Cincinnati Plan, organized churches arid twenty-nine congregations, fourteen ministers, three licentiates, three students preaching, seven

reported

twenty-four

school-teachers studying in the Presbytery's seminary in Saltillo, 2,956 members (half the total

number

of Presbyterians in Mexico), and $44,000 (pesos) raised. The Presbiterio del Golfo, com-

prising Yucatan, Campeche, and Tabasco, met and reorganized after seven years, ordained a couple of men, licensed three more, and reported $40,000 (pesos) raised by the congregations, there be-

ing quite a number of self-supporting congregations."

The second follows

letter,

dated July 12, 1922, was as

:

"I am

just back from a splendid meeting of

synod. "

Cohesion and unanimity were manifest

among

the branches of our widely scattered Church. The self-sustaining presbytery was the only one all

AX OATH TO Sworn

in

!!K

TO TIIK

TiU'K of

memory hy Roman

leader Catholics a

?

he:

1'UOTKSTAXT

who had heen (/>.

FAITH killed

.'/<>).

Ur.;v3''sity at Chicaj?;

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

111

which presented complete reports. As nearly as could be determined some 1,200 members were received in the past year, giving a present membership of about 9,000 (the same as the Methodist). The churches raised about $120,000 (pesos).

There are some forty ministers and as many candidates. "

The synod

the only native

is

body

in

Mexico

that takes the initiative in evangelistic plans. They followed the lead of the United States of America

Church and reduced the standing committees to

They voted

to celebrate the twenty-fifth of the anniversary synod in 1926 by the organization of a General Assembly with three synods. In that year they hope to break ground for a four*.

$400,000 (pesos) cathedral church in Mexico City. They will ask the two Presbyterian Boards to contribute toward this fund, but expect to raise most of it themselves. All existing churches are to be self-sustaining

"

by that

The present year campaign

gelistic

time.

is

to see a church-wide evan-

directed

by a strong committee,

which will extend over the entire year.

new

The goal

1926 professions of faith. we expect to have 15,000 members at the very least. " Following the synod meeting we went to is set

for 2,000

By

Toluca to attend the great National Convention of

Sunday

Schools,

Young

Christian Workers.

The

Toluca

seats 600, but over

sions.

More than 400

A

large chorus

People's Societies, and Presbyterian church of

800 attended some sesdelegates were registered.

from Coyoacan and San Angel,

MODERN MISSIONS

112

directed

IN MEXICO

by Mr. Brown, sang repeatedly, making

a fine impression." At one of the Jubilee sessions of the Presbyterian Mission and Church, held in November, 1922, to commemorate the fifty years of Presbyterian 1 work in Mexico, Rev. P. Arellano, one of the leading national pastors, spoke with feeling and with marked effect of those who had given their lives His address is a to the service of the Church. fitting recapitulation of the progress of the past

Presbyterian Church in Mexico and of the part played by both American and Mexican leaders, under God's guidance, in bringing the Mission and Church to their present stage of

fifty years of the

development: " In our National

Day we remember

with love

and gratitude the heroes who fought and gave their lives that we might have country and nationality. It

altogether fitting, therefore, that the Presbyterian Church in celebrating its Jubilee year should is

remember, inspired by spiritual love, those who took the first steps in the struggles of bringing our faith to a waiting people.

Some

of

them

sealed

their testimony with the blood of their earthly life, and all of them offered up on the altar of service

the best of their lives.

Let us

here, before the

graves that hold their remains, bow in respect to their devotion. " In remembering the names of these self-sacrificing

men we

include instinctively the nationals as

Dr. Arellano died on October 5, 1923. His name should be enrolled in the list of those who rendered conspicuous service to the Church in Mexico. 1

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

113

well as the foreigners the former, because by blood they are ours; the latter, because they gave them:

Mexico and thereby and we ourselves glory in their

selves to the evangelization of

they belong to us

work.

"I wish to mention first the career of Rev. Abraham Gomez, one of the first and most intellectual of our workers who paid the full measure of his devotion to the cause of

God

village of the state of Mexico, he aration for the ministry in the

He

Church.

at the

Born of an Indian family

assassins.

hands of

in a small

began

his

schools

was ordained a preacher

prep-

of our

and While

in 1885

held the pastorate of different churches. he was the pastor at Aguacatlitlan he was killed, on August 7, 1887. He was only twenty-one years old when the intolerance of fanaticism smote him to death.

"Recalling another of our national workers, I wish to mention the name of Procopio G. Diaz, who,

through dangerous districts to work of our Church in various parts

traveling

initiate the

suffered and bore upon his of marks body martyrdom. He was born in 1828, in Tixtla. Left an orphan in his twelfth year, he provided himself with the most elementary sort of education. For a time he became a weaver and later a printer; and took great advantage of his habit of reading, which enabled him to excell

of

the

Republic,

the

He

in his study of the law. entered, as a private soldier, one of the revolutionary armies, and durof Intervention he was given the coming the

War

MODERN MISSIONS

114

IN MEXICO

Converted in 1874, he began for the establishment of a Christian church

mission of a colonel. to

work

in Acapulco, and, in cooperation with Mr. N. N". Hutchinson, arranged the plans with great rejoicing until the fatal night in which he was the victim

of a vicious

wound upon

his

forehead with a for-

Later he was obliged to leave other coworkers. with Consehis post, together crated as he was to the work, he had a large share in the establishment of the church in Chilpancingo. When he joined the Presbyterian Mission he brought with him his printing shop and with it he laid the foundations of the publishing house of our Church. He wjrote various pamphlets and

midable machete.

collaborated in the publishing of the hymnal. twenty years he served as the initiator of the

of

God

in various parts of our country

For work

and

also

Word

of repentance. as a consistent preacher of the " must speak of the work of Dr. J. Milton

We

Greene, one of our great missionaries,

who accom-

plished great things for the Kingdom of God. was born in 1842, in the state of New York.

He

Through the influence of became interested in the

his uncle,

a pastor, he

ministry, and with the assistance of his uncle, he attended Princeton UniGraduated from the college of this inversity. stitution he remained in the school of theology After he had served as until December, 1866.

pastor of various churches in his

own country

period of nearly fifteen years, he Mexico as a missionary in 1881.

for a

was sent to In 1882 he

founded the Escuela Normal Presbiteriana.

On

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION account of

ill

115

health he returned to his native coun-

and there served as pastor for some time. Later he again entered missionary work at Porto Rico and later in Cuba, where he completed a period of

try

fifty years of service in the

work

of

God.

After

a most consistent and brilliant missionary work he

was permitted to retire in his seventy-ninth year. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him will always remember him as the man who inspired others with the strength of his Christian character and with his kindly attitude towards his fellow men

everywhere.

"We remember Dr. Hubert W. Brown as the team mate and successor of Dr. Greene. Dr. Brown was born in the state of Ohio in 1858. He attended the University of Michigan, receiving there his degrees of A.B. and A.M. He attended the Theological School of Princeton University, and shortly after he had left there he was sent to

Mexico as a missionary and assistant to Dr. Greene. His great zeal and his contact with Dr. Greene enabled him to identify himself with the Mexicans as their friend and coworker. His interest in the

own countrymen residing Mexico led him to the establishment of the Union Church. His great energy and his wide intellectual resourcefulness gave him a very large field of activities. He was the treasurer of the Mission, preacher, teacher, editor, and author. spiritual welfare of his

in

After a strenuous service of twenty years he died at the age of forty-eight. "

Dr. Arcadio Morales was the

first

native worker

116

MODERN MISSIONS The

IN MEXICO

minister, he was also the first in the service of almost all the departments of

in our Church.

first

our Church's work in Mexico. He was born in 1849 in the City of Mexico. In his days of childhood and young manhood he was given very little, any, opportunity of education. While he was at his work as a master weaver, he received the first if

inspiration of the gospel. After a time of religious experience with the Episcopal Church) he organized the first Presbyterian church in Mexico in 1872. conducted the services at this church and later

He

dedicated

He

the ministry. in the very earnestness

all his life activity to

helped to carry on the work of his heart.

He

was

identified with every phase

of the evangelical activities of Mexico, so much so that he was later called the Moody of Mexico.' '

Our National Church may

well feel proud of his

work, and may the gracious God grant us men of the type of Dr. Morales that His own work in

Mexico may prosper. " We remember with gratitude the name of Mr. N. N. Hutchinson, a man of aristocratic bearing yet accessible to all. There was no difficulty great enough to prevent him from doing that which was asked of him by the people among whom he was a

He

God

both personally and with his money, for with his own means he purchased the only two places of worship that our Church owns in Mexico City. He was one of the

missionary.

first to

served his

be interested in the organization of classes

where prospective ministers might be trained.

"But

there are

many

others in the

list

of our

HISTORY OF THE MEXICO MISSION

117

and workers, whose part in the early establishment of our Church was as important as

missionaries

These names that of those already mentioned. carry with them the inspiration that comes with the expressed desire of regeneration.

May

I not

now

names: Dr. Thomas F. Wallace, Brigido Sepulveda, Gregorio Garcia, Josue Martinez, Luis Amaya, Pedro M. Rodriguez, Hipolito Quezada, Clemente Salazar, Benjamin Pascal, Manuel Zavaleta, Hesiquio Forncada, Daniel Rodriguez, Dr. Juan Moya, Enrique Blanchi, Leopoldo M. Diaz, Felipe Pastrana, J. P. Nevarez, Felix Gomez, Miguel Arias, Luis Arias, Levi Andres Perez, Maximo Palomino Emilio Torres, Julian Mesa. Many of these died in the service of the Lord. All of them consecrated the best part of their lives, and we here mention their names with love and gratitude. Let us in devotion to mention

their

their

consecration place this flower

tombs."

upon

their

CHAPTER XIV

REMAKING THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO outstanding events in the history of the last decade in Mexico have been, in the politworld, the revolution, and in the Church, the inception, adoption, and development of the soical

called Cincinnati Plan. in 1914, at the suggestion of President Wilson, owing to the disturbed condition of the

When,

country and the occupation of Vera Cruz by the American forces, a large number of missionaries

were withdrawn from Mexico, it was proposed that a convention of missionary forces at work in Mexico should be held for the

purpose of considering

the problems that concerned

all

societies

and of

discovering, possible, a more effective way to carry on the work in Mexico. The different Churches had, as in other countries, if

opened work in

different parts of the land, without taking into consideration the fact that other communions were working in the same places.

many

Our own Mission and Church work was overextended.

We

had work

greatly

in fifteen states or

districts. The other Missions were also scattered, but not quite so widely. The distribution was not even. Certain more advanced states had in them three or four Missions 118

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO

119

and a disproportionate number of schools, while others were occupied only in name, especially some of the southern states where we had one or two Mexican ministers. In some states there was one missionary to each twelve thousand people, in Fourteen others scarcely one to over a million. of the states, with a population of over five millions, or one third of the entire population, had no resi-

dent foreign missionaries. There were thirty-nine mission high schools in fifteen states, while in the other fifteen states and territories there were no schools.

The proposed convention was held in Cincinon June 30 and July 1, 1914. It was attended

nati

of the Northern Baptists, and Southern, PresbyteriNorthern Methodists, ans, Northern and Southern, Friends, Disciples

by

representatives

of Christ, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Amer-

ican Bible Society.

Great unanimity of view and spirit prevailed, and a very distinct step in advance was taken.

The convention agreed upon united effort in puband press work and in theological educa-

lication

adopted certain principles for the development of educational institutions, and agreed upon the

tion,

The report of principle of division of territory. on Committee the Territorial Occupation, which was adopted, included the following statements " 1. The Committee is deeply impressed with :

the inadequacy of the missionary force available for the evangelistic, educational, and other forms

MODERN MISSIONS

120

IN MEXICO

of missionary effort through which we are seeking to help Mexico. There is an average of one foreign missionary or missionary's wife to 70,000 of the

population.

Fourteen of the

states

of Mexico,

with a population of over 5,000,000, or one third of the entire population, have no resident foreign missionaries.

"2. The Committee believes that there should be a great increase of the missionary staff to cooperate with the loyal and capable ministers of the Mexican churches, and that as soon as possible the force of missionaries should be increased at least fifty per cent.

The Committee might be a more effective "3.

believes

also

that

there

distribution of the present

missionary forces than that which has come about in the natural development of the work hitherto.

In some states there is one missionary to each 12,000 people and in others there is not one to more than There are thirty-nine mission high 1,000,000. states, while the other fifteen a with states, population of 6,000,000, have no such

schools; in fifteen

institutions at

work

for their people.

We

would

accordingly urge upon each agency at work in

Mexico the earnest consideration of the location and distribution of its forces, so as to avoid duplication and overlapping and to secure the occupation and evangelization of the entire field. "

It is not within the province or power of Committee to indicate any withdrawals or transfers which might be made by particular agencies, and we, recognize that there are denominations 4.

the

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO which do not

feel free to share in

any plan of

assignment of responsibility; but

territorial

121

we

recommend that in the development of the work in Mexico and in the effort to provide for the occupation of the whole country the following denominations be regarded by this Conference as primarily

responsible for the occupation and cultivation of the states indicated."

Then

followed the

missionary

Boards with the assignIt was further agreed that

list

of

ments agreed upon. " In such states as Tamaulipas, in municipalities of 10,000 people or less, where more than one Board is at work, all are to withdraw with the ex:

ception of one Board, priority of occupation to be

given

first

consideration.

"

In municipalities of 20,000 people, when occupied by more than two Boards, all are to withdraw with the exception of two, priority of occupation to be given first consideration. " In all new territory assigned to a single Board, all other Boards are to refrain from entering."

The plan proposed

for division of territory at this first conference was not final, as there were

various adjustments and changes approved at subsequent conferences in 1917' and 1919. But the principles of cooperation, and of avoidance, whenever possible, of duplication of effort, have been

accepted and put into general effect. Our Presbyterian Mission was to withdraw from

Nuevo Leon,

Coahuila,

San Luis

and Zacatecas, and

Potosi,

Aguas-

to develop its work in calientes, the south, taking over the work in Oaxaca and

MODERN MISSIONS

122

IN MEXICO

Vera Cruz from the Methodist Episcopal Church. The official action of the Presbyterian Board on October 6, 1914, was as follows " The Mexico Committee reported that it had :

considered carefully the report of the Cincinnati Conference of the missionaries working in Mexico,

representing the various Boards of the different denominations, and the recommendations therein contained covering such matters as division of territory,

union in educational and theological work,

and the uniting

of the

work of

the various presses.

They have offered the following report which was adopted: " On June 30 and July 1 there was held in the of Cincinnati, Ohio, a Conference on Missions city in Mexico. This Conference was called by the Latin American Committee of the Foreign Missions Conference. It was attended by some sixty '

delegates, secretaries, officers, and furloughed missionaries representing eleven Boards and Societies

carrying on evangelistic work in Mexico. Five of our missionaries and two members of the Executive Staff, Secretary Speer,

who

for

many

years

had the correspondence with the Mexican Mission, and Secretary Halsey, with whose office the correspondence is now being carried on, were present. " The object of the Conference was to discuss the best ways and means of reestablishing the work in Mexico on a broad union basis when, in the '

providence of God, conditions in the republic should warrant the return to Mexico of the missionaries.

Most

careful

preparation had

been

MODERN MISSIONS

122

Vera Cruz from

The

MEXICO

the Methodist Episcopal Church.

action of the Presbyterian 1914, was as follows:

official

October "

IN

6,

The Mexico Committee reported

Board on

that

it

had

considered carefully the report of the Cincinnati

Conference of the missionaries working

in

Mexico,

representing the various Boards of the different denominations, and the recommendations therein

contained covering such matters as division of territory, union in educational and theological work,

and the uniting

of the

work

of the various presses.

They have offered the following report which was adopted " On June 30 and July 1 there was held in the of Cincinnati, Ohio, a Conference on Missions city in Mexico. This Conference was called by the Latin American Committee of the Foreign Mis:

'

sions Conference.

It was attended

by some

sixty

delegates, secretaries, officers, and furloughed missionaries representing eleven Boards and Societies

carrying on evangelistic work in Mexico. Five of our missionaries and two members of the Executive Staff, Secretary Speer,

who

for

many

years

had the correspondence with the Mexican Mission, and Secretary Halsey, with whose office the correspondence is now being carried on, were present. " The object of the Conference was to discuss the best ways and means of reestablishing the work in Mexico on a broad union basis when, in the '

providence of God, conditions in the republic should warrant the return to Mexico of the missionaries.

Most

careful

preparation

had

been

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO made

Ml

123

for the Conference; a series of papers giving datta

regarding the work of

all

missionary

and educaorganizations engaged tional efforts in the republic was prepared and disin evangelistic

tributed to the delegates before the opening of the Conference. The deliberations of the Conference, lasting two days and one evening, were marked by a spirit of unity, harmony, and missionary

fervor rarely witnessed, and the conclusions reached

were practically unanimous. "

'

With

the exception of one or two Boards or Societies, practically all the evangelical agencies in Mexico were represented at the Conference. As

soon as the typewritten copies of the report of the Conference were received, about the middle of July, the full minutes were sent to each

member

of the

Committee on Mexico with a note from the secretary asking that the whole matter be carefully considered and reported on at the first meeting in September. The full report of the Conference has been printed and a copy is now in the hands of each member of the Board. Your Committee has given this whole subject careful consideration, and in presenting the report of this Cincinnati Conference on Mexico, as it does to-day, would express since

warm appreciation of the purposes and ideals of this Conference and of the spirit of sacrifice shown by our representatives in their willingness to relinquish work which had become dear by long association, in order that a more efficient service might be rendered by the entire Church to the needy people of the Republic of Mexico.

MODERN MISSIONS

124

"

IN MEXICO

'

Your Committee would call attention to the fact that many of the recommendations herein made are only such as the Board has already car1.

and with the approval of the General Assembly, and in line with that spirit of unity which has characterized the work of the

ried out in other fields

Board during all "

'

It

is

its

Church in Mexico The Evangelical Church in Mex-

proposed "

history. to call the

by the name of In Spanish this is the exact equivalent of ico." the name of the Church in the Philippines. It is proposed to unite all the various presses and publication agencies, and the Sunday-school papers and literature. The Board for years has been endeavoring to bring about this result in connection with the press and publishing work of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The proposed union in theological education

is

fore the minds of the

one which has long been beMexican missionaries because

number of candidates now attending the seminary and the splendid equipment which the Board possesses, which could easily be utilized of the small

by

all

the Boards.

The various

educational changes

suggested are along the line which the Board is vigorously prosecuting in other missions, and some of the other changes

now recommended by

the

Cincinnati Conference have long been thought of by representatives of your own Board. Anyone who

knows Mexico cannot question

for a

moment

that

the one thing she needs above all else is Christian education, and the plans here outlined by the Conference, which the Board is asked to adopt, are, in

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO

125

judgment of your Committee, admirably adapted to the present and future needs of the Mexican Republic. We recommend that the Board approve the resolutions on education, leaving it to the Executive Council to work out the details in particular cases, and when satisfactory arrangements have been made with other Boards, to report the same for action to the Board. " 2. Your Committee would call special attention to the resolutions adopted on territorial occuThis Committee was the largest in the pation. entire Conference its deliberations were carried on far into the night and its conclusions were reached only after much discussion, much prayer, and much yielding of valuable property on the part of many of the Boards represented including your own. While it is true that your Board relinquishes under the

'

;

the proposed agreement valuable schools such as those of Saltillo and Aguascalientes and work in several of the important stations in north and central

Mexico, yet

it

has had assigned to

fruitful, and, in

it

a large,

many [The Mexico assigned to the Northern PresbyChurch for its evangelization is made up of cases, virgin territory.

field in

terian

the states of Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas, Vera Cruz, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Morelos, for which we are to have the sole responsibility, and

Mexico and the Federal we are where to share the responsibility District with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the in addition the state of

Baptists.] " '

While

there are

many

difficulties to

be over-

MODERN MISSIONS

126

IN MEXICO

come, many readjustments to be made, much new land to be possessed, and many problems arising out of this change of location, yet we believe that this assignment opens to the Board a magnificent opportunity for splendid service such as it has never rendered before in Mexico, and that it helps to make possible the movement which is fraught with the choicest consequences for good in the entire land.

'"In regard

to the recommendations,

your Com-

mittee would advise that they be referred to the Executive Council with power, the Board giving its general consent to the proposals, as indicated in the resolutions, leaving it to the Council to work out the full details and report as they may be satisfactorily adjusted with the other Boards and Societies doing work in Mexico. To give some idea of the changes that are involved in the new territorial

one of the best informed missionaries suggested that we would need to establish Stations divisions,

for resident missionaries as follows: STATION"

San Angel

1.

Coyoacdn

2.

Cuernavaca Iguala Orizaba Jalapa Oaxaca Tuxtla Gutierrez -or San Cris-

FIELD

Mexico State and Federal District

3. 4. 5.

Merida or San Juan Bautista or some point on the Isth-

mus "

'

3.

State of State of State

of

Chiapas

and part of

Oaxlaca

tribal 6.

and Guerrero Vera Cruz Oaxaca

States of Morelos

States

of

Yucatan,

Campeche,

and Tabasco

of Tehuantepec

That the Board approve the series of genby the Conference and

eral resolutions adopted

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO express

its

willingness

to

127

cooperate with other

Societies represented in the Conference in the uniting of the various agencies in

Boards and

Mexico for the purpose of greater efficiency. " 4. Your Committee notes the request of a number of the Mexican missionaries now Lome on '

furlough that there should be; a conference with the and the Executive Council to discuss these various problems arising out of the new poliConference. cies suggested by jthe Cincinnati Your Committee recommends that the Executive

missionaries

Council the

such a conference, at New York or at city, or at some convenient place, where

call

some other

members

of the Executive Council

and the

missionaries can arrange with greater minuteness the various details connected with the changes made

necessary by the above actions of the Board. "

'

In adopting this new policy, which means progress and efficiency and larger things for the Kingdom, the Board should recognize that it involves the sending of a much larger number of missionaries and an increased expenditure of money. "

'

At

present the Board has but eight men at in Mexico, only three of these being devoted exclusively to evangelistic work. The total num-

work

ber of missionaries in Mexico under our Board at present

is

nineteen.

Under

the

new arrangement

in the very near future at least sixty workers would be required adequately to man the new work as

planned in the above resolution. " Recent letters received from missionaries in '

128

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

Texas and from other representatives of the native Church on the field indicate that Mexican hearts and minds are more open to the gospel to-day than ever before in all the long history of Mexican missions, and that there is a correspondingly strong " appeal to the American Church to meet this need.' Years passed before the remaining details of this division could be worked out. In a regional conference held in Mexico City on March 31, 1917, an agreement was reached by representatives of the Methodist Churches North and South, both branches of the Presbyterian Church, Congregational, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Friends, and Disciples. The readjustment adopted at this conference concerned the states in the North. Baptists, who had decided to throw in their lot with the Southern Baptists, withdrew

The Northern

from the cooperative agreement and the division was adjusted between the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Disciples, and Congregationalists. The Protestant Episcopal Church had also declined to enter into the cooperative agreement. The Presbyterian Church of the United States was to with-

draw from Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. This plan was not formally approved by the Boards concerned until two years later, when it was incorporated, with some changes, in the plan of division adopted by the conference in Mexico in February, 1919.

The

principal changes included in this final plan were the withdrawal of the Methodist Episcopal

Church from Sinaloa,

Jalisco,

and Colima

in favor

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO of the Congregationalists,

who

129

in turn withdrew

from their original assignment in northern Sonora and Chihuahua to make room for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Episcopal Church yielded Michoacan which had been assigned to them in the original plan, to make room for the Presbyterians of the United States. The latter left their former fields in the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and San Luis Potosi, and took up the field, east of Mexico City, of Michoacan, from the Methodist Episcopal Church and of Mexico (in part) Morelos, and Guerrero, from our ,

original assignment. The plan as now adopted gives to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the entire border line

with the exception of Matamoros; to the Congregational Mission, the west coast as far south as the

Mexico City;

to the Disciples and Methodist Church, Episcopal compact central fields on the and to the table-land; Presbyterian Churches of the

line of

United States and the United States of America all the southern end of the republic. comparison of the location and assignments of the various Mis-

A

sions in 1913, before the Cincinnati Conference, with their assignments in 1919, after the final con-

ference in Mexico City,

A map

is

given at the close of this

showing the revised allocation is the on given opposite page. In the early discussions of the plan by the Preschapter.

byterian Mission, the suggestion was made that the boys' school at Coyoacan should be moved to Oaxaca, but later this proposal was dropped.

It

was

MODERN MISSIONS

130

IN MEXICO

proposed also that a girls' school should be opened This school eventually in Chiapas or Oaxaca. in Vera Cruz. opened In a letter to Dr. Halsey, April 8, 1919, which took up among other things this whole question, Mr. Petran wrote :

"

The

differences of opinion in

Cincinnati Plan

seem that

.

.

.

are

now

working out the

all settled.

It

may

took a long time to settle them, but when the disturbed condition of the country is taken it

into consideration,

necessary to

and the

fact that

make changes

most Missions,

it

can be

felt

it

was found

in the assignments of now that the final ad-

justments, after most ample discussion, will have the largest possible acceptance."

The

division of territory in Mexico City and the Federal District has worked out in 1922, with the

exception of one suburb where negotiations were in

when

the congregation, somewhat impatient at the slowness of the Ecclesiastical Com-

progress

mittee in deciding their fate, decided to form a union church.

The plan regarding in practice,

is,

division of territory as

now

with one or two exceptions, working

well between the Missions.

The

fields are

now com-

pact. While our Presbyterian Mission has given up well-established work in the five centers men-

tioned above, other churches have surrendered much in the interest of the greater efficiency of this plan.

When the

our Presbyterian Mission entered upon it possessed property in the Fed-

new program,

eral District, in Jalapa,

and

in

Vera Cruz.

It

had

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO

131

no permanent equipment at all in the states of Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan (except church property in Merida), and the terSubsequently property ritory of Quintana Roo. was transferred from the Methodist Mission and

Board in the city of Oaxaca in the state of Oaxaca and in the city of Orizaba in the state of Vera Cruz. Additional property has been secured in Jalapa, to replace the property destroyed by the earthquake in 1920.

Commenting further upon

the shift

from the

northern to the southern part of Mexico, Dr.

E. Browning stated in

his report, after his visit to

the field in 1919: "

The

W.

trip north also convinced

me,

if

I needed

conviction, that the Presbyterian Board has gone the second mile, if not the third and fourth, in its

work in the interests of Schools and organized churches, the

sacrifice of established

co-

reoperation. sult of many years of consecrated labor, have been sacrificed willingly to the common good, and properties will be turned over, generally at a loss, in

spite of generous impulses that part of our successors."

may

develop on the

In the Kingdom he who loses his life gains it, and this law is true of those who gave up, for the sake of the Kingdom, fields long occupied and much The larger field of opportunity, though loved. rendered less fruitful by the backwardness of the people and the ignorance and superstition of their hearts,

us."

is

nevertheless

"

the open door set before

The Presbyterian Mission and Board,

which,

MODERN MISSIONS

132

IN MEXICO

through their leaders, Dr. Speer and Dr. Halsey, had the honor of proposing this plan, have also the honor of making one of the largest sacrifices in withdrawal, as well as the opportunity of inheriting

perhaps the most

difficult field in

the republic.

PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN MEXICO OLD AND NEW PLANS by Societies in 1913 and the Readjustments Resulting from the Cincinnati Conference of 1914, and the Conferences in Mexico City in 1917 and 1919. Distribution

NOTE: The Baptist (North and South) and Episcopal Boards did not two

see

clear to join in the cooperative allocations agreed upon. Where or more Boards are located in one state, under the revised plan differ-

their

way

ent sections of the state are assigned to each society. State 1.

and Pop. (1910)

(124,447) 2.

Station

Societies at

Work

Revised Location

Aguascalientes Aguascalientes Baptist (N.)

Campeche

Disciples

Aguascalientes Presbyterian (N)

None

None

Presbyterian

Tuxtla

Baptist (N.)

Presbyterian (N.)

Methodist

(86,685) 3.

Chiapas (456,371)

4.

5.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Congregational

(423,387)

Chihuahua;

Methodist (S.)

Chihuahua Chihuahua

Episcopal Baptist

(S.)

Juares

Baptist

(S.)

Sta. Rosalia

Baptist

(S.)

Parral

Congregational

Coahuila (376,747)

PiedrasNegras Disciples Disciples Salinas Sabinas Baptist (N.) Saltillo

Baptist

Saltillo

Disciples

(S.)

Saltillo

Methodist

Saltilld

Presbyterian (N.)

Torreon Torre6n Torre&n

Baptist

(S.)

(S.)

Methodist Episcopal

(S.)

(S.)

,.

Methodist (S.)

THE MISSIONARY MAP OF MEXICO State 6.

and Pop. (1910)

Colima (80,500)

Station

None

133

MODERN MISSIONS

134 State 19.

and Pop. (1910) Station

Oaxaca (1,059,789)

Oaxaca, Oaxaca,

Oaxaca

IN MEXICO

ofMissionary

Revid&i of tH&'lV'orld).

MAP OF MEXICO WITH COOPERATIVE DIVISION OF TERRITORY AMONG CONFERENCE OF 1914), AND CONFERENCI

Responsibility for Occupation of Territory

Showing Division at

Missionary Societies as Agreed

Upon

by

*t the Conference of

Christian Worker*. City of Mexico.

February 15-21, 1919 The program ot u>-op*3tton adopted tndudct.

A

Umco,

Unlvtfsily to the City ol

A HospiW

In

Ctfy of

!t

S
Agricuttwal

A School

cf

in

Wwhanicai Ans

Kornu! Sehodt of

Metko,

tn

UWK

many

ditfereM

tfnku

of the Rtpubiic;

in each importdni center,

such dSstiidi at da not yet posses them. BK&

Uw sfwifUtUn|

Bl(t*3y

Oevttopment of ttw Union TfwicJcaJ Seminary already eriMing in Mtjico

A Community Center

A

#

Ittttitutioful

(n

each tmporunt center

Union PuWshfng Hoji*. Union Pspif, and Boo* Stt%

A Campaign

in Crty o/

City;

w Uawo;

to popufariw Medical Knowfotfe*; nitofiai

The

Cnutch

Unfvefsi'ty

itEponEMty to as

to tvttd

ev&pp!ng

or

of Chicago Libraries

ITORY AMONG PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS, RESULTING FROM THE CINCINNATI D CONFERENCES IN MEXICO CITY IN 1917 AND 1919

CHAPTER XV PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS IN PROTESTANT COOPERATION 1.

THE

INSTITUTIONS DEVELOPED

UNDER

THE CINCINNATI PLAN of this chapter deals with the cooperative institutions established

first section

A

union and

Plan was approved and with certain problems in Church relationships which have arisen in northern Mexico subsequent to 1914. since the Cincinnati

Following the adoption of the general principles of the Cincinnati Plan, certain union institutions of importance have been developed in Mexico. These include a union theological seminary, a union press and periodical, and a union hospital. Plans for a union university and for union in the schools have not as yet been carried out in detail. Cooperation in temperance work has been successfully accomplished. After the Cincinnati Conference, the Northern Baptist Mission decided to unite forces with their

brethren of the Baptist Church South, both in forming associations and in the establishment of a sem-

Their Seminary occupies the building of inary. the former Escuela Normal in Saltillo, which at present, their

and

until they can finish the building of

own seminary

plant, they are renting 135

from

us.

MODERN MISSIONS

136

IN MEXICO

The Baptist churches are scattered all over the land and it is to be regretted that they have not seen their way to unite more closely with us. There is this to be said, however, in regard to their Semthat Mexico is a very large country and that there are serious difficulties, first in securing men to go from the North to Mexico City for theo-

inary

logical education, and second, in having them go back after they are educated. Some have even

thought that it would be wise to have students from other Churches besides the Baptists unite with them in study in the North.

The Presbyterian pastor

at Saltillo, Coahuila,

has asked the Mission and the Board to grant to the Frontier Presbytery the use of the building at Saltillo,

when

the Baptists give it up, in order that start a seminary of their own. At other

they may times they spoke of having a girls' school in this building for the benefit of the Presbyterian

As yet the Mission) has not of this granting approved petition, especially because the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, has churches of the North.

an excellent school in

Saltillo,

and the Mission

that our Seminary in Mexico sufficient for our needs.

is

feels

for the present

We

found that perhaps too large a proportion the Seminary in Mexico City was piled on the shoulders of Dr. Howland and Dr. Wallace, as the Methodists have been unable to find of the

a

work of

man who

could give his entire time to the Sem-

inary this past year.

This,

of course,

is

an incident in the career of the Seminary.

only

Mr.

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS Ross

137

the representative of the Southern Presbyterian Mission on the faculty, and there is an is

and the most both between faculty and relationships students in the Seminary. This problem of evan-

excellent

of united effort

spirit

cordial

gelical education, however, has many elements of difficulty which are common to all evangelical semi-

naries in large cities. Young men are attracted by the city life and dislike to go back to their country

The

districts.

Mexico is Mexico seems

in

difference between city and village far greater than in this country.

to have

two

parts, the highlands

and

and the people of the highlands dread enlisting for service in the lowlands. There

the lowlands,

should be more students in the Seminary.

Some minor

criticisms

have been raised by the

opponents of cooperation who fear that the young

men who go to the Seminary from

the Presbyterian churches will not return to the fields of their de-

nomination that are most in need, but to accept other

more

may

be led

attractive calls.

There has been a truer spirit of unity in the working out of the Union Seminary than in any other

form of cooperation.

The development of a union press and periodical have been beset with various difficulties, due to capitalization, indebtedness, incurred lack of a clear understanding of the com-

insufficient

through mitments of the Boards, and to certain denominational rivalries,

nominations bookstore.

At

present eight different dieare cooperating in the press and

Senor Mendoza

is

the editor

and Senor

138

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

Andres Osuna the manager. In addition to the union paper there are local publications of the national Presbyterian churches and of the Methodists. The plans for uniting or coordinating the work of the schools of the Missions are

still

in their

infancy.

The plans for a union college or university are not yet definite enough to be set forth in this report.

We went to see the different properties for the combined work of the future. The delegation favors the general plan of work in union institutions, and trusts that in due time this aspiration of the plans of 1914 will be carried out. That there is a need in Mexico for an institution of higher learning is indubitable, although some missionaries feel that at present there is little demand for it and that it is better to send those few to the United Mexican professional schools take dents direct from preparatory (high) schools. States.

stu-

Suggestions for the establishment of a union hospital in Mexico City were placed before the delegation and the Mission by Dr. Illick, of the Methodist Mission, and by Dr. Noe, a Christian

Hollander,

who

is

practicing medicine in Mexico a reality and is urgent.

The need is The Mission was asked also to cooperate in the work of the Latin- American Hospital in Puebla, City.

which has done splendid service in these last years for the whole evangelical community. The Northern Baptists and the Methodist Episcopal Church now cooperate in it, but we send our sick to it, be they foreign or Mexican. The kindliest and truest

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

139

Christian spirit has been shown by the physicians in charge. Our Board should cooperate in some

and should also look forthe union hospital needed in Mexico City.

measure in

this hospital

ward to The Executive Secretary of the Regional Committee on Cooperation in Mexico is partially supported by funds contributed by denominational

Temperance Boards

in the

United

States,

and

is

giving a part of his time to the promotion of this great cause. The president of the republic, General Obregon, and other leaders, are greatly in-

movement and the prediction is that within a comparatively short time will imitate the example given by the

terested in this freely

made

Mexico United States prohibiting

Two

in the adoption of an sale of intoxicating "

the

amendment beverages. "

have already adopted dry legislation, and there is a widespread sentiment throughout the republic in favor of prohibition. states

It is fortunate that the evangelical Missions of the country can take a leading part in this move-

ment, through their Regional Committee on Cooperation, and the Boards which are contributing to this work, including our own, may feel that the expenditure is justified. Mexico, as no other country in the world, represents the triumph of cooperative Christian work over that of the old-line, sectarian program, and the whole Church gains thereby.

MODERN MISSIONS

140

2.

IN MEXICO

THE ATTITUDE OP THE NATIVE CHURCH IN THE NORTH TOWARD THE CINCINNATI PLAN

Although

in general throughout Mexico the nahave cooperated in putting into effect

tive churches

the Cincinnati Plan, as modified in the Conferences in 1917 and 1919, special problems have arisen with reference to the independent Presbyterian

churches in the North, following the withdrawal The of our missionaries from that territory. printed report of the Cincinnati Conference concludes with the following statement: "

was indispensable that the plans should have the approval and support of the leaders, both men and women, in the Mexican churches, and the representatives of each Board were requested not only to lay the report of the Conference before their own Boards and their It

was recognized by

all

that

it

own home

churches, but also to take up the various questions involved with the Mexican churches." Dr. Speer's letter of July 21, 1914, urged the

Mission to present the matter to the Mexican leaders. On July 31, 1914, Dr. Halsey wrote to the

Mexican "

I

am

missionaries, in part, as follows: writing this letter for certain specific rea-

sons First, if any of the missionaries have any comments to make on the various plans proposed by :

the Conference, or any changes to be suggested, I would ask that they be sent to me sometime before

the

of September.

Every change or suggestion will be carefully noted and submitted to the Committee of the Board, and through the Comfirst

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS mittee to the Board

itself.

This

is

141

the time for

any of us to bring forward objections, or additional recommendations, in view of the great changes proThe Executive Council approved unaniposed. mously the entire findings of the Conference. have sent the details of the Conference to all the

We

leading religious newspapers, and

many

of

them

have promised to publish editorials favorable to the

We

believe that this movement plans proposed. is one fraught with great consequence for good to the entire work in Mexico. But we need the

cooperation of all who are interested in Mexico in order to bring about this result." The spirit of many of the missionaries in the face of the necessity of leaving the well-established

work

built up by years of service showed a true devotion to the larger cause. Miss Mary F. Turner had helped to develop a successful school

in Aguascalientes, which she was now asked to begin work in a pioneer field. On July

leave, to

17, 1914, she wrote:

"

am willing to drop into the work where it seems best. I am glad to look anywhere forward to a work in Mexico with all Churches and Boards cooperating in that work. It is cerPersonally, I

tainly

more

in

harmony with

the gospel teaching, may work for a time

and whatever inconvenience it for both missionary and Mexican people, the next generation will see a stronger evangelical Church in Mexico."

Dr. William Wallace wrote on August 15, 1914 " I am glad to know, as I had already supposed, :

MODERN MISSIONS

142

IN MEXICO

Board will substantially approve what was agreed on at the Conference. It will involve heavy sacrifices and inconvenience and trouble in rearrangement, but this was to have been discounted from the beginning and in later years will be forgotten in the great gain which shall have come in concentration and more vigorous handling of the work of each Mission." On September 14, 1914, Rev. N. J. Elliott that our

wrote

:

"

I have only commendation for the entire report of the Conference and I believe that if the same spirit of

will

go

cooperation

is

continued the entire plan

into operation with the

minimum

of

diffi-

The Mexicans are reasonable enough you can get them before they get to the revolution stage. I believe we must do all we can to get them

culties.

.

.

.

if

to see the reasonablness of the plans, otherwise we will experience a revolution which will go under

name

of an Independent Church or which can do a lot of damage."

the

Movement

On November

30, 1914, Mr. Petran urged conthe native Church: sulting "As soon as the report of the Cincinnati Con-

ference was published, I sent a copy to all the leaders of our Church in Mexico. All the men in

Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco, favor the plan, in it. They look for a greater work in the future through it. They feel in a way that they have been neglected and that the opportunities in the Peninsula have not been taken advantage of. ... The men in northern Mexico

fact are enthusiastic for

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

143

have made hardly any comment. This is true of Dr. Morales and Dr. Arellano. I hear from them with a fair degree of frequency, but they have never made any comment on the plans outlined. I think that you will find that they will consider the plans You will with a large measure of reserve. remember that I have advocated that our next meet.

.

.

ing to consider the Cincinnati Plan be in Mexico City, and one of the reasons that makes me take this position is that

before

we

we should not get

too far along

take the leaders of the Mexican Church

into the deliberations.

"The men most vitally affected in a personal way by the plans are our men in northern and central Mexico, and so I trust that we do not get very far in our final resolutions, before we can meet them in conference

and go over the whole matter with

them."

On

January 17, 1916, in accordance with suggestions from the members of the Mission, Dr. Halsey sent a letter to the Stated Clerk of the Synod of Mexico setting forth the plan and urging acquiescence and agreement with it, and cooperation with the Mission in the planning for the work of the Kingdom in Mexico. The letter follows

:

"NEW "January

"Dear "

YORK, 17, 1916.

Brother:

It gives

me

great pleasure to address you as

representing the Synod of Mexico. No doubt you and your fellow workers have heard of the Confer-

144

MODERN MISSIONS

the evangelistic Boards in Mexico, which met in the

ence of representatives of

and

Societies at

work

IN MEXICO

all

city of Cincinnati, Ohio, June 30 to July 1, 1914, to consider how best to promote the Kingdom of God in Mexico. This Conference after many hours

of prayerful

and careful consideration of

the

all

problems involved, adopted a comprehensive plan for unifying all the Christian forces at work in the

Mexican Republic. "

The plan in brief aims at reducing competition between the various organizations by a union of forces wherever possible, and by such a distribution of territory that the larger denominations will each occupy certain sections of Mexico, and in

this

way

the entire territory will be thoroughly reached by the various messengers of the gospel of Christ.

No doubt it will not be possible to carry out

all

the

details of this great plan; no doubt some of the denominations will find it difficult to adapt themselves to the changes suggested; but we hope and pray that you all will cooperate with us in making this plan as far as possible a great success, and thus

advancing the Kingdom of God in Mexico. " The plan will require time and thought and much prayer before it is finally consummated, but we believe that if each of us enters heartily into the consideration of all the problems, and each shows a willingness to yield all the points possible,

and each comes with a

Christlike spirit to the consideration of the various difficulties involved, there will

result

a great forward movement for the

evangelization of Mexico.

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS "

I

am

present

it

145

writing this letter, trusting that you will to the first meeting of the synod after its

and that you and your fellow laborers will join heartily with us whose only aim in this whole receipt,

matter is to advance the best interests of the gospel in Mexico. " May I add, dear Christian brother, that we feel that the present is a time of great opportunity for Mexico. The people are ready for the gospel. The discipline which has come through long years of suffering and of privation should soften the hearts of the

Mexican people and open the way for Lord and

the teaching of the blessed gospel of our

Saviour, Jesus Christ. May we be glad of the opportunity thus presented to us in the providence of

God, and may the blessing of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, abide with us all in this critical era in the history of the

and

in the history of the

Mexico." At a Conference held in

Republic of Mexico,

Christian Church in

Panama

in 1916, the

Plan of cooperation was discussed and voted upon. Dr. Speer stated: " There are two very distinct problems involved Cincinnati

in transfer of territory: the ecclesiastical problem and the problem of missionary administration.

Certain Boards sustain no ecclesiastical relations to churches established by their missions in such cases may decide for themselves to which ;

the churches

Communion

they will adhere.

It

is

very desirable

that such matters be explained to the members of the churches by those sympathetic to the issues in-

146

volved.

MODERN MISSIONS From

IN MEXICO

the standpoint of administration

it

Boards to determine whether they will give support or withdraw support. The Presbyterian Church faced the same problem in Liberia with the Methodist and Episcopalian Churches and withdrew from certain territory and encouraged is

for the

the people to affiliate themselves with the other Churches. The people were unwilling to do so and maintained their existence as a Presbyterian church,

but without subsidies from the Board.

The Pres-

with regard to Mexico in just the same way. They would not bring to bear undue constraint any upon churches to alter their denominational affiliations, but they can byterian Board

feels strongly

discontinue the schools they support, the presence of their missionaries, and any subsidies for the

maintenance of these churches in territory where they feel it would be wise that there should be a different arrangement."

In regard

to holding in abeyance any territorial understanding, Dr. Speer said that in some areas

would work out all right but that in others it would not. " If certain work is resumed it will be next to impossible a few years later to readjust the territory. The Presbyterian Board would like to cooperate definitely with at least one other Board and it

go forward." Dr. Mott spoke on how deeply he was impressed by the way the laymen have regarded the Cincinnati Conference on Mexico, saying that no step has been taken with reference to foreign missions

146

volved.

MODERN MISSIONS From

IN

MEXICO

the standpoint of administration

it

Boards to determine whether they will give support or withdraw support. The Presbyterian Church faced the same problem in Liberia with the Methodist and Episcopalian Churches and withdrew from certain territory and encouraged is

for the

the people to

affiliate

themselves with the other

The people were unwilling

to do so and maintained their existence as a Presbyterian church, but without subsidies from the Board. The Presbyterian Board feels strongly with regard to Mex-

Churches.

ico in just the

same way.

any undue constraint alter their

to

denominational

They would not bring bear upon churches to affiliations,

but they can

discontinue the schools they support, the presence of their missionaries, and any subsidies for the

maintenance of these churches in territory where they feel it would be wise that there should be a different arrangement."

In regard

to holding in abeyance any territorial understanding, Dr. Speer said that in some areas it would work out all right but that in others it would not. "If certain work is resumed it will be next to impossible a few years later to readjust the terriThe Presbyterian Board would like to cotory. operate definitely with at least one other Board and

go forward." Dr. Mott spoke on how deeply he was impressed by the way the laymen have regarded the Cincinnati Conference on Mexico, saying that no step has been taken with reference to foreign missions

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

147

in recent years which has so favorably impressed discerning laymen of large outlook and large finan" cial possibilities.

policy that

is

interested."

They have

said,

If this

is

the

now likely to obtain we are becoming believed that the discussions and

He

resolutions at Cincinnati

ing possible the

had more to do

in

mak-

Panama Congress than many

realize.

He

"I

honestly believe that the attitude and expressions of the workers right in this room, from Mexico and from the Boards interested further said:

more to do with pointing the of the most obstinate problems,

in Mexico, will have

way

to the solution

and in the other parts of Latin America, that are coming forward in these days, than any other single thing done on these grounds. In other words, in this

we have had

resolutions long enough.

We

have

seen the path indicated at Cincinnati, but Cincinnati went one step farther than resolutions. have *

said,

We We will take this matter right into the Board

rooms and we will apply our principles.' And it would seem, therefore, that if in a concerted, statesmanlike, courageous, and sacrificial manner, we would go forward in ways that we cannot believe we were led into by selfish considerations, even though we might have been mistaken here and there in detail, such action would prove contagious. The difficulties are not without their advantages. These difficulties are going to be our salvation. If it were an easy path we might well distrust it. ... How do you measure success? By the number and extent of

difficulties

you have

to

overcome.

.

.

.

MODERN MISSIONS

148

Count

it all

IN MEXICO

joy when you find yourself in the midst

of manifold difficulties."

After discussion,

it

was voted:

"

First, that we heartily support the Cincinnati resolutions in principle; second, that, leaving the

question of the reorganization and realignment of the Mexican churches in abeyance for the time being, we would urge the Mission Boards engaged in work in Mexico in the administration of their

work

move

as rapidly as possible in harmony with the suggestions of the Cincinnati Conference ;

and

to

third, that

we

endorse the proposal to have a

national convention held in practicable Political

Mexico

at the earliest

moment."

conditions rendered impossible the of regional conferences in Mexico after holding the Panama Conference. Our missionaries began

and the matter was taken up with more in detail. Mexican leaders the When the final division of territory was made in 1917 and confirmed in 1919, the churches formerly to return in 1916

allied with the Congregational Mission united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and

after

some delay and after various

difficulties

had

been overcome, the Methodist congregations in the states of Vera Cruz and Oaxaca have united with our presbytery and Mission. It is probable that in the minds of the conferees

and of the other Missions lay the expectation that the churches of the Presbyteries of the North, Zacatecas and Tamaulipas, would unite with the

churches of the Missions taking over the

field.

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

149

This has not happened, however; nor has it been true of the Presbyterian churches in the fields centering about Monterey, Saltillo, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, and Zacatecas. Nor have the Disciples churches united with the Methodists South. The Methodists in San Luis Potosi re-

main independent under the name

of Peregrines

or Pilgrims.

As Mr. Petran wrote in his letter to Dr. Halsey, dated November 30, 1914, he expected opposition to the plan from the leaders in the North. The opposition has continued in certain localities. far as the delegation has been able to estimate

As and

discover the development of the opinion of the pastors and churches, it was somewhat as follows :

In the

years after the Conference they had hard times and loneliness. The coun-

first

undergone try was in revolution. United States troops had occupied Vera Cruz, thus giving a color of belief in our imperialistic ideas and plans against Mexican sovereignty. Then came news that there was " to be a change of ecclesiastical sovereignty." In consequence suspicions were aroused. They re" sented being transferred like sheep from one field to another." They felt, though of course unjustly, that this was another incident of American injus-

Several years passed before our missionaries could reach the field again. Up to 1917 the final

tice.

was not and the then reached was agreed upon agreement not fully confirmed until 1919. The members of division of territory in the northern states

the Presbyterian churches further did not wish to

MODERN MISSIONS

150

IN MEXICO

change their membership to the Methodist Church or to become baptized according to the ritual of These difficulties were the Disciples Church. avoided in certain of the fields taken over by the Presbyterian Mission through not requiring at first a change of Church membership on the part of Church workers in the service of the Mission. The Mexican Church is, and has been from the It has had triumphs, but first, a Church besieged. The very nature its attitude has been defensive. of its environment has made it suspicious and apprehensive of any strange It has had to watch the

movement or

plan.

Roman Church

with

in-

creasing vigilance. The list of martyrs to the cause of the gospel is long. There have been serious

outbreaks during these past years. The Mexican Church has been a people of little strength but of faithfulness to

His word and name.

though it diminished Roman Catholic persecution, brought in a radical social and labor movement. This has aroused new fears,

The

revolution,

excited suspicions as to the loyalty of certain men to the Church and even to Christ. Missionaries, and elders fear this radical pastors, spirit among

young men. The churches

the

in

Mexico have been troubled both

in prerevolution days and in the present, by an inroad of independent missions, some of which

proved real blessings, some menaces, and some a combination of both. The worker, be he Mexican or American, ordained or lay, has to be on the defensive. Being on

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

151

the defensive implies that there is an enemy, and the possibility of an enemy's presence casts a cloud of suspicion over every plan, movement, or person that is strange or startling.

It must be confessed also that the spirit of cooperation has not always been present in the re-

and our fellow Communions in Mexico. Proximity to the churches which practice immersion always provokes discussion. The changing of a member from one Church to another because of a change of belief on the matter of baptism or Church government, creates

lation between our workers

a spirit of competition, at

least, if

not of active

enmity.

We

of to-day are paying for the sins of our fathers in this respect. Most missionaries have

passed this stage of rivalry in service, but some have not, and among the peoples whom we serve the lesser things assume a false proportion that really disfigures them.

Dr. Harry Farmer, of the Methodist Episcopal Board of Foreign Missions, spoke concerning this situation at the Foreign Mission Conference in January, 1923: " Some of our Boards have had an interesting experience down in Mexico over the delimitation of territory. For fifty years mission work had been going on in Mexico, but in 1919 we tried to put into

which had been drawn but which had not been made

effect the Cincinnati Plan,

up some years operative.

earlier

We

changed the missionary

map

of

Mexico, assigning one area to the Methodists, one

MODERN MISSIONS

152

to the

IN MEXICO

Northern Presbyterians, one

Disciples.

to the

Southern

Friends, and the Soon the Methodist missionaries had to

Presbyterians,

areas

the

to

withdraw from one territory with their men and money, giving place to the Presbyterians. In some places this plan worked, and in some places failed. Why was there any trouble? It arose because for fifty years we had been in the business, not of making Christians, but of making Methodists, or Presbyterians, and had been so successful in making denominationalists that of

we failed in the larger work So when the time was .ripe

making Christians. making a national Church

for

sionaries

it

was not the mis-

who opposed these measures but the Mex-

ican Protestant Christians."

Further the Mexican "

made in the U.

that looks to

S. A.,"

him

jealous of

any plans and especially of anything is

like coercion.

When

finally in 1919 the missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of

America were withdrawn from the North, the ministers of all the Presbyterian Churches in northern Mexico united to form the Presbiterio Nacio-

nal

Fronterizo

de

Mexico.

They

resolved

to

stand fast in the faith and practice of their fathers. This action threatened to cause the churches to

break away from the presbyteries of the South, but, thanks to the tact and firmness of some of the older ministers, the danger was averted and the Presbiterio Front erizo

Synod

an integral part of the Church in Mexico. benefits have resulted from is

of the Presbyterian

Certain very definite

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS the refusal of these churches to be absorbed.

153

They

have become self-supporting and self-governing. This, as all will recognize, is a very distinct benefit for it indicates a real advance. From now on the churches in the North will assume their share of the responsibility for the evangelization of their districts. Their example will inspire the churches in

the South to undertake similar enterprises. " are too poor." There plea always is,

We

The is

a

natural timidity both on the part of the Church to undertake so much and on the part of the ministers to trust themselves to the uncertain contributions

of their untrained congregations. It denotes the beginning of the movement for national churches

and even for a national evangelical Church.

The

assumption of responsibility in this way indicates a healthy growth of sentiment and the working out of the long years of training which the Church has had. first step toward selfwas management accomplished without, on the one hand, a break between the Mission and the Church, and on the other hand, the establishment of a new denomination. Great praise is due those missionaries and Mexican pastors who were able with tact and true Christian love to guide this newly developed sentiment and force into sane channels.

It

is

fortunate that this

The Frontier Presbytery, thus organized, includes the Presbyterian churches of the two former It Presbyteries of Zacatecas and Tamaulipas. takes in certain churches in the border towns and even one in Matamoros and another in Browns-

MODERN MISSIONS

154

IN MEXICO

There are several ministers, members of the Church, who live and work in the churches of Texas and New Mexico. ville across

the border.

In the gathering

of these scattered forces into a

were several incidents worthy of mention. In Tampico where the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has a Mission, the invitation to join this purely Mexican presbytery was accepted by the Church after some hesitation. The local

unit, there

congregation later took advantage of the provision of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and seized the

property by denouncing it to the government. The local government took possession in the name of the nation

and handed the property over

to the lo-

The Mission protested and finally took the matter up with the State Department in Washington. Through diplomatic

cal church for their use.

channels the Mission succeeded in recovering the property.

The

article of the Constitution referred to states

that Churches cannot hold property in Mexico. This provision, however, is modified in practice by the distinction between private and public prop-

between that held by a foreign Church and by a Mexican. Full details of the working out of this problem will be given in Chapter XVIII.

erty,

The

situation in the

North has led the delegaFirst, that under all

tion to certain conclusions:

best for the Presbyterian churches to continue their separate existence as an

the circumstances

it is

integral part of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico. That any attempt to apply pressure to them to

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

155

join other bodies would be unwise and only provoke a spirit of disunion and destroy in part the spirit

much

of independence which for real progress.

now

promises so

Second, that in accordance with the practice in other parts of Mexico, where independent churches have maintained their existence, these churches should be allowed the use of the church properties

and manses which have been in their possession during recent years. In accordance with this principle, our Mission and Board allowed the independent Presbyterian churches in the North to occupy the church buildings and adjoining manses, although the titles for the property still remain in possession of the Board. This matter further in Chapter XVIII.

Third, that the Mission can keep

is

its

discussed

pact as to

division of territory by devoting its energies to the work in the South, but still can maintain the exercise of

a

sympathy through the synods. We were asked by the Mission whether the Board would consider it within the range of spirit of helpful

proper service to send teachers north to help in the institutes

(for Bible instruction)

that might

be organized for the benefit of these churches. This question is now before the Mission and should be settled in conference with the other Missions concerned.

Fourth, it was an interesting observation made by one of the older missionaries that the difficulty in bringing about Christian union in Mexico is due to

its

proximity to the United States, that the

MODERN MISSIONS

156

IN MEXICO

American example of denominationalism

in the

border states of our republic could not be overcome in Mexico. The American Churches have overflowed into Mexico and brought with them all their There is suffipeculiar customs and prejudices. cient truth in this observation to cause thought.

On

the other hand,

Mexican history

an

testifies to

ingrained factionalism. NOTE At the National Evangelical Convention, 1924, the Presbyterians went on record unani:

mously in favor of union with the Associate Reformed and Congregational Churches, and suggested that Methodist and Immersionist bodies respectively unite also in order that evangelical

Protestantism might be represented by three great denominations, which could then plan for a nation-

wide Church

if

it

seemed wise.

In addition

to

united group there are of course the Baptist and Protestant Episcopal Churches which have not

this

as yet seen their

way

clear to federal or organic

union.

3.

THE ATTITUDE OF THE NATIVE CHURCH

IN

THE

CENTRAL DISTRICT TOWARD COOPERATION

Under the terms of the division of territory, the Federal District,,,which includes the City of Mexico, became common ground for

all

Missions.

The

work

of the Methodist Episcopal Church is in a compact field nearly surrounding the district. Our

former field in the states of Mexico and Michoacan and Guerrero is now in the hands of the Presby-

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS terians of the

United

States.

The

states of

157

Puebla

and Tlaxcala separate us from our fields in Vera Cruz and Oaxaea. Hence the group of institutions, churches, and workers are in part separated from This is not a matter of very as the railroads are exhowever, great importance, cellent and communication is easy. are not so

the rest of the

field.

We

troubled as were the friars in the Philippines in the early days because the Dominicans in going to their fields

had

Franciscans.

to pass through the territory of the The delegation found the geographi-

necessity of passing through the Northern Methodist field en route to Oaxaea a very delight-

cal

ful experience. As far as division of territory goes in the Federal District, a division of the field has been accom-

plished after a long and tedious discussion. The questions of the apportionment of territory have

Each therefore been settled in all the republic. is loyally attacking the problems and op-

Mission

its

own

Cincinnati Plan

may

the hope of your representatives, both in the delegation and in the Mexico Mission, that the spirit and method of the

portunities in

field.

It

is

be carried out with success

and a genuine blessing from God. In the Central District, however, there have been problems connected with the working out of the Cincinnati Plan especially in regard to the union This press and paper (El Mundo Cristiano). form of cooperation has aroused much discussion and is responsible, whether rightly or wrongly, for the lack of loyal support of the plan on the part

MODERN MISSIONS

158

of

the

ministers

of

the

IN MEXICO

Mexican Presbyterian

Church,

In the last few days before we left Mexico City we had a conference with the Mexican ministers, in which they were asked to speak in all frankness and set forth their opinion and criticism of the press and paper El Mundo Cristiano, of the bookstore and Seminary, and of practically everything that savored of union effort. They made the statement that they believed in the necessity and possibility of a periodical for all the churches in Mexico, and for

a publishing house that would supply the need of

Mexico and South America for

religious literature;

but they also desired a paper of their

own

that

would carry the news and the instructions that they felt unwise to put in a general paper, and in which they would be free to express their opinion on general subjects. They were also anxious to help in purchasing literature for use in our own field. In conclusion we wish to record our faith in the genuine devotion of the Mexico Mission and of the Mexican Church. They have proved, in labor and in suffering, in prison

and

in death, in the

more

than forty stripes often, in patient endurance, in courage unflinching, in the genuine perseverance of the saints, that God has been and is with them. The gospel is a reality to them and the weaknesses and unfortunate things which at times develop are in no sense unique; they have been the common heritage of the Church of Christ from the time that Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth down to the present. From the ranks in Mexico have en-

CAUHDARIQ AZHCA CX 11

U

ES Dt BICttMBRf

PftiCTif^SE

PtEDRA DEL SOL DCi. A><0

Mp-.aatoo ovi'i pi*ii uMQt, of

fc

ot^cuettfiio s n. Pit Gt

fcM PQR tl

Ot CUTQ

UtUB

Dt

U N1VEUCIOK PAR* UHHOdatiffl

t i

i

(I NUtYCt

cM'tut

if A

touirup"

lAionnt occiorxMt oc*,4 tAOD OlH Vt Hi fOHilPttf

51 tHiJittlC A

f '
MU'-Hi

CALENDAR STONE OF THE AZTECS "

Significant proof of their high level of culture civilization" (f>. 71).

and

MODERN MISSIONS

158

the

of

ministers

the

of

IN

MEXICO

Mexican Presbyterian

Church. last few days before we left Mexico City a conference with the Mexican ministers, in which they were asked to speak in all frankness and

In the

we had

set forth their opinion

paper El Mundo and Seminary, and

and

criticism of the press and of the bookstore

Cristiano,

of practically everything that savored of union effort. They made the statement

that they believed in the necessity and possibility of a periodical for all the churches in Mexico, and for a publishing house that would supply the need of Mexico and South America for religious literature;

but they also desired a paper of their own that would carry the news and the instructions that they felt unwise to put in a general paper, and in which they would be free to express their opinion on general subjects. They were also anxious to help in literature for use in our own field. purchasing

In conclusion we wish to record our faith in the genuine devotion of the Mexico Mission and of the Mexican Church. They have proved, in labor and in suffering, in prison and in death, in the more than forty stripes often, in patient endurance, in courage unflinching, in the genuine perseverance of the saints, that God has been and is with them.

The gospel

a reality to them and the weaknesses and unfortunate things which at times develop are is

no sense unique; they have been the common heritage of the Church of Christ from the time that Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth down to the present. From the ranks in Mexico have enin

r ;.

.'SV'"

N./>-'

CAUKD1RIO AZrtCA

CALKXDAI! finl

S'l'ONMO

proof of their civili'/.ation

XVv: >

^^'', v

~^'s

PIEDRA DEL SOL

OF TI1K AXTKCS liijrh

level v

''

(/,.

;

/).

of

culliirc

;iiid

PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS

159

tered the glorious army of martyrs, many who to save their lives would not deny their Lord and

Master. called

a Church that can rightly be partakers with us in the tribulation and Theirs

"

is

kingdom and the patience which- are in Jesus." It was the privilege of the writer in the year 1921 to visit the work of our Mission in India, and one morning as the first promise of the coming day appeared in the sky, with some friends we clambered up to the top of the building that forms the gateway of the park at Agra, where there is situated that wonderful tomb which the world calls the Taj Mahal. In the eastern skies hung the wonderful chain of planets that graced the heavens in November, 1921 the most beautiful heavenly display that we had ever seen. In front was the dim form of the building. While we stood on the parapets of the gateway, some hundred feet above

and watched the tomb take shape, its and clearer, its color change grow from the gray of the dawn to the brightness of the

the ground,

clearer

lines

sunshine of the sun-drenched land, beauty after beauty shone forth, and what had been at first but a dim promise of a building became in the full

We

could day a most glorious vision. not help thinking that in India, and likewise in all our Mission fields and we think of it especially full light of

in regard to Mexico there was peering through the dimness of ignorance and superstition which has so long clouded the land, the form of a glorious

made with men's hands, that spiritual whose temple symmetry and beauty are manifestedifice

not

160

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

ing themselves each year more and more to humanity; and that the day would soon come when this structure would stand forth in all its not the tomb of dead love and of the bodies beauty, of those who had gone, but a living temple, the habfinished

itation of

God

united those

in the spirit, in

which should be

who have known Jesus Christ. JAMES B. RODGERS

CHAPTER XVI IN MEXICO AND THE CONSTITUTION OF 1917

THE LAND PROBLEM

other Americans, we had heard " " vaguely of the social revolution in Mexico, and more definitely of the provisions in the Con-

LIKE

many

stitution of 1917 covering ownership of land and the properties of the subsoil which had been the

subject of governmental debate between the United The aim of this chapter is States and Mexico. not an attempt to deal with the question of mining

and

rights of foreigners, but to summarize the agrarian situation in Mexico as well as the ecooil

nomic conditions that have led up to the provisions in the present Constitution which attempt to solve the problem of land ownership. Subsequent chapters deal with political and economic developments since the Constitution was put into effect and with the special bearing of these factors on the work of the Protestant Church in Mexico. The present Constitution of Mexico was framed at Queretaro, promulgated February 5, 1917, and became effective May 1, 1917, when Carranza was president. The Constitution of 1917 succeeds the

The significance of the for articles which provide national ownership of all lands and waters, with the right to create private Constitution

of 1857.

property as the government sees 161

fit,

the provision

MODERN MISSIONS

162

IN MEXICO

for dividing large landed estates and for developing small landed holdings, the ruling against any religious institutions owning property, and the very liberal provisions for the rights of labor, can be

better understood if the historical

these articles

is

made

background of

clear.

From the beginning of Mexican history the problem of land ownership has been a central and decisive factor in the

Mexico.

Sefior

thropology of affirms "

welfare of the inhabitants of

Manuel Gamio, Director of Anthe Department of Agriculture,

:

The agrarian question has been the most power-

ful factor in the development, past and present, of the Mexican people. . The possession and ex.

.

ploitation of the land has been the fundamental cause of the bad economic condition experienced

by the Mexican people from the time of the Conquest to our days."

1

In The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride points out the comparatively small amount of arable land in Mexico :

"Although the country has a total extent of 767,198 square miles (491,006,720 acres) and in 1910 had a population of 15,115,612, the area under is relatively small, being but 30,027,500

cultivation

(about two acres per person), while 120,444,200 acres are used only for pasture and 40,933,200 acres are in forest. The larger part of the remainder (299,601,820 acres) is regarded as

acres

i

pp.

Foreword to The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, ix, x.

THE LAND PROBLEM virtual waste.

.

.

fit

Were

.

Mesa Central and

its

IN MEXICO

163

the greater part of the

escarpments (about 120,000

for cultivation, the problem of

square miles) the subsistence of this relatively dense population

would not be

so serious.

twenty-five per cent of

But its

since not

surface

is

more than

available for

agricultural purposes, it is not surprising that the use and ownership of the land have here presented

problems of the greatest difficulty. So long as there were unimproved lands in the restricted fertile

spots of the

Mesa

Central, or so long as the

was capable of more intensive development, all was well. But when the growing population had occupied the narrowly confined areas and when soil

once the limit

of

production with the

known

methods of cultivation was approached, there began an unremitting struggle for possession of the land. This struggle has been going on in Mexico not only during the past thirteen years but for generaand even for centuries. From what can be

tions

learned of the pre-Conquest history of the Mesa Central, it seems that during the century or more of Aztec domination, and even before, these lands had been the subject of dispute among the various

Indian agricultural tribes. The keen demand for land resulted in the development of a well-defined system of tenure, long before the arrival of the white race upon the scene. The contest has never In these limited districts, Indian and ceased. white, Mexican rich and poor,

and foreigner, cleric and layman, have engaged in a protracted

struggle for possession of the available

soil.

It

is

MODERN MISSIONS

164

IN MEXICO

region, therefore, that attention is largely centered in any consideration of matters related to the land systems of Mexico, either in ancient or

upon this

modern

times."

x

of the present large estates and land holdings in Mexico originated in the Spanish conquerors' practice of appropriating great areas of

Many

land and their feudal use of those this land.

A

who

system of encomiendas

lived

and

upon

reparti-

mientos was introduced, having been employed in the conquest of the Canary Islands and the reconquest of southern Spain from the Moors. " The encomienda was intended primarily as

a means whereby the Spaniards might live in the utilize the services of the In-

new land and might

dians in the development of its resources. At the same time, royal orders strictly enjoined that the

persons and property of the natives should be respected by those placed over the various districts. Within a brief period, however, the system lost its original character and became simply a method of

land tenure, since the colonists soon came to look

upon

the districts assigned to

them

as being virtu-

ally their own and to regard the native agricultur. ists as their serfs. . Following precedents, .

already established in Spain, a system of overlordships came into existence in Mexico wherever the

Spaniards found a native people already settled on the land; and, before the close of the first half century of occupation, a large part of the inhabited

region of Mexico was held in encomiendas. i

The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, pp.

21, 23, 24.

THE LAND PROBLEM "

The

IN MEXICO

individual allotments were scale.

165

often on a

Cortes himself was rewarded with

princely a vast concession.

It included twenty-two towns

its surrounding lands), representing a of 23,000 vassals. The territory compopulation prising this grant lay in what are now the states of

(each with

Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Mexico, and Vera Cruz, and included a large part of the inhabited area of the first two. These lands, among the choicest in

Mexico, contained part of the rich alluvial lands of Atlixco, now famous for its irrigated wheat farms ;

the valley of Cuernavaca, to this day the richest center of cane production in the entire country and the fertile valley lands around the present city ;

of Oaxaca.

We can only roughly

estimate the ex-

tent of the grant thus made, hut the king of Spain is said to have remarked, when friends of Cortes

asked for further favors, that the conqueror already held estates greater than those of some European dukedoms. The areas claimed must have amounted to not less than 25,000 square miles and contained a total population of some 115,000 people, if we

accept the interpretation which Cortes himself in'

'

sisted upon, namely that the 23,000 vassals mentioned in the grant referred only to the free heads

The royal decree granting these estates that Cortes should have the lands and specified the woods and the pastures, all waters, both vassals, running and standing, the complete civil and crimi-

of families.

nal jurisdiction all the rights, in short, which the crown itself in the aforesaid lands. belonged to

In addition

to these vast estates, Cortes also held a

166

MODERN MISSIONS

number

of mining properties in Zacatecas, SuiteHis entire posses-

IN MEXICO

pec, Tasco, and Tehuantepec.

were formed into a mayorazgo (an entailed estate) in 1535, so that the property should pass entire to his heir and remain in the family undi-

sions

As

vided.

late

as

the beginning of the nine-

teenth century this property remained almost intact, and contained 15 villas, 157' pueblos, 89 haciendas, 119 ranchos, 5 estancias, with 150,000 *

people."

Many other states were not so large but it was not long after the Spanish Conquest before practically all the arable land was thus divided up and controlled.

Despite the

many

the country of this system, tain modified forms in the

attempts to free

it is still

visible in cer-

number and extent

of

haciendas throughout the country. " Many of these haciendas are of very great extent it is estimated that 300 of them contain at least ;

25,000 acres each; 116 have not less than 62,500 acres; 51 have approximately 75,000 acres; while 11 are believed to have 250,000 acres apiece.

Mexican hacienda seldom contains

less

The

than 2,500

whether situated in the arid plains of the where land is worth little or nothing, or in North,

acres

the densely settled areas of the Mesa Central, where the price of land is high even in comparison

with that of agricultural lands in other countries. In places one may see the low stone boundary walls of a single

over i

hills,

farm running as far as the eye can reach, valleys, and plains, and a traveler on

The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, pp. 45-48.

THE LAND PROBLEM IN MEXICO

167

horseback

may journey for several days in crossing one of these vast estates." x " The despoiling of the humble went to such lengths that in 1910, on the eve of the revolution, the greater part of rural Mexico was incorporated in about 8,000 haciendas, i.e., holdings not looked after by the owner in person. In Chihuahua the notorious Terrazas had bought and filched and grabbed and wheedled together an estate of more

than

six million acres,

which railroad trains

re-

quired eight hours to cross. It was an area equal in extent to the sovereign state of Costa Rica. No

wonder close students of history contend that the Mexican countryman was worse fed, clad, and housed in 1910 than he had been a century earlier."

2

Special problems had also arisen with reference to estates which came into the control of the Roman Catholic Church. "

No

accurate statistics are available regarding the amount of property formerly held by the

Church in Mexico, but it is generally agreed that was very large. At the close of the colonial period Humboldt had estimated that the different

it

ecclesiastical institutions controlled

property valued

at 44,500,000 piasters (some $65,000,000)'. Shortly after the for Independence a good authority

War

considered that not less than half of the real estate in the country belonged to the clergy, while estimates made some years later ranged from The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, p. 25. a The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp. 82, 83.

i

MODERN MISSIONS

168

IN MEXICO

179,999,999 to 300,000,000 pesos.

So extensively

were private properties mortgaged in favor of the Church that it is said that there was hardly a big farm in the whole republic which was entirely free 1 from some such encumbrance." This situation was further aggravated in the last

by the concessions involving products and

third of the nineteenth century

won by

foreign capitalists properties of the land, including agriculture, mining, and oil, which, rightly or wrongly, many Mexicans regarded as merely another form of monopocontrol of the country and its resources with no compensatory benefits for individual Mexicans. The Mexican War for Independence, begun in 1810, accordingly had social and economic, as well listic

as political aspects. " The chief cause of the social, economic, racial inequality

and and the consequent unrest was the

system of land tenure."

2

Although so much of arable land had been appropriated for haciendas and estates, from the earliest colonial history there had been attempts to protect the Indians and guard their communal lands. "

The Laws

of the Indies

drawn up by

the

royal council in Spain for the proper governance of His Catholic Majesty's dominions in the New

World were very

careful to secure to the Indians

an opportunity for subsistence. About each village with a church was a square, twelve hundred yards i

a

The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, p. 68. The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, p. 65.

THE LAND PROBLEM

IN

MEXICO

169

each way, known as the fondo legal. Inclosing this was a block, a little less than a league in extent,

might

" as the ejido, or common," on which they and grow their food. animals their graze

About

this

known

was a neutral

great haciendas.

Each

zone,

village

and then came the had its parchment

signed by the king of Spain, confirming it in its ejido, which was never to be sold, taken, or given

away.

.

.

.

The encroachments

on these ejidos in

colonial times

of the powerful

was one reason for

the enthusiastic support the Indians gave Father Hidalgo's cry for independence in 1810. But it

under Diaz that they were lost. The law of 1856 frowned upon communal landholding. The arable common land had to be distributed to the members of the village, and then it was not long before the holders were forced or tricked into In a few forceful strokes the alienating them.

was

chiefly

Agrarian "

'

Law

sets forth the result:

The Indian

villages

having been deprived of

the lands, waters and mountains granted them by the Colonial Government, while in the rest of the

country the rural property had become concentrated in a few hands, the great mass of the rural population had no other recourse for procuring

themselves the means of subsistence than to

sell

their labor for a pittance to the powerful landholders the inevitable result being the state of ;

misery, abjection, and de facto slavery in which the enormous mass of laborers has lived and still lives.' "

The famous Reform Laws of Juarez, aimed at the vast holdings of the Church, forbade the com-

MODERN MISSIONS

170

IN MEXICO

munity ownership of arable land and thus forced the break-up of the ejidos. Formerly it had not been lawful to sell the ejido or any part of it without the explicit consent of every

community. divide

its

Now

the

agricultural

member

of the

community was obliged

common among

its

to

mem-

l

bers."

During the past century there have been repeated attempts, both by relegislation and by forceful appropriation, to work out a just solution of the land problem. The excessive holdings of the Roman Catholic Church were under attack in the preceding century. The Jesuits had held a large " number of haciendas nearly all of them of great size and many of them among the most productive in the country." In 1767, Jesuits had been expelled from the Spanish dominions. In the Constitution of 1857, when Benito Juarez was president, Article 27 disqualified

from holding

real

civil

or religious corporations " The clergy of the

estate.

Roman

Catholic Church and the conservatives, chiefly composed of the large landholders, in the three years' war that followed, fought against the Liberals, with Juarez at their head, supported by the Indians and the landless in, general." In 1859,

Juarez declared the complete nationalization of all ecclesiastical property. There was much confusion due to the war and various attempts were later made to clear the titles involved.

The Ross 1

issues

involved

are

clearly

stated

by

:

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

62, 63, 81.

THE INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE The sacred

tilma, or blanket, on which is painted the image of the virgin is in the central background (p. 74).

MODERN MISSIONS

170

IN

MEXICO

munity ownership of arable land and thus forced the break-up of the ejidos. Formerly it had not been lawful to sell the ejido or any part of it without the explicit consent of every

community. divide bers."

its

Now

the

agricultural

member

of the

community was obliged

common among

its

to

mem-

*

the past century there have been repeated attempts, both by relegislation and by forceful appropriation, to work out a just solution of

During

the land problem. The excessive holdings of the Roman Catholic Church were under attack in the

preceding century. The Jesuits had held a large " number of haciendas nearly all of them of great

and many of them among the most productive In 1767, Jesuits had been expelled from the Spanish dominions. In the Constitution of 1857, when Benito Juarez was president,

size

in the country."

Article 27 disqualified

from holding

Roman

real

or religious corporations " The clergy of the estate. civil

Church and the conservatives, the large landholders, in the of chiefly composed three years' war that followed, fought against the Catholic

Liberals, with Juarez at their head, supported by the Indians and the landless in general." In 1859, Juarez declared the complete nationalization of all ecclesiastical property. There was due to the war and various attempts

much were

confusion

later

made

to clear the titles involved.

The

issues

involved

are

clearly

stated

by

Ross: 1

The, Social

Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp. 62,

63, 81.

Till.;

lA'TKUIOK OF TIIK C AT

The sue red

1 1

K!>l<

A

I.

OF T1IK

V1I!(!I.\

OF

(U* ADAM' 1>K

lilnin, or blanket, on whieh is |);iiiilc-cl Hie image of the virgin is in tlur centra] backgruund (. ':/,).

THE LAND PROBLEM "

As

became

IN MEXICO

171

far back as the middle of the last century it clear to the Mexican Liberals that popular

government would never have a chance in Mexico so long as the Catholic hierarchy, controlling two thirds of the productive wealth of the country,

dominated economic

and monopolized the great opinion-forming agencies, religion, education, and charity. The issue was between the thirteenth century and the nineteenth, and there was no evading

The

it.

*

little

life

Indian

'

president, Juarez, in his

famous Laws of Reform sought by suppressing the convents and nationalizing the vast properties of the Mexican Church to transform it from a huge secular

power

simple. survive

into a religious institution pure

and

The till

Constitution of 1857, which was to 191 7-, is acrid with the smoke of this

conflict.

"

The

hierarchy resisted for ten years and earned the hate of the Mexican patriots by bringing about the

French intervention by Napoleon III and

the fatuous

Maximilian

Hapsburg empire. fell

When,

in 1867,

before the firing squad on the hillit was settled that nineteenth

side of Queretaro,

century political ideas were to have their innings in 1 the land of Montezuma."

The impetus toward

division of land into small

holdings received a check in the last years of Diaz's administratiion, and when Madero launched the " revolution that overthrew Diaz, agrarian reform

was the most fundamental part of his program." Such reform continued in the program of his suc1

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

136, 137.

MODERN MISSIONS

172

cessors in

power and

IN MEXICO

in office, Villa, Zapata, Car-

ranza, De la Huerta, and Obregon. In the hacienda of the present time, despite the strenuous efforts of the past to ameliorate the con-

who live upon the land as peons, much still to be won. The peons upon a Mexican hacienda are theoretically free. They have been so ever since the dition of those

there "

is

War for Independence and,

to a large extent, since the early colonial period. As a matter of fact, them of are held however, many upon the estate in

a bondage no less real because it is sanctioned only by custom and enforced only by economic conditions.

In the

first place,

many

of these peons have

proprietary claims on the land which they and their ancestors have occupied and cultivated for generations. While, it is true, their tenure has no legal status, it has generally been recognized by the owners of the haciendas and has survived in custom ,

has proved advantageous to the landlord no less than to the native. Furthermore, the

because

it

peons feel an attachment to the land that a stranger unacquainted with their psychology can hardly apUpon it their ancestors have lived for preciate. many generations, have followed the one occupation of tilling these fields, and have looked to the owner as their patron. As a result, the peons not only feel that the land belongs to them but that

and a deep-rooted sentiment binds In the second place, the peons until have, recently, been bound to the haciendas by a system of economic bondage which was tacitly they belong to

them

it,

to the estate.

THE LAND PROBLEM

IN MEXICO

173

concurred in by the officers of the law. This system was designed by the Spaniards, in colonial times, to replace the explicit slavery which the crown prohibited. By a system of advance pay-

ments, which the peons were totally unable to refund, the hacendados were able to keep them per-

manently under financial obligations and hence to oblige them to remain upon the estates to which they belonged. Occasionally, indeed, a neighboring hacendado might agree to take over the debt that was owing, but, in such a case, the peon merely experienced a change of masters and a removal from the surroundings to which he was attached.

The system of payments in advance is prohibited new Constitution of 1917, but, until agrarian

in the

conditions undergo a complete change, it will probably survive in spite of the law, as it has for sixty years in defiance of the Constitution of 1857.

Furthermore, the peons are bound to the haciendas by sheer necessity. Were they to leave, there is no unoccupied land upon which they might settle and, if this were to be found, they have neither tools, seeds, stock, nor savings with which to equip farms of their own. During the recent revolution, when land was offered free to peons of Nuevo Leon, few of them were able to take advantage of ;

the opportunity (so residents of the district say) because of this complete lack of capital. " The daily wages paid to the peons who work on the haciendas have always been very low. .

.

.

in 1891, gave thirty-six centavos as the the whole country, of the daily wages for average,

Romero,

174

MODERN MISSIONS

paid to

field

mained

hands.

IN MEXICO

The wages

of the peons reat that level until the close of the Diaz

administration, although, in the meantime, the peso to about half its earlier value. At the

had sunk

beginning of the twentieth century the increasing demand for labor was making itself felt, with varying results in different parts of the country, so that the scale of wages showed a considerable range. In Aguascalientes, Nuevo Leon, and San Luis Potosi a minimum of nineteen or twenty centavos per

day was being paid, while in regions where labor was scarce, as in Morelos, Sonora, Chiapas, and Baja California, the daily wage ranged from sixtyfive

The

centavos to 1.50 pesos.

Constitution of

1917 has fixed a minimum wage, but as yet the conditions in the rural districts have prevented the ap*

plication of this regulation." " The peon cabins as usual are built est, stoniest

land at hand, and the

on the poor-

little

gardens of

from one to two hundred square yards are by no The adobe houses contain means flourishing. from two to four rooms and are roofed with tile.

The floor is Windows are

usually earth but sometimes flag. rare, but the cabins are cheered by

potted flowering plants. " Compared with some haciendas, San Gabriel is a paradise for peons. In the State of Michoacan I saw a chain of low hills looking out over a vast

expanse of corn losing itself in the distance. On an eminence is an hacienda house, residence of the administrador, the master no doubt living in Mexi

The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, pp.

30, 31, 32.

THE LAND PROBLEM IN MEXICO ico City or in Paris.

scrub-clad hillside

is

175

Then, for half a mile the pustuled with two hundred

A man could

Lilliputian huts piled up from rocks. hardly stand erect under the ridgepole.

One room,

no windows, roofed with canes, shakes, or tiles. No hed save a straw mat, no covering save a serape. These habitations of men are smaller, leakier, damper, and more noisome than those the

dirt floor,

master provides for

With

his

mules!

these factors in

"

mind

1

the continuous

struggle for possession of land and its produce, the special need of the Indians for protection and aid in this struggle, the oppressive power of the Roman Catholic Church, the four-century-old battle of the

peon for

his just rights to

"

life, lib-

erty, and the pursuit of happiness," and the concessions won by foreign capitalists the underlyas well the as ing purpose present and future

significance of certain articles in the Constitution of 1917 become more clear. Some of the more

important

and more widely discussed

articles

follow.

With

reference to the general question of land ownership, Article 27, in paragraph one, and in

Section VII, reads: " The ownership of lands and waters comprised within the limits of the national territory is vested originally in the Nation, which has had, and has, the right to transmit title thereof to private persons, thereby constituting private property. " Private property shall not be expropriated ex1

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

71, 72.

MODERN MISSIONS

176

IN MEXICO

cept for reasons of public utility and by means of indemnification. "

The Nation

shall

have at

all

times the right to as the

impose on private property such limitations

public interest may demand as well as the right to regulate the enjoyment of natural resources, which are susceptible of appropriation, in order to con-

them and equitably

to distribute the public purpose necessary measures shall be taken to divide large landed estates; to develop

serve

wealth.

For

this

small landed holdings; to establish new centers of rural population with such lands and waters as

may

be indispensable to them; to encourage agriand to prevent the destruction of natural

culture

resources;

and

to protect property

detrimental to society.

from damage

Pueblos, hamlets situated

on private property and settlements which lack lands or water or do not possess them in sufficient quantities for their needs, shall have the right to be provided with them from the adjoining prop-

always having due regard for small landed holdings. Wherefore, all grants of lands made up to the present time under the decree of January 6, erties,

The

acquisition of the private property necessary to carry out the above mentioned purposes shall be considered as of public

1915, are confirmed.

utility.

"

In the Nation is vested the legal ownership of minerals or substances which in veins, layers, masses, or beds constitute deposits whose nature is

all

different

from the components of the land, such

as

minerals from which metals and metalloids used for

THE LAND PROBLEM

IN

MEXICO

177

industrial purposes are extracted; beds of precious stones, rock salt, and salt lakes formed directly by marine waters; products derived from the decom-

position of rocks,

when

their exploitation requires

underground work; phosphates which may be used for fertilizers; solid mineral fuels; petroleum and all

hydrocarbons

solid, liquid,

or gaseous.

i

"

During the next constitutional term, the Congress and the State Legislatures shall enact laws, within their respective jurisdictions, for the purpose of carrying out the division of large landed estates, subject to the following conditions: " a.

In each State and Territory there shall be fixed the maximum area of land which any one individual or legally organized corporation may own.

" b.

The

excess of the area thus fixed shall be

subdivided by the owner within the period set by the laws of the respective locality;

and these subdivisions shall be offered for sale on such conditions as the respective governments

shall approve, in accordance

with the said laws. " c.

If the owner shall refuse to division, this shall

local

make

the sub-

be carried out by the

government, by means of expropria-

tion proceedings. " d. The value of the subdivisions shall be paid in annual amounts sufficient to amortize

the principal and interest within a period

MODERN MISSIONS

178

not

IN MEXICO

than twenty years, during which

less

the person acquiring them may not alienate them. The rate of interest shall not

exceed " e.

five

The owner

per cent per annum. be bound to receive bonds

shall

of a special issue to guarantee the payof the property expropriated. With

ment this

end

in view, the Federal

Congress law authorizing the States to issue bonds to meet their agrarian obligashall issue a

tions.

"

f

.

The

govern the extent of the family patrimony, and determine what property shall constitute the same on the basis of its inalienability; it shall not be subject to attachment or to any charge local laws shall

whatever.

"All contracts and concessions made by former governments from and after the year 1876, which shall have resulted in

monopoly of lands, waters, and natural resources of the Nation by a single the

individual or corporation, are declared subject to revision, and the Executive is

authorized to declare those null and void

which

seriously

interest."

prejudice

the

public

x

With

reference to religious institutions owning property, Article 27, Section II, reads: "

i

The

religious institutions

known

The Mexic/an Tear Book for 1922-19% pp.

as churches, 126, 127, 129.

THE LAND PROBLEM IN MEXICO

179

irrespective of creed, shall in no case have legal capacity to acquire, hold, or administer real prop-

erty or loans

made on such

real property; all such

real property or loans as may be at present held by the said religious institutions, either on their

own

behalf or through third parties, shall vest in and anyone shall have the right to de-

the Nation,

nounce property so held. Presumptive proof s shall be sufficient to declare the denunciation well Places of public worship are the property of the Nation, as represented by the Federal Government, which shall determine which of them

founded.

may

continue to be devoted to their present pur-

poses.

Episcopal residences, rectories, seminaries,

orphan asylums, or collegiate establishments of religious institutions, convents, or any other buildings built or designed for the administration, propaganda, or teaching of any religious creed shall forthwith pass, as of full right, to the legal ownership of the Nation to be used exclusively for the public services of the Federation, or of the States,

within their respective jurisdictions. All places of public worship which shall later be erected shall 1

be the property of the Nation." Chapter I, Article 3, reads in part: "

Instruction given in public institutions of learn-

ing shall be secular. Primary instruction, whether higher or lower, given in private institutions shall likewise be secular. No religious corporation or minister of any creed shall establish or direct schools of primary instruction." i

The Mexican Year Book for 1982-1924,

p. 128.

MODERN MISSIONS

180

IN MEXICO

E. A. Ross summarizes the provisions relating Church as follows At first blush the Catholic Church, which has

to the "

:

the allegiance of at least ninety-five per cent of Mexican adults, seems to be hounded and perse-

cuted by the State. forbidden:

By

the Constitution of 1917

it is

"

To own real estate or mortgages on same. To own church buildings or any other buildings. " To possess invested funds or other productive

"

property. "

To To " To " To "

maintain convents or nunneries. conduct primary schools. direct or administer charitable institutions.

solicit funds for its support outside of church buildings. " To hold religious ceremonies outside of church

buildings. " To clothe their calling."

"The

its

ministers with a garb indicative of

*

Sections referring to subsoil properties, 27, Section I, referring to the rights of

and Article

foreigners who desire to own property or to secure concessions in Mexico, have been the subject of

much

discussion within recent

months on both

sides

of the Rio Grande. "

Only Mexican

Article 27, Section I, reads: Mexicans by birth or naturalization and

have the right to acquire and their appurteownership nances, or to obtain concessions to develop mines, waters, or mineral fuels in the Republic of Mexico. associations

in lands, waters,

i

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

134, 135.

THE LAND PROBLEM

IN

The Nation may grant the same

MEXICO

181

right to foreigners,

provided they agree before the Department of Foreign Affairs to be considered Mexicans in respect to such property, and accordingly not to invoke the protection of their governments in respect to the same, under penalty, in case of breach, of

Nation of property so acquired. Within a zone of 100 kilometers from the frontiers, and of fifty kilometers from the seacoast, no forforfeiture to the

eigner shall under any conditions acquire direct 1 ownership of lands and waters." Article 123 of the Constitution contains a

list

and protection of the history and present circumstances of the peon, is most impressive. These provisions have been thus summarized " In 1916 a proclamation was issued by Presiof provisions for the welfare

labor, which, to one

who knows

:

dent Carranza making it a criminal offense punishable by death for any workman to engage in a

However, the friends of the working class took alarm and in Article 123 of the Constitution of 1917 Mexican labor has been given a charter of rights such as no other labor ever had. Every deThe vice that has found favor anywhere is here. strike.

decrees the eight-hour working day, the seven-hour working night, the six-hour day for working children twelve to sixteen, no night work article

for

women and

children, one

day of

rest in seven, a

vacation on pay for childbearing, a living wage, no garnishment of the living wage, enforced profit sharing, i

cash wages,

double pay for overtime,

The Mexican Tear Book, 1922-1924, pp.

127, 128.

MODERN MISSIONS

182

IN MEXICO

housing for workingmen, accident compensation, safe

and sanitary work

places, right to organize, shut to strike or enforced settlement down, right of industrial disputes, three months' wages for un-

warranted dismissal, worker's lien, immunity of wages from attachment, free employment bureaus, no contracting out of workingmen's rights, social x

insurance, cooperative building associations." Some of the results of the attempt to put the

provisions of the Constitution of 1917 into effect are described in the following chapter. i

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Boss, pp.

114, 115.

DANCERS AT THE FESTIVAL OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE "

Thus the old Indian impulses to worship by dance and music had been incorporated as a part .of the ritual of the local Roman Catholic Church" (p. 75).

The

University of Chicago Libraries

MODERN MISSIONS

182

IN

MEXICO

housing for workingmen, accident compensation, safe

and sanitary work

places, right to organize, to or shut strike down, enforced settlement right of industrial disputes, three months' wages for un-

warranted dismissal, worker's lien, immunity of wages from attachment, free employment bureaus, no contracting out of workingmen's rights, social x

insurance, cooperative building associations." Some of the results of the attempt to put the

provisions of the Constitution of 1917 into effect are described in the following chapter. 1

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

114, 115.

DANCHKS AT "

Thus

Til

1C

KK.ST1Y.U,

OK THK VllUilX OF


DAM' IMC

Indian impulses to worship hy clanc'c and music a part of the ritual of the " local Roman Catholic C'lniroh ?<). ()>.

the old

had been incorpuraled as

The

University of Chicago Libraries

CHAPTER XVII SOME POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1917

HPHE JL

developments since the coming into effect

of the Constitution of 1917 have been of

and international importance. There is here for but the briefest summary of these space results, politically, diplomatically, and in the sphere national

The effects of upon religious Chapter XVIII.

of practical economics. tutional limitations put

discussed in

the consti-

bodies are

* Diplomatically and internationally, Article 27 raised direct questions from foreign nations as to the rights of their citizens, with special regard as to whether or not the provisions of the Constitution should be retroactive. The debate and lack of

agreement on this subject delayed recognition of the Obregon government by the United States for more than a year.

On June

7,

1921, Secretary

Hughes

issued this

statement: "

The fundamental question which confronts the Government of the United States in considering its relations with

Mexico

the safeguarding of property rights against confiscation. Mexico is free to adopt any policy which she pleases with respect to *

is

See preceding chapter. 183

MODERN MISSIONS

184

IN MEXICO

her public lands, but she is not free to destroy without compensation valid titles which have been obtained by American citizens under Mexican laws.

A confiscatory policy strikes not only at the interests of particular individuals,

but at the foundations

of international intercourse. "

This question

inserted in the

is

vital because of the provisions

Mexican Constitution promulgated

If these provisions are to be put into effect retroactively, the properties of American citi-

in 1917.

zens will be confiscated on a great scale. This would constitute an international wrong of the

gravest character, and this Government could not submit to its accomplishment. If it be said that

wrong is not intended, and that the Constitution of Mexico of 1917 will not be construed to

this

permit, or enforced so as to effect confiscation, then it is important that this should be made clear by

guarantees in proper form. The provision of the Constitution and the Executive Decrees, which have been formulated with confiscatory purposes,

make

it

obviously necessary that the purposes of

Mexico should be

definitely set forth.

Government has proposed a "Accordingly treaty of amity and commerce with Mexico, in which Mexico will agree to safeguard the rights of property which attached before the Constitution of 1917 was promulgated. The question, it will be this

observed, is not one of a particular administration, but of the agreement of the Nation in proper form

which has become necessary as an international matter because of the provisions of its domestic

DEVELOPMENTS

185

If Mexico does not contemplate a confiscatory policy, the Government of the United States can conceive of no possible objection to the

legislation.

treaty. "

The

question of recognition is a subordinate one, but there will be no difficulty as to this, for, if General Obregon is ready to negotiate a proper treaty and it is drawn so as to be negotiated with him, the making of the treaty in proper form will

accomplish the recognition of the Government that

makes it." In his message

Mexican Congress, on President September 10, 1922, Obregon reviewed to the

the attitudes of the two governments as he had explained them to the Congress in his message of

1921:

"Attitude of the American Government:

To

refuse to recognize the present Government of Mexico, or to renew diplomatic relations with it, so long as it fails to secure those guarantees which, in its opinion, are necessary for the security of rights legally acquired by American citizens in our territory, previous to the adoption of the Constitu-

tion of 1917.

The Department

of State in

Wash-

27, 1921, a ington, proposed to that end, on project for a Commercial Treaty, containing stipulations for the accomplishment of that end. " Attitude of the Mexican Government Rather

May

:

than accept a conditional recognition on the part of any foreign government, for the sake of obvious considerations of dignity and convenience, it ' would rather eliminate through the natural '

MODERN MISSIONS

186

development of

its

political

IN MEXICO

and administrative

program any occasion for promises which might humiliate it, and continue in this way until the situation be considered sufficiently free from obstacles as to be recognized without loss of national dignity

and sovereignty, and to be able then to formulate whatever treaties might be judged necessary for the greater cordiality in the renewed diplomatic relations."

1

The Mexican Government refused

to agree to commit itself in any treaty with regard to its attitude toward these debated subjects, as suggested

by Secretary Hughes, and advanced a counter proposal, thus described by President Obregon in his congressional

"

As

the State

message of September, 1921

Department

in

:

Washington con-

tinued to urge the signing of the Commercial Treaty in order that it might recognize the Gov-

ernment of Mexico, and as

it would submit for our consideration a plan for a compact to be the creatafter ratification of the Treaty signed ing the Joint Commission for the study and settlement of all claims pending between the two governments, the Executive, ever faithful to that policy of reconciliation which has served as his guide, made a counterproposal calling for two compacts: (1) The first, which would correspond to the general

invitation of

July 12, 1921, to all governments might have claims pending for damage sustained in the course of the Mexican an invitation, as I have already exRevolution

whose

citizens

i

The Mexican Tear Book, 1922-1924, pp.

73,

74.

DEVELOPMENTS

187

plained, based on Article 50 of the Decree of

May 10, 1913, and on Article 130, revised, of the Law of December 24, 1917 which would not have the character of reciprocity, but

would aim,

Mexican Government contrary

to the usual con-

ventionalities thus defined

as the

only to compensate American interests for losses sustained in Mexico it,

;

and for greater proof of the good will of the proposing party and of its desire to satisfy all just claims, these claims would be determined (to the greater advantage of the claimants) in a simple spirit of equity. With the acceptance of this compact the Government of Mexico would be im-

without loss of national prestige; and (2) would then proceed to the second compact by virtue of which the Joint Commission would be established to decide according to the plicitly recognized

principles of international law all the other difficulties which have arisen between the two govern-

ments from the signing of the Convention of July 4, 1868, up to the date of the one under discussion now. With the field thus clear of present and past difficulties, it would be possible to proceed to the study of a treaty, if that be considered an efficient basis for the further

matic relations."

development of future diplo-

*

Commissioners from the two countries met in conference in Mexico City from May 14 to August 15, 1923, and as a result of these conferences, the

two governments agreed to a Special and a General " Claims Convention. The Special Convention proi

The Mexican Tear Book, 1922-1924,

p.

75.

188

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

and amicable adjustment Mexico of claims against arising from losses or damages suffered by American citizens through revolutionary acts within the period from Novemvides for the settlement

ber 20, 1910, to

May

31, 1920, inclusive." "

The

General Convention provides for the settlement and amicable adjustment of all the claims of American citizens against Mexico, and of all claims of citizens of

Mexico against the Government of

the United States."

On September 8, 1923, the American Secretary of State issued a statement in regard to the two Claims Conventions. Concerning the Commissions up in accordance with these Conventions,, he said: " The General Claims Commission and the Special Claims Commission which are to be created under the terms of these Conventions are to be composed of three members each, one to be appointed by the President of the United States, one by the President of Mexico, and the third by mutual agreement between the two governments, or in case of failure to agree, by the President of the Permanent Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. The Special Claims Commission is to meet at Mexico City and the General Claims Commission at Wash-

to be set

ington within six months after the exchange of ratifications of the respective conventions, and the Commissions have the power to fix the time and

place of their subsequent meetings. The Conventions provide for the appointment by each govern-

DEVELOPMENTS

189

ment

of the necessary agents and counsel to present arguments in favor of or against any claim, and

the decision of the majority of the members of the Commission is to be the decision of the Commission."

In his letter dated January 15, 1924, addressed to Senator Lodge, Secretary Hughes, referring to the recognition of Mexico and the Claims Conventions signed by the two governments, thus summarized the position of the United States Govern-

ment " In :

the Department's instructions given to the when they proceeded to Mexico it

commissioners

was pointed out that the fundamental issue between the United States and Mexico was the safeguarding of American property rights in Mexico, especially as against a confiscatory application of the provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917,

and that the principal questions arising from issue related: " First, to the restoration of

this

proper reparation

the taking of lands owned by the American citizens prior to May 1, 1917. " Second, to the obtaining of satisfactory asf or,

surances against confiscation of the subsoil interests in lands owned by American citizens prior to

May "

1,

1917.

Third, to the conventions. .

.

making

of appropriate claims

.

"

Perhaps I should point out that the agrarian problem in Mexico, the avowed purpose of which is

to provide for the needs of rural communities,

190

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

most important questions from the standpoint of Mexican policy as well as from that of American interests in Mexico. Provision was made in the Mexican Constitution of 1917 for the involves

taking of large landholdings for division into small tracts, but without provision for the compensation

These holdings are often very large, of from hundreds of thousands of acres consisting of to millions The carrying out of this acres.

of the owners.

policy resulted in great injury to American landholders in Mexico, and consequently this Governfull sympathy with the efMexican authorities to readjust large holdings so as to meet the natural demands of the people of Mexico, at the same time protested and

ment, while expressing forts of the

were to be taken they should be paid for. " It should be understood that an ejido constitutes a commons or an area of communal propinsisted that if properties .

*

.

.

'

erty deemed to be important for villages and other communities. The problem presented in the negotiations was with respect to the best manner of

securing substantial protection for American interests against an improper expropriation, while at the

same time satisfying the natural desire for reasonable communal properties or ejidos." The General Claims Convention was signed at Washington, September 8, 1923, ratification was advised by the Senate, January 23, 1924, the Convention was signed by the President for the United February 4, 1924, ratified by Mexico, February 16, 1924, and the Convention was proStates,

DEVELOPMENTS

191

claimed, March 3, 1924. The Special Claims Convention was signed at Mexico City, September 10, 1923, was approved by the United States Senate

and by the President and ratified by Mexico, on the same dates as the General Claims Convention, and was proclaimed on February 23, 1924. When agreement was reached regarding these Conventions early in September, 1923, formal recognition was accorded to Mexico by the United States on September

3,

1923.

Since that date the

American Embassy has been reopened in Mexico City and an ambassador has represented the United States there.

The

revolution, which broke

out

against President Obregon and against the presidential candidate, General Plutarco Elias Calles, lasted from December, 1923, until April, 1924.

The United States Government through the shipment of arms to the Federal Mexican Government contributed largely to its stability and the revolution was suppressed. In the summer of 1924, General Calles was elected President to succeed General Obregon and was inaugurated in Mexico City on November 30, 1924. In the sphere of practical economics the results of the attempts to enforce the Constitution of 1917 have not been so spectacular or dramatic as in the diplomatic world, although the conception involved is

in "

its

own

When

field fully as notable.

the

work

is

completed,

it

will take

rank

as one of the giant agrarian adjustments of history. In scope the land distributions in ancient Greece,

the

work

of

the

land commission of Tiberius

MODERN MISSIONS

192

IN MEXICO

Gracchus or that of the Irish Land Commission are hardly to be compared with it. For parallel, one must look to the achievements of the Russian in 1861, provided with land the * million twenty-four emancipated serfs." Although it has not been found practicable to

Commission which,

carry out in complete detail the economic program outlined in the Constitution, there has been genuine progress. "

Several plans are being followed. In the first place, public lands which had been given out to

companies or individuals in violation of the laws are being reclaimed for the nat&n to be divided up into small holdings. According to official reports, over 15,000,000 hectares had thus been restored to the nation

up

to the

end of 1918.* ...

Something

has been done also toward securing land for distribution among agricultural villages on the old

Many towns system of communal holdings. have been given ejidos, either those which they had .

.

.

The usual past years or new lands. area aimed at for the pueblo is the traditional one

lost in

.

.

.

square league (about 4387 acres) but many towns receive less and a few at least double that amount.

The

allotments

made

to

individuals

group-holding vary from three

to

from

this

twenty-four

hectares according to the character of the soil 2 particularly according to the water supply."

and

In Michoacan a law was enacted on March *

A

1

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, p. 86. The Land Systems of Mexico, G, M, McBride, pp. 160,

2

hectare equals 2.47 acres. 161.

5,

DEVELOPMENTS 1920, the follows

principal

features

of

193

which

are

as

:

"

All land in the state

is

divided into four classes:

(a) irrigated lands; (b) unirrigated agricultural lands; (c) forests; (d) grass, hilly, or swamp lands. No individual or society may hold more than the

following: (a) of irrigated lands 400-600 hectares (&) of unirrigated agricultural lands 800-1200 ;

hectares; (c) of forests 1200-1800 hectares; (d) of grass, hilly, or swamp lands, 2400-3600 hectares. All persons who own properties larger than the

may select, within a stated time, the portion not exceeding those dimensions which they wish to keep, heing obliged to offer the rest

limit stipulated

for sale or request the state government to do so. The price is to he assessed value plus ten per cent

and plus the value of any improvements introduced. Purchasers of the lands so sold

may make

the payTransfer of

ments in twenty yearly installments. property and recording it in the state registry shall be entirely free of all taxation. No one may purchase irrigated or unirrigated agricultural lands greater than the eighth part of that allowed the

present holders, or forested, hilly, or swamp lands 1 greater than the fourth part of that so allowed."

In San Luis Potosi

"

the hacendados are given a year to divide their estates, and if they neglect to do so the state may go about it. In the western

San Luis Potosi the owner may himself any block of 10,000 acres in his

semiarid section of reserve for

hacienda; in the middle section, 7500 acres; in the 1

The Land Systems of Mexico, G. M. McBride, pp.

167, 168.

MODERN MISSIONS

194

IN MEXICO

well-watered eastern section, 5000 acres. The rest may be taken, divided into single-family farms, and sold to persons who are equipped to work a farm. The buyer pays down a twentieth of the purchase

and the rest in nineteen annual installments. The farm cannot be alienated until fully paid for. No hacienda is divided unless there are on file

price

enough applications for land to justify it. The hacendado receives the appraised value of his land, plus ten per cent, in six per cent bonds, which constitute a first mortgage on the farms created and, 1

besides, are guaranteed by the state. " to September, 1922, dotations

Up

and

restitu-

tions of ejidos officially reported to the public press of Mexico had been made in favor of 520 towns

General Obregon assumed the presidency. Lands totaling 886,156 hectares had been alienated in favor of 119,649 citizens of the republic, 949 subdivisions having been effected. Only a small proportion of dotations had been made from the public since

lands."

2

As

to the general question whether or not these laws, both with reference to land and to the largely

increased privileges of labor, will work out successfully, the general opinion of those informed is that the present generation of peons are not able to take full advantage of the rights now given to them but that there is hope in the future. " On the practical side, rather than the legal, it is

urged by objectors that the Indians do not want 1 2

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp. The Mexican Tear Book, 1922-1924, p. 239.

90, 91.

"

*

*'i

*

*

**

^'--V'VV^* Vv ii

i

t

*

*

S

*

\.
<.T4W-iJ

r-vlft!

THE BLACK CHRIST OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM "

The verses

of Sidney Lanier which speak of the grace and beauty of the 'Crystal Christ' took on a new

meaning"

(P. 67).

The

University of Chicago Libraries

MODERN MISSIONS

194

IN MEXICO

well-watered eastern section, 5000 acres. The rest may be taken, divided into single-family farms, and sold to persons who are equipped to work a farm. The buyer pays down a twentieth of the purchase price

and

the rest in nineteen annual installments.

The farm cannot be

No

hacienda

is

alienated until fully paid for.

divided unless there are on

file

enough applications for land to justify it. The hacendado receives the appraised value of his land, plus ten per cent, in six per cent bonds, which constitute a first mortgage on the farms created and, 1

besides, are guaranteed by the state. " to September, 1922, dotations

Up

and

restitu-

tions of ejidos officially reported to the public press of Mexico had been made in favor of 520 towns

General Obregon assumed the presidency. totaling 886,156 hectares had been alienated in favor of 119,649 citizens of the republic, 949 subdivisions having been effected. Only a small prohad been made from the public of dotations portion

since

Lands

lands."

2

As

to the general question whether or not these both with reference to land and to the largely laws, increased privileges of labor, will work out successfully, the general opinion of those

informed

is

that

the present generation of peons are not able to take full advantage of the rights now given to them

but that there "

is

is

hope in the future.

On

the practical side, rather than the legal, it urged by objectors that the Indians do not want 1 2

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp. The Mexican Year Book, 1922-1924, p. 239.

90, 91.

I**'

*

i

fc'

THE BLACK CM HIST OF HO MAX CATHOLICISM "The

verses

of Sidney Lanier which speak of the "-race and beauty of the 'Crystal Christ' took on a new'"

meaning"

(P.

G7).

DEVELOPMENTS

195

lands unless incited to covet them by so-called intellectuals; that they do not cultivate them effectively

when they obtain them, and

that agricultural

production has declined because of the agrarian *

program." "

The

social tradition (with reference to labor)

from time immemorial has been that of sharp contrast, abysmal cleavage, between the privileged few and the submerged masses. The present a effort to correct Constitution makes desperate .

the

evil,

.

.

with results that are as yet disturbing

to the social organization and the economic outlook. The provisions of the fundamental law on

labor are

dangerous, not

so

much

because

of

the ideals sought, as because of lack of discrimination in details or of wisdom in methods 2

employed." " I have not met one American who estimates that more than a tenth of the peons are equal to farming a piece of land successfully on their own

The more common opinion is that perhaps two or three per cent might make good as independent cultivators. While all the Americans, account.

whether hacendados or not, denounce the inherited land system and agree that the thing to do is to get the land into the hands of those who cultivate it, without exception they put their faith not in the peons but in their children, provided they receive 8 the right kind of education." The Mexican Year Book, 1922-19%4, p. 239. The Government of Mexico, H. I. Priestly. The Mexican Year Book, 1922-19%, p. 62. 3 The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, p. 78. 1

2

MODERN MISSIONS

196

In an

article in the

IN MEXICO

November, 1924,

issue of

the Atlantic Monthly, R. G. Cleland discusses the enuproblem of self-government in Mexico.

He

merates the serious obstacles that have blocked the

path of self-government, surveying the question of race, in which the Indian blood predominates the ;

lack of education

the people; the isolation and lack of adequate means of communication from which the country suffers ; the failure of Mexican

among

society to develop a middle class ; the lack of training and tradition for self-government; the lack of

capable and unselfish leaders

He

;

and the lack of defiG. Ward, the

nite political parties. quotes H. earliest British historian of Mexico,

who wrote in No constitution, even if it came down from 1827, heaven with the stamp of perfection upon it, could "

eradicate at once the vices engendered by three centuries of bondage, or give the independent feelings of freemen to a people to very name of freedom was

whom

until lately the

unknown," and applies these remarks, written a century ago, to the situation to-day.

But Mr. Cleland another note "

at the close of his article strikes

:

To some

degree offsetting these conditions, one gladly confesses that a new spirit is abroad in Mexico to-day which is profoundly affecting the great masses of the common people. It manifests itself in a great variety of ways, chiefly up to this time

along social and economic lines. But no one can as yet define this spirit or say precisely what it is. It may be like the wind that comes before the dawn.

DEVELOPMENTS

197

"

may be like the leaven that leaveneth the whole lump." It may be the forerunner of that ordered It

liberty and genuine self-government for which the distressed nation has waited these hundred years." " This new spirit is expressed in the words pen-

on a pillar of the Bordo Garden at Cuernavaca" during the early stages of the revolution, when the peons were fighting for the victory of " " " Es mas honthe land-to-the-peon program: " roso morir de pie que vivir de rodillas (It is better ciled

1

As has to die standing than to live kneeling). been said of a somewhat similar revolutionary we may

movement

in another part of the world,

look

the waste incident to this contest with a

upon

but never with a sneer. Toward the solution of these problems, and espe-

sigh, .

cially in the contribution it

new

may make toward

spirit in Mexico, the Protestant

the

movement

can do much.

The aim of foreign missions is not political, civil, or economic, but in carrying out the missionary objective there are political and civil and economic implications of the greatest significance. The difficulties of any solution of the situation in Mexico

cannot be denied. " The Indian of Mexico does not leap from a state of peonage to an independent economic condition as an immediate result of accepting the gospel or by the process of acquiring a piece of land of his to find for these people a method of own.

How

i

125.

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

22, 23, 124,

MODERN MISSIONS

198

IN MEXICO

support that will free them at once from the slavery of the old Church (often they lose their work when they become Protestants) and from

the slavery of age-long peonage, constitutes a cult problem indeed."

The Protestant Church

in

had a successful experience

Chiapas has already

been made

members In Chapter

in helping its

to achieve the status of landowners.

XIII, Mr.

diffi-

Coffin outlines the progress that has in thus establishing the colony of Eis-

leben with 130 hectares of good farming land and the attention given to the local situation by the gov-

ernmental authorities in Mexico City.

An

official

of Agriculture, in a letter dated

in the

Department November 8, 1921, wrote: "

I was able to see the Subsecretary of Agriculture for the purpose of seeing what had come of the plan for promulgating the colonization law. I

was informed they were about to send a law of colonization to the Chamber of Deputies in which it is

planned to adopt your system for the agrarian formed under the pro-

colonies which have been

tection of the educational

your Mission.

(

Signed by

Castellanos Ruiz.)

"

Such landowning

religious work of the Civil Engineer, M.

and

ought to be multiplied wherever Protestant communities grow up in Mexico. In education, especially of an industrial type, the Protestant Church ought to be able to contribute much toward the improvement of the standard of living, both material and spiritual, of the great colonies

DEVELOPMENTS

199

Special reference is made to this aspect of educational service in the aim of the school recently established at Telixtlahuaca by Mr. A. W. Wolfe (described in Chapter

mass of Mexican people.

the cooperative plan for the work of at Cincinoutlined in Protestant Church Mexico, nati in 1914, advised the establishing of eight agri-

XIX)

The

.

and industrial schools throughout the country, but there is much still to be done in carrying out this program. Helpful medical service is being rendered by the hospital at Puebla, but much more should be done throughout Mexico in

cultural

type of work, which spirit of the Master.

this

reflects

so closely the

Wherever foreign missions have gone they have included in their range of activities many such types of service, but it is in the realm of the spirit that

Church can make its most liberating and energizing contribution. Mr. Ross has contrasted the spirit of the peon before and after the

the Protestant

revolution " I suspect the main root of the peon's apathy is social. No future beckons him. Above he sees :

glorious beings lolling on the heights in the sun, free from his limitations and worries, but he finds no ladder by which to climb to them. Ambition, if

ever

it

dead in him since watch without a mainspring

lived in his heart, has been

boyhood. because he

"The

He is

like a

without hope. Mexican masses live without an idea of is

what they are missing. With education how they would thrill to good music! How hang on drama!

MODERN MISSIONS

200

But

it is

their lot to be

IN MEXICO

oxmen

;

lead grey lives

;

sit

empty hours huddled in a scrape watchtime ing pass. Melancholy and subdued, uneager, unlit, unstimulated, never gay or bubbling or enfor hosts of

thusiastic save as alcohol

makes seem

blank walls of the

which they are shut.

"

The

new

cell in

chief blessing

spirit.

Penury

laborer, but there

is

to vanish the

from the revolution

is still

now

the lot of the

fire in his heart,

is

the

common hope in

Full well he knows that his children are not to be serfs. The will to be free has broken the his eye.

fetters

which appeared to be forging in the later

period of Diaz. Myriads daily go ill fed to work just as toilsome as ever, but they mind it less be-

and faint, they hear a song of good cheer. Sullen or desponding they are not, for the laws and the government are not against them as erst-

cause, far

and they realize that the future x hands."

while,

own

is

in their

In immortal

verse, whose prophecy has become in recent history years in Europe, Edward Markham has described a figure that might well stand

Mexican peon to-day, with all the pathos of the oppression which he has endured during these past four centuries, the transcendent transformafor the

now

and the terror that might from a misdirection of this whole moveyet emerge ment unless the process is redeemed and controlled by the spirit of the One whose service is perfect freedom, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, tions

i

125.

in progress,

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, pp.

22, 23, 124,

DEVELOPMENTS for

201

peon and patron, for the bond servant and for

the free: "

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, The emptiness of ages in his face,

And "

on

his

back the burden of the world.

masters, lords and rulers in all lands, Is this the handiwork you give to God,

monstrous

This

thing

distorted

and

soul-

quenched?

How

will

you ever straighten up

this shape; with immortality; again Give back the upward looking and the light; Rebuild in it the music and the dream;

Touch

it

Make

right the immemorial infamies, Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

"

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands, How will the Future reckon with this Man? How answer his brute question in that hour When

How

whirlwinds of rebellion shake the world? will it be with kingdoms and with kings

With

those

who shaped him to dumb Terror shall

the thing he is reply to God " After the silence of the centuries?

When

this

CHAPTER

XVIII

THE CONSTITUTION OF 1917 AND PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS AND CHURCHES the Constitution of 1917, Article 27, Sections II and III, are provisions which forbid reli-

IN

gious or charitable institutions to acquire or to hold real property. The provisions are as follows :

"

The

religious institutions known as churches, irrespective of creed, shall in no case

Section II.

have legal capacity to acquire, hold, or administer real property or loans made on such real property; all such real property or loans as may be at present held by the said religious institutions, either on their ownr behalf or through third parties, shall vest in the nation, and anyone shall have the right to

denounce property so held.

Presumptive proof

shall be sufficient to declare the denunciation well

Places of public worship are the property of the nation, as represented by the Federal Government, which shall determine which of them

founded.

may

continue to be devoted to their present pur-

Episcopal residences, rectories, seminaries, orphan asylums or collegiate establishments of religious institutions, convents or any other buildings poses.

built or designed for the administration, propaganda, or teaching of any religious creed shall 202

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS

203

forthwith pass, as of full right, to the legal ownership of the nation, to be used exclusively for the public services of the federation, or of the states

within their respective jurisdictions. All places of public worship which shall later be erected shall

be the property of the nation. " Section III. Public and private charitable institutions for the sick

and needy, for

scientific re-

search, or for the diffusion of knowledge, mutual aid societies or organizations formed for any other

lawful purpose shall in no case acquire, hold, or administer loans made on real property, unless the

mortgage terms do not exceed ten years. In no case shall institutions of this character be under the administration, charge, or supervision of religious corporations or institutions, nor of ministers of any religious creed or of their

patronage,

direction,

dependents, even though either the former or the * latter shall not be in active service." It is clear that neither the Roman Catholic

Church nor the Missions or Churches of the Protestant faith can legally hold or administer property in Mexico. The situation which the framers of the

Constitution were trying to meet in Mexico and the historical background of these two sections in the Constitution are indicated in Chapter XVI. There is general testimony to the effect that the

provisions are aimed at the Roman Catholic and not at Protestant Churches.

Church

E. A. Ross, in The Socia\ Revolution in Mexico, says: i

The Mexican

Ye'ar

Book, 1922-19%lf,

p. 128.

MODERN MISSIONS

204

"

The Protestant

IN MEXICO

missionaries do not complain in their work by the constitu-

of being hampered tional restrictions forbidding a religious body to own church sites or cemeteries or engage in primary instruction. The government has encouraged them

go ahead with their schools and to have no anxiety. Against them the government is not on

to

the defensive as

H. "

I.

The

it is

against the Church."

Priestley writes: inabilities to own properties

1

and

to carry on religious work, which theoretically limit the activities not only of the Catholics, but of Protestant

Missions in Mexico, create another situation in which progress in social work among the middle

dependent upon executive clemency. It true that generous appreciation of the work of

classes is

is

the Protestant Missions has characterized the governmental attitude during recent years, and it is likely that this attitude will be

the influence of the Mission

permanent, and that

work

will increase in

proportion as the service lends itself to education, hygiene, sanitation, agriculture, and elements of culture rather than in religious discipline. There is every reason for generous cooperation of all reli-

gious bodies of whatever faith in the work of improving standards of life and living among the

masses."

2

Only twice since 1917 have property holdings of Protestants been put in jeopardy. In Monterey the municipal government took possession of the 1 2

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross, The Mexican Year Book, 1922-19%, p. 52.

p. 142.

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS

205

Merida owned by the Southern Baptist The Mexicans held this property for Mission. about three years. In 1922 they consented to re-

Institute

turn

it

to the Mission as a result of a long-continued

correspondence between the Mission and the State Department. In Tampico property owned by the Associate Presbyterian Mission was seized and a settlement was reached only after long-continued efforts of the Mission and the State Department. The constitutional provisions have been directed against the

Roman

Catholic Church

and

and against

be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that evangelical church and school properties are not in jeopardy. The present position of the Presbyterian Board and the position we have maintained all along, is have not organized a civil stock as follows:

foreign

oil

and mining

interests

it

may

We

company

to hold the properties of

"

educational or

charitable enterprises "; we are relying, rather, on the deeds to properties which we have long held,

which deeds are in our possession.

As to new prop-

erties, for the present we believe no stir should be made regarding the registry of titles to properties

taken over from other Boards or Communions, but that these Boards should deliver to us deeds which they hold for these properties, together with suitable powers of attorney in favor of a member of the

Mexico Mission, empowering him

to

make

title at such time as may seem suitand possible so to do. This process is going forward now in connection with the Methodist

transfer of the able

MODERN MISSIONS

206

IN MEXICO

Board

relating to properties in

zaba.

With regard

be acquired,

to

new

Oaxaca and Ori-

properties which

may

will be wise, probably, in the present

it

situation to take title in the

name

of

an

individual,

just as properties have been held for the Board in the past, the individual executing suitable papers showing ultimate ownership in the Board.

On March 25, 1922, Rev. Charles Petran, the Treasurer of the Mexico Mission, wrote to our New York

office

giving in more detail the attitude of

the Presbyterian Mission toward this problem. The position taken in this letter has the approval of the

Board: " I have your letter of March 9, written by Miss C. Bahr, regarding the transfer of titles of our properties in Toluca, Zitacuaro, Tuzantla and Chilpancingo to the Southern Presbyterian Church. " We have two property questions in Mexico one, the general question, and the second, a special situation due to this uncertainty of ownership by :

religious organizations. "

We have been holding and are now holding our

properties in the

name

of the Board.

Our

titles

have not yet been questioned, and I believe that

it

best to continue holding properties in the name of the Board, without, if possible, raising an issue, till

is

may be possible to get some definite from the government to hold such property as is required by churches for worship and education and the like. such time as

it

authorization

" will

It

may

make

be that sooner or later the government a distinction between real estate and

(M 05

fc

O CO co HH

O

H W

MODERN MISSIONS

206

Board

IN MEXICO

relating to properties in Oaxaca and Orito new properties which may

With regard

zaba.

be acquired,

it

will be wise, probably, in the present

situation to take title in the

name

of an individual,

just as properties have been held for the Board in the past, the individual executing suitable papers showing ultimate ownership in the Board.

On March

Rev. Charles Petran, the Treasurer of the Mexico Mission, wrote to our New 25, 1922,

York

office giving in more detail the attitude of the Presbyterian Mission toward this problem. The position taken in this letter has the approval of the

Board

:

"

I have your letter of March 9, written by Miss C. Bahr, regarding the transfer of titles of our properties in Toluca, Zitacuaro, Tuzantla and Chilpancingo to the Southern Presbyterian Church. "We have two property questions in Mexico: one, the general question, and the second, a special situation due to this uncertainty of ownership by religious organizations. "

We have been holding and are now holding our

name of the Board. Our titles have not yet been questioned, and I believe that it properties in the

best to continue holding properties in the name of the Board, without, if possible, raising an issue, till

is

be possible to get some definite authorization from the government to hold such

such time as

it

may

property as is required by churches for worship and education and the like. " It may be that sooner or later the government will

make

a distinction between real estate and

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS

207

properties held as investment for income and profit, and those properties which the Church may need for church and school and welfare purposes. " I rather think that we could make the transfers in question, as far as

we

are concerned, but some-

thing might happen that would raise an issue and that would be unfortunate at present. Then, on the other hand, the Southern Presbyterians have organized a Sociedad Anonima to hold their properties.

They have had reputed it is more or less of a

legal advice in so

subterfuge, and I believe that the decision of the Supreme Court in doing, but

La

Piedad S. A., a Catholic sociedad anonima, has shown us that the S. A. is a false hope the case of

as regards the holding of church property. ff La Piedad S. A. was organized in

1902 in

Puebla by the church authorities for the administration of a graveyard, the purchase and administration of country and city property, and the handling of the capital necessary. It was a means fixed upon by the Catholic Church for holding and administering property donated to it. It was intended that the corporation should figure as a commercial enterprise, owned by individuals. The stock was made out to bearer. It has been proved by the government that the stock was the property of the Church and the whole has been confiscated.

was proved that it was not a nor was it mercantile. It

"

real corporation,

probable that other sodedades anommas organized by the Catholic Church with the same objects in view will be confiscated. Some one has sugIt

is

MODERN MISSIONS

208

IN MEXICO

gested in the daily press that the government get after the Protestants also. "

The

decision of the

Supreme Court makes very

a basic principle of Mexican law that no person or association that has not personalidad juridica, legal standing,' as such can ac-

clear that

it is

'

quire legal standing by means of an interposita persona moral; that is, by the creation of a corporation ordinarily having legal standing. " while I do not believe in the sociedad

Now

anonima

as a

believe that

the

Union

"In

means

it

of holding church property, I can be used for the organization of

Press.

the first place the press

is

a commercial

enterprise and properly comes under the commercial code. In the second place a real society or corporation is formed by the transfer to it of previ-

ously enjoyed rights, by the parties organizing the Union Press. I would not have the stock made to bearer as now proposed, as it would be more or less an attempt to keep out of sight the owners, which will be the Boards.

made out

To my notion, name

the stock should

Boards in their would not corporate capacity. be a step in the operation which would not be true be

in the

In

to fact in a

that

is,

of the

so doing, there

established presses uniting in one

commercial enterprise. would be involved.

real estate "

Under

the

Mexican

At

present, also, no

Constitution, there

is

no

for religious organizations possessing real estate needed for the purposes of worship,

provision

education, and welfare work.

The

Constitution of

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS 1917 nationalizes

209

all

churches, bishoprics, asylums, seminaries, colleges. All future buildings of this class will also belong to the government. " There is a provision for beneficencia privada, but over this form of incorporation the government

has very ample jurisdiction jurisdiction which could easily thwart the purpose of the founders. "

I

am a member of the Board of Administration

of the

American School, and we have been going

At present, that of a stock company,

over these matters for several months. the school organization

is

Sociedad en Comandita per Acciones.

The plans

for the development of the school call for the acquiring of real estate and large funds for buildThe present form of organization is under ings.

the commercial code

and a stock company exposes

the assets of the school to all the eventualities of a

stock company, situations in which some one might possibly get control of a large block of stock and force a liquidation, so that the gifts for a school in

perpetuity would be distributed and lost. " In view of the contingencies of a stock company, and the fact that it is not exactly what is

wanted, we are working now on the formation of a new organization not under the commercial code, but under the civil code. It will be based

upon

Article 27, Section VII, of the Constitution, where it is implied that civil corporations can own

prop-

erty which is exclusively destined to their use; and Article 38, Section II, of the civil code which de-

personas morales having legal standing as those corporations which are organized for some

fines

MODERN MISSIONS

210

IN MEXICO

object or motive of public utility or of public and private utility jointly. " The basic idea of the

new

organization to be '

'

American School Foundation is this Both and B have a right to open a school obeying certain requirements of law and local regulaBut they do not want to operate as inditions. called the

:

A

viduals, so they transfer their rights to C, a civil corporation organized under the statutes indicated.

C with the acquired rights runs the school,

conform-

ing, of course, to all government regulations re-

garding schools. The American School Foundation will have a Board of Trustees consisting of

We

are studying the question fifteen persons. whether or not ministers can serve on the Board.

"The

present Board consists of twelve persons.

With

the exception of myself and two women, all are capable and successful business men of long residence in Mexico; some hold high executive

All favor the organization of the school code and not under the commercial. The Board, of course, has had the best legal advice. The problem of the school is not the same as the problem of the churches in all respects, but in some,

positions.

under the

civil

and I "

cite this against the Sodedad Anonima. The Southern Presbyterians and the Northern

Methodists have gone ahead and organized under the commercial code sociedades anonimas and they

have had good legal advice; but to my mind they are using them as resguardadoras,, safeguards,' '

of the property of the church, just ernment charged that La Piedad S.

what the govA. was doing.

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS

211

"

Some have wondered why we have not gone ahead and organized sociedades anonimas to solve our property questions, and so I have indicated some reasons why I do not think that this form of organization will solve our problems. "I don't see how a religious organization can incorporate under anything until the implication in Article 27, Section VII, of the Constitution should

perchance be extended to include religious organizations.

"

something happens, there seems to be nothus to do but to adhere to the holding of ing in the name of the Board." property Till

else for

The

alternative relating to school properties, and so forth would be the organiza-

social centers,

company, as one or two Boards have

tion of a stock

done, having

title

vested in the

new

corporation.

However, Boards which have already organized such stock companies are not now using them, and the thoroughly informed and capable attorney of the Southern Presbyterian Board, Mr. Harvey A. of Mexico Basham, City, does not advise going forward along

this line at the

present time.

If

and we found special title in any other way, then arranging

conditions should change difficulties in

we could immediately move

to organize such a

company.

A

special problem is involved in the properties belonging to the Mission which now are used

being

by the Independent Presbyterian Church in northern and central Mexico, known as the Presbiterio National Fronterizo.

The churches

are self -sup-

MODERN MISSIONS

212

IN MEXICO

porting and by agreement with the Mission are allowed to use the church properties although the titles have not been passed, and still remain in the possession of the Mission and Board. This situation and the agreement reached with reference to

was indicated in a letter from Mr. Petran to the Property Committee of the Mexico Mission, dated

it

March "In

15, 1922:

reply to Mr. Phillips' letter of March 4 regarding transfer of titles of the church in Saltillo to the Presbyterio National Fronterizo., I like to make the following suggestions: " 1.

would

This property has been promised the church

for as long a time as it shall make use of it as the place of worship of a self-sustaining church. " 2. The Mission, has no desire to make any other disposition of the property as long as it can

be of service to the native church. " 3. At this time the titles of all church properties are in question.

They

are

most secure in the

old titles antedating the Constitution of 1917. " 4.

The National Frontier Presbytery cannot

receive property

and hold

it

as such because

it is

not a persona moral. Only an incorporated persona moral can hold property, and it is doubtful whether a religious corporation could now be so incorporated for the purpose. "

5.

The presbytery could hold property by

de-

nouncement as nationalized church property. It would not belong, however, to the presbytery but to the nation.

of

it

The presbytery would have

as nationalized property.

the use

t

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS "In view

213

of changing political conditions

and

the continued religious agitation due to the position and activities of the Roman Catholic Church, it

would be better to my mind for the presbytery to

have the use of the property as property of the Mission than as nationalized church property.

"It can be objected, of course, that the native church cannot trust the Mission. In this regard we are in a weak position, due to the fact that we went against the desires and judgment of a majority of the native

church in the territorial distribu-

tion in connection with the Cincinnati Plan. " There promise to be far-reaching consequences

of that experience which the native church has had, but as one of those who desire most fervently the

development and establishment of the native church, I do not believe that it would contribute to these ends to nationalize the mission property in question. "6. It must be kept in mind that all nationalized property is subjected to denouncement. In case of development of factions in any church, the faction which had the closest political connection could

obtain possession of the property. Possession of any property would be decided by political authorities rather

than by the authorities of the presThe property would be sub-

bytery and synod.

ject to denouncement by governmental authorities for any other purpose that such authorities

might

think took precedence over the church: for school, for barracks, for storehouse. As nationalized property it would be entirely subject to govern-

mental disposition."

MODERN MISSIONS

214

IN MEXICO

Additional Property Needed by the Mission

The two

largest and most immediate needs are sanction and authorization for the building of the

boy's dormitory in connection with the Coyoacan School. The Halsey Memorial Fund of $25,000 will be

made

available to the Mission so that

it

can

proceed forthwith with the erection of at least a section of the dormitory building. Plans and speci-

have been completed and the Mission has voted for the erection of this dormitory. The balfications

ance of $35,000 required for the completion of the dormitory ought to be provided either by a special campaign, to be undertaken as soon as possible, or by considering this item in connection with other important items when the whole matter of using

a part of the receipts from legacies for the year 1922-1923 is before us.

The purchase

of the girls' school property in Merida, Yucatan, at $50,000 is the other large and pressing item. Two or three residences are

greatly needed as described in the Mission's preferred property list.

For some years

the

Board has not been

able to

appropriate any considerable amounts for property for the Mexico field. In view of the fact that we

gave up large and useful properties when we withdrew from the North, while corresponding buildings in the South have not yet been built to replace centers and housing accommodations for the transferred work, it is confidently expected that the Executive Council and the Board will make way for

PROPERTY HOLDINGS OF MISSIONS

215

an adequate presentation to the Church, during the next year, of needed property and equipment for the Mexican field. Nothing will so hearten our workers in

this field as the realization that the

Board and

the

Church

at

home

are determined

upon providing better equipment and new properties for the more adequate care of our new responsibilities, and the hopeful and growing work in Mexico City and in the South. We suggest that the autumn of 1925, or at the very latest the spring of 1926, be regarded as the time when Mexico with other countries shall be presented to the Church in

the United States in definite states or districts, in an intensive campaign of three or four months,

with the determined idea in mind of providing not less than $100,000 for permanent equipment in the

Mexican

field.

DWIGHT H. DAY

CHAPTER XIX SOME ASPECTS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SITUATION IN MEXICO not possible within the limits of this study or comprehensive survey of the educational situation in Mexico as a whole. is

IT

to

make any adequate

this chapter is a statement on public education in Mexico with statistical tables by Senor Moises Saenz, formerly Director of the National

Included in

Preparatory School and now First Assistant in the Department of Education. Senor Saenz is a graduate of Coyoacan Preparatory School in Mexico and of Lafayette College in the United States.

In the

letters written

from the

field are various

references to individual schools in the different Sta-

This chapter includes descriptions of three typical Protestant schools and of the educational The first is a conditions in their communities. of Coyoacan Boys' Preparatory School description in the Federal District, by Robert A. Brown, who has been at the head of this school for some years the second is of,,the Turner-Hodge School for Boys

tions.

;

in Merida, Yucatan, by Miss Eunice R. Blackburn, directora of the school during the past four years; the third statement is a summary of

and Girls

"

"

the aim and principles of the Work Your School, which has been opened at Telixtlahuaca, 216

Way

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

217

Oaxaca, the account being written by Rev. A. W. Wolfe, who with Mrs. Wolfe was responsible for the establishment of this school in the fall of

1923.

A most interesting experiment in the distribution was carried out by the Mexican Department of Education in 1923-1924, when such of literature

as the Iliad, the Odyssey, Plato's Dialogues, the tragedies of J^schylus and Euripides, classics

and Dante's Divina Commedia were printed, and circulated through the schools and among the reading public of Mexico. Among the volumes thus distributed were the Gospels, the first time that any Latin-American nation has officially recognized the Bible in such a way. This distribution was carried on under the administration of Senor Jose Vasconcelos.

A description

tained in E.

of this

movement

is

con-

A. Ross's book, The Social Revolution " " on The Church and

in Meodco, in the chapters "

Public Education."

No

statement in regard to educational conditions

in the capital of Mexico would be complete without some reference to the school, which has been established in the Colonia de la Bolsa, otherwise known " as the thief's paradise." This school is largely

self-governing and

is

tional

a unique instance of educamodern edu-

development in accordance with cational principles. In The

Century Magazine for

August, 1923, there was an article describing this " school under the title of The Miracle School,"

by

Frank Tannenbaum.

MODERN MISSIONS

218

IN MEXICO

PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MEXICO

By

Moises Saenz, First Assistant in the Department of

Education in Mexico

Mexico has good

schools but not

enough of

This, I think, is the briefest statement of the educational situation in Mexico. The failure of the educational system in Mexico is owing to

them.

quantity rather than quality.

One can

find examples of

modern methods

in

almost any school one visits and good schools in almost any city in the republic. The elementary schools were modernized as far back

asi

the nineties,

and fashioned after the best French and Swiss models. Rebsamen, a well-trained Swiss educator, established good normal schools which served as models for most of the schools of this type in

The first public secondary school of National Preparatory School, was the Mexico, founded in 1868 by Gabino Barreda, pupil of the

Mexico.

great Auguste Comte, and fashioned after the ideas of this philosopher and educator. The professional schools, particularly those of the National University of Mexico, are among the best of their kind,

the school of law ranking

among

the very best in

America.

Although her elementary schools are

fine,

Mexico

finds herself in this age of enlightenment and democracy with an illiteracy of nearly seventy-five

per cent, and despite her normal schools only about fifty per cent of the elementary-school teachers in

SAN ANGEL SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, MEXICO CITY

A TRACK TEAM OF COYOACAN PREPARATORY SCHOOL FOR BOYS, MEXICO CITY TPie

Wfeferty

of Chicago

U

MODERN MISSIONS

218

IN MEXICO

PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MEXICO

By

Moises Saenz, First Assistant in the Department of

Education in Mexico

Mexico has good schools but not enough of This, I think, is the briefest statement of the educational situation in Mexico. The failure

them.

of the educational system in quantity rather than quality.

One can

find examples of school one visits

Mexico

owing

to

modern methods

in

is

and good schools in almost any almost any city in the republic. The elementary schools were modernized as far back as the nineties,

and fashioned after the best French and Swiss Rebsamen, a well-trained Swiss educator, established good normal schools which served as models for most of the schools of this type in

models.

Mexico.

The

first

public

secondary

school

of

Mexico, the National Preparatory School, was founded in 1868 by Gabino Barreda, pupil of the great Auguste Comte, and fashioned after the ideas of this philosopher and educator. The professional schools, particularly those of the National University of Mexico, are among the best of their kind, the school of law ranking among the very best in

America.

Although her elementary schools are

fine,

Mexico

finds herself in this age of enlightenment and democracy with an illiteracy of nearly seventy-five

per cent, and despite her normal schools only about fifty per cent of the elementary-school teachers in

SAX ANtiKL SCHOOL

A TRACK

TKAM

Ol-

1

KOI!

(HKLS.

MKXICO CITV

COYOACAX PUKPAUATOHY SCHOOL MKXICO CITY

1-'OI

HOYS.

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

219

Mexico City are normal-school graduates. In

spite

modern engineering schools, her mines and industrial plants are worked and managed by of her

foreigners.

The great proportion

accounted for by the lack of schools in rural communities. of illiterates

is

The cities and large towns are fairly well supplied with schools, and efforts have been made towards enforcing attendance by means of school police. (Education

is

compulsory by law up through the

fourth grade and to the age of fourteen.) villages

and rural

districts

have been

left

The almost

without schools. Porfirio Diaz, dictator of Mexico for a whole generation, was particularly interested in impressing foreign visitors with the educational progress of Mexico, and he established schools in

the large centers of population which foreigners naturally visited, leaving the out-of-the-wayi places to

enjoy the blessings of illiteracy. In 1910, Diaz's last year in office, there were

9752 public elementary schools in the republic (see Table I) with an enrollment of 695,449 children. Counting the children in the private schools, there were 848,062 boys and in the elementary girls schools of Mexico. This was a little over six only cent of the per population of the country. Had every child of school age been actually attending, this number would have been at least three times as great. Even in the Federal District, the center of the political, intellectual, and social life of the country, only about seventeen per cent of the children attended the If all elementary schools.

220

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

children of school age had been in school, the pro-

portion would have been about twenty per cent. This condition was far from ideal and speaks badly for the Diaz administration with its thirty-

four years of undisturbed peace and material prosBut conditions afterwards became worse perity.

during the ten years of civil war. Tables I and II The proportion of the population tell the story. in the schools fell from 6.23 per cent to 4.93 for the entire country, and from 17 per cent to 8.23 per cent for Mexico City and vicinity. Many schools were closed, attendance was not enforced, and, on the other hand, the population increased about a

and a half during these ten years. In 1916-1918 the school system of the Federal District was put on a basis of efficiency never before known. The number of schools was increased over the number existing in 1910 and the attendance was the highest ever reached in the public

million

schools, 104,038 children being enrolled in governschools alone. Unfortunately, owing to the

ment

abnormal conditions of the country, this situation did not last and by 1920 the statistics had fallen far below the 1910 standard. In 1921 the educational budget for education in the republic is

equivalent

was a to*

little

over PI 0,000,000 (a peso

fifty cents in

American money),

about ?3,000,000 being spent in the Federal District; in 1922, the Federal Congress alone appropriated 5*50,000,000 for educational purposes. The Federal budget for education in the year 1923 was 1*52,000,000. have no data at hand in re-

We

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

221

gard to the educational budgets of the twenty-eight states of the republic, but an approximate estimation would put it at some P20,000,000. This would bring the total amount devoted to public education in 1923 to some F72,000,000. If expenditure is an index of educational improvement we can be sure of progress in Mexico in the past two years. These figures are, at any rate, eloquent proof of the

government's determination to save Mexico educationally.

Elementary education is, of course, only a part of the story, although it is the basic part. The of the policy present educational authorities in

Mexico is emphatically in favor of the establishment of vocational schools. In Mexico City alone there were, in 1923, twenty-seven vocational schools with an enrollment of 16,510 pupils. In 1922, the

enrollment was only 14,207. All over the country the schools are being encouraged to engage in vocational activities of one sort or other.

There are in Mexico, at the present time, four one national, and two Catholic universities. The state universities have been established only

state,

The National University of Mexico City the center of higher education and culture in the country. Table III shows the number of schools which constitute the university and the enrollment recently.

is

and teachers in

The data

each.

just given show beyond doubt that while in the past Mexico did not attack her educational problem to the full extent of her capacity, at the present time she is determined to outdo her-

MODERN MISSIONS

222

self financially in

IN MEXICO

order to provide education for the

people.

The National Department

of

Education has

direct control only in the Federal District.

Over

the twenty-eight states, constitutionally sovereign, the Department can exercise influence only by co-

operation and stimulation,

power

although

to establish Federal schools in

There are several ways

the country.

it

has the

any part of in

which the

Department has been carrying on educational work throughout the twenty-eight states. It has estaband educational centers for the workon a program of education for

lished social

ingmen;

it

carries

the Indians;

it

conducts the campaign against

il-

literacy; organizes summer or winter schools for teachers, and so forth. There are six outstanding characteristics of educational effort in Mexico at the present time: (a) it

establishes libraries;

it

The

fight against adult illiteracy; (&) the vocational schools; (c) the effort to make the children

"learn by doing"; tion;

and

(d)

the development of the

emphasis on physical educathe (/) intensely nationalistic spirit of

aesthetic life;

(e) the

education.

The Department

of Education has a special bureau to deal with the problem of adult illiteracy.

In Mexico City and

in

many

centers all over the

country, evening classes for adults are given by volunteer teachers. Special methods have been devised and the teaching of the fundamentals of

reading and writing efficient

manner.

is accomplished in a rapid and There are over 7000 volunteer

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

223

teachers, instructing a total of 13,603 illiterate adults. Even the children in the elementary grades and in the secondary

teachers

and 336 paid

upper

schools have offered their services as teachers of

reading and writing.

Besides the 7000 volunteer

teachers mentioned above, there are

at present This brings the

4,157 children doing this work. number of volunteer teachers to 11,418. Mention has already been made of vocational

total

A

fine school of industrial chemistry has training. been established in the university, trade schools of

are being opened, a normal technological institute for training teachers in vocational suball sorts

is under way. The movement has permeated even the elementary schools where the old-fashioned

jects

manual training

is

being vitalized by having the

make

useful things. Closely connected with this idea are the efforts attempting to realize children

famous dictum of Dewey of learning by doing." There are in Mexico City " at the present day certain schools where educa" tion through activity is the watchword. The Mexican people are by nature artistically inclined. Professor Ross in his recent visit found in the schools the "

copious evidence of and postures of the

ment of Education

this,

even in the bodily attitudes

common

1

people.

The Depart-

trying to utilize and develop this aesthetic of the Mexican mind. Indian quality handicraft and designs form the basis for much of the art work in the schools. Folklore, native music is

and dances are now familiar 1

in our schools.

The Social Revolution in Mexico, E. A. Ross,

Indian

1923.

224

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

blankets and pottery have been made both popular and fashionable through the appreciative propa-

ganda of the schools. The Department of Education has established also a national bureau of physical education. Old school buildings are being equipped with gymnasi-

ums and swimming pools; new school plants are amply provided with facilities for physical educaUnder the leadership of the Department, a tion. million-peso stadium and athletic

public subscription,

is

field,

now under

financed by

construction.

Education in Mexico, just as in other countries, not exclusively a government function. There are numerous private institutions, elementary, secondary, and normal schools, and even two uni-

is

versities.

Most

Roman

of the private schools are Church schools, Catholic or Protestant. The majority of

private schools are, however, Roman Catholic. Statistics in regard to these institutions are very

meager.

About

all

given in Tables I

we know

and

is

stated in the data

II.

Historically, Roman Catholic schools have been established since 1857', to offset the laic nature of " "

They were godly founders claimed, and meant to

government so their

schools.

schools,

contrast

sharply with the "godless" government instituIn fact they were, in many instances, centers of propaganda against the liberal tendencies of the government. As the struggle between tions.

Church and State became a dead

issue,

and

their

separation a settled matter, the bitter opposition

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

225

of public and Roman Catholic schools decreased until now it has almost disappeared. The govern-

ment still keeps pretty close watch over them by means of school inspectors but the inspection tends more and more to become a technical supervision for the purpose of safeguarding the public against

educational quackery.

Religious teaching during school hours in elementary private schools is unconstitutional; it is likewise unconstitutional to hold religious services or religious ceremonies of any kind in school buildings during school hours. These restrictions apply to Protestant as well as to Catholic schools.

These

seem too

radical; doubtless they regulations may are, but they have to be considered in the light of

past history, when the Roman Church was actively fighting the State. The conditions which justified these measures

a feeling

have disappeared, but there is Liberal leaders that were these

may

among

restrictions to disappear, the

Church would again

try her policy of propaganda against public institutions. On the other hand it must be said in fairness to the government that there is a wide margin of tolerance in the enforcement of the Constitution in regard to religious teaching and practices in private schools. At present, private schools are coming to recognize more and more that their is one of edu-

duty

cational service in the widest sense, rather than of religious

propaganda,

They

are, therefore,

co-

operating with, rather than opposing, the government. Just as long as they can follow this course

226

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

of action, they will be serving the interests of the

The Protestant

people.

schools,

it

may

be said,

have from the beginning taken this stand. There has been no ill feeling or antagonism between them and government institutions. Of late, these Prot-

wisdom of supplework educational of the government the menting by opening schools of different types from those estant schools have seen the

already existing, or in places where there are no public schools.

From

time to time, American organizations or

and progress what concrete and

individuals, interested in the welfare

of Mexico, have asked us in practical

Mexico

way

the

American people may help

To

these inquiries I have By establishing in Mexico a nonsectarian educational institution which would, on a

educationally.

answered:

large scale, demonstrate to the Mexican people educational work of the best type, an institution made financially independent, put in the hands of

Mexican and American educators, controlled by both Mexicans and Americans, and having for its purpose the training of Mexican leaders. Such an institution should include

a training school for

normal institute of inand practical arts, a good school of agriculture, and also a demonstration school of elementary and secondary education. Such an institution would go far towards the solution of our educational problem and would be a source of blessing to the Mexican people. specialists in education, a

dustrial

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

-gr-

o

3

1,

! CO s a

3

W

*^

Hi

'M

i-

Pi

O *s

I I &o

8

g-3

227

228

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION TABLE

III

229

1

Showing Number and Kind of Schools in the National University of Mexico and Enrollment in Each

Name

of School

MODERN MISSIONS

230

IN MEXICO

ernment planned to organize 2000. Missionary teachers are being sent out by the government into the rural districts to go from place to place, estabIn this sense only lishing and teaching schools. are they missionary; there is no thought of religious instruction.

Nearly 30,000 adults learned to read and write in 1921-1923, through this energetic educational drive by the Federal Government. Mexico has dignified education with a cabinet office; Senor Jose Vasconcelos

is

Minister of Education.

The Minister

of Education will give financial aid " conwhich is willing to enter into a any " tract with the Federal Government, which provides that the Minister of Education shall act to

state

jointly with state authorities in the direction and inspection of the schools. In this way many of the

more backward

have been greatly benefited. Eighty-two students were sent by the Mexican Government last year to the United States and states

to complete their professional education. students receive liberal financial support

Europe

These from their government.

Teachers' salaries, especially primary teachers, have been raised to correspond to those paid in

A

other professions. persistent effort is also made to elevate the standard of teaching through con-

and especially by exacting a normal thorough training of five or six years. are Titles granted to teachers in Mexico with the same authority as those given to doctors and ferences, institutes,

lawyers.

O EH

PH

H CJ

o < O > O O EH a!

Q

co

s 1 t4 fc

(A

M O ^

^S

Q o

o ^ 02 M

w

PS

o s

>x

to

s EH

MODERN MISSIONS

230

eminent planned

IN MEXICO

Missionary organize 2000. teachers are being sent out by the government into the rural districts to go from place to place, estabto

In this sense only lishing and teaching schools. are they missionary there is no thought of religious instruction. ;

Nearly 30,000 adults learned to read and write in 1921-1923, through this energetic educational drive by the Federal Government. Mexico has dignified education with a cabinet office; Senor Jose Vasconcelos

is

Minister of Education.

The Minister to

any "

of Education will give financial aid " constate which is willing to enter into a

with the Federal Government, which prothat the Minister of Education shall act vides

tract

jointly with state authorities in the direction and inspection of the schools. In this way many of the

more backward

states have been greatly benefited. students were sent by the Mexican Eighty-two Government last year to the United States and

Europe

to complete their professional education. liberal financial support

These students receive from their government.

Teachers' salaries, especially primary teachers, have been raised to correspond to those paid in

A

other professions. persistent effort is also made to elevate the standard of teaching through conferences, institutes,

and especially by exacting a

thorough normal training of five or six years. Titles are granted to teachers in Mexico with the same authority as those given to doctors and lawyers.

>. f.

p *

=1-

?

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

231

B. Missionary Education. In spite of the government's zeal for pushing educational projects, there is a large field for the efforts of the evangelical missionary in almost all departments of education.

There are not nearly enough schools even in the capital, Mexico City. 2. There are no schools of any kind in thousands 1.

of rural communities. 3. In the government schools there is not only an absence of religious influence; there is positive

antireligious education. This is especially true of the schools above the primary and grammar grades. certain man was asked to take the Chair of

A

Moral Education in one of the government schools in Mexico City. Although he said that he knew nothing of the subject, he took the position because of the salary offered. He taught about three

away from

during the term, remaining classroom for the rest of the time. classes

At

the

the end of

the year he wrote a treatise on some aspects of published. Not all thus conducted there are some

moral philosophy and had

Mexican teaching

is

it

;

real teachers.

The present tendency of the government is to look with favor upon Protestant educational work. Many of the men who had leading parts in the revolution and now occupy prominent positions 4.

government, were trained in Protestant The Undersecretary of State, while not attending Coyoacan School, boarded there when a law student, and all his family are good Presby-

in the

schools.

MODERN MISSIONS

232

IN MEXICO

The Superintendents

of Education in the and Guanajuato were both Tamaulipas teachers in Coyoacan, and the former is an alumnus. 5. Mission schools must have the recognition of

terians.

states of

the government authorities in order to have any standing with the public. It is necessary to follow the official program of studies (although other than the prescribed subjects may be added) ; to be under the inspection of the government inspector

and abide in the main by

his decisions and to present pupils of all grades at the end of the courses for public examination by a board which must be ;

approved by the government authorities. This matter of recognition by the government is absolutely necessary as no student will be admitted to higher

government

institutions if his certificate does not

Without this no student, however proficient,

bear the seal of the government.

stamp of approval

can acquire a legal title to practice his profession. 6. Teachers often carry classes in government schools 7.

In

and all

in mission schools at the

Mexico there

school to each state, of the name.

C.

many

same time.

only about one high of these being unworthy is

3

Boys Preparatory School

of Coyoacan. the foregoing it is evident that there is a real need for such a school as Coyoacan.

From

In the Federal District, including always Mexico City, there are only two government institutions which may be called high schools. One of these is commercial while the other, The National Preparatory School, is about equal to our high schools. It

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

233

carries its graduates a little farther in some subBut it has an enjects than do our high schools.

rollment of about 1800 pupils in a community of nearly 1,000,000 people. Not only this, but among these 1800 are very many boys (girls are not adto mitted) who have come from all over Mexico attend this institution which is superior to that of any state. Many of these boys are pensioned by their state governments. Eighteen hundred only! Atlantic City, with a permanent population of about 60,000, has just the same number of pupils

enrolled in

high school! Furthermore, these are not boarding schools and its

from other places are thrown much on the practice in the government preparamuch the same as in a university; school is tory so pupils streets.

The

pupils study,

if

they study at

all,

outside the school

building.

There are private schools, but they are almost always Catholic and a priest imparts the religious instruction.

Some boarding

schools

may

not be

Catholic, but they are organized purely for business reasons, and the morals of their pupils may be whatever nature and environment determine; that is

not the business of the school.

Even

Catholic parents prefer our schools for the training the boys receive. Priests influence many

people against the Mission school, but others, more liberated from Catholic domination, send their sons at all hazards. Parents and former students always emphasize the value of the character-training

which students receive at Coyoacan.

A

sheaf of

MODERN MISSIONS

234

IN MEXICO

might be presented to verify this state^ment. There is no other Protestant school of highschool grade for boys in the Federal District, nor testimonials

any other boarding school for Protestant boys in the Federal District or nearer than Puebla or Pachuca. Moreover, there is no other high school for boys, with a boarding department, either government or Protestant, in all Presbyterian territory.

Students come to the capital from all over Mexico. Everything centers in Mexico City. It is customary, therefore, for boys to come to the are only following capital for their education. the custom by inviting them to come from the

We

"

interior

"

states to attend

Coyoacan.

Without Coyoacan our Protestant children would be compelled to attend either the godless government schools or the Catholic schools, and we should probably lose them to the Church. Coyoacan serves as a preliminary ground for teachers and ministers. 1.

training

Historical Sketch of the Boys' Preparatory

School

at

Coyoacan is forty-four of the first missionaries began

Coyoacan.

Some

years old.

young men in Mexico City in 1873. was organized in 1879 with Primary,

classes with

A

school

and Theological Departments. Afterwards it was moved to Tlalpan, where one of the professors was Dr. Wilson, now President of Maryville College. In 1885, the school was again moved; this time to San Luis Potosi, where it was united with a similar school which had been established in northern Mexico by Dr. Thompson and Preparatory,

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

235

After two years, it was returned to Tlalit remained till 1894, closing because where pan, lack The expense was considered too of funds. of great by some of the Mission because the self-support was so insignificant. In 1897 the school was reopened in Coyoacan where it remains to this day. Until 1900 the school owned no land and was conducted in rented buildings. Then W. B. Jacobs, of Chicago, gave a city block in the heart of Coyoacan. This was a sacrificial gift on Mr. Jacobs' part, as the money that it cost was just what he had saved up against the day when he could no others.

longer earn his living. Ten or twelve years later than the gift he was killed by a street car in Chicago.

About

1901, Miss

McMurtrie of Huntingdon,

Pennsylvania, gave approximately $5,000 in gold memorial to her mother,

to build a chapel as a

Margaret Whittaker McMurtrie. row of dormitory rooms made of the sundried (adobe) brick were erected as well as a substantial

A

stone residence for the principal. In 1904, John H. Converse visited the school,

saw

its possibilities

and needs, and gave $50,000

in

The Board, with Mr. Converse's consent, gold. used a little more than $10,000 of this gift for very urgent needs in the Far East, so that Coyoacan received only $39,279. This money was used to purchase one and a third city blocks, with two residences, and to erect the building for class" rooms known as Converse Hall."

The

Theological Department was united in 1917

MODERN MISSIONS

236

IN MEXICO

with the Union Evangelical Seminary in Mexico City. It

worth while noting that before Mr. Concame to Mexico, four or five of the missionaries had agreed to pray specifically that God would lead one or more of the men, whose names were placed on a certain list, to give the school the land and buildings that it seemed to need. The name of Mr. Converse was one of those on this list. Then one morning the Mexico City papers announced to the astounded missionaries that Mr. Converse was in the city. They lost no time in bringing him out to Coyoacan. He said afterwards that he had had no intention of visiting Mexico until he was traveling through the southern states is

verse

near the border.

Coyoacan Boys' Preparatory School To-Day. There are two courses: (a) Last two years of

2.

"

in Spanish called upper prigrammar grade a five-year of "; mary (&) preparatory, consisting

Graduates from the preparatory enter immediately the professional schools. It carries the student a little farther than our high schools. course.

For example,

the government preparatory includes

psychology, logic, calculus, mechanics, and moral philosophy. There are 120 students, of whom eighty-five are boarders. About thirty per cent are from Catholic

homes.

Many of these unite with the

Protestant

Church before leaving the school. They come not only from Coyoacan, Mexico City, and the Federal District, but from thirteen other states. Lately

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

237

many have come from

well-to-do families, but the Forty graduates of Coyoacan

majority are poor. have entered the ministry.

Others occupy imporand government circles. numbers twelve, although not

tant positions in business

The teaching

staff

of the teachers give their whole time to the It is a Mexican custom for teachers to school.

all

and then to carry classes in several schools same time. Five of Coyoacan's teachers have classes in government schools where salaries are specialize

at the

high. Our principal of the Primary Department receives P2,160 per year; the government salary

same position is P3,650. One preparaSenor Trevino, receives for part-time teacher, tory work in Coyoacan, F3,180; the same amount of for the

work done in the government schools would bring him in P 7,000. The charge for board and tuition is P40 per month. This is about all "the traffic will bear." It is one hundred per cent more than it was only a few years ago. Many of the students, and often the very best of them, are able to pay no tuition and only a small fraction of their board; while some are barely able to buy their own clothes. The man of whom we are the proudest to-day, because of his

Christian character and because of the high position he occupies in government circles, paid practically nothing when a student at Coyoacan.

In 1917 the income was about P3,000. In 1922 the income had increased to about F24,000. This includes board

and

tuition.

Expenses have

cor-

respondingly increased due to cost of food, the

MODERN MISSIONS

238

teachers' salaries,

and

IN MEXICO

to the larger

number of

teachers. (a) To increase the efficiency of the teaching force as there is great difficulty in finding Protestant teachers who are 3.

Plans for the Future.

trained.

To add

a normal course to the present college preparatory. The training of our own teachers is almost as important as the training of ministers. This will require the addition of two new teachers (&)

Little income can be expected those students who will dedicate themselves

to the present staff.

from

to this work. (c) To place the present commercial studies on an effective basis will also require another teacher.

There

is

a great demand for commercial training.

To

lay more stress on the teaching of Eng(d) lish, so that the graduates will be able to use it easily in conversation. This will require an American

teacher he might be a short-term teacher. (e) To meet the government requirements for ;

recognition. This will mean adding to our present courses: French, trigonometry, mechanics, drawing,

music, biology, and possibly several other subjects. It will mean also the adequate equipment of chemical, biological,

and physical

laboratories.

But gov-

ernment recognition of certificates issued by private schools is a sine qua non requirement for entrance into the national university. Patrons are becoming more and more insistent on the school's attaining to this standard: some have withdrawn their boys because they would lose the work done in Coyoacan

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

239

and be required to repeat it should they seek admittance into the professional schools. (/) To increase the time for physical education, and to acquire more ground so that all students same time. This is absolutely necessary in a school where the boys are not allowed outside the campus except for a few hours a week.

may

exercise at the

(g)

To multiply the capacity of the boarding de-

Applicants for admission, even when pay expenses, have had to be turned away for lack of room.

partment. able to

To

all

satisfy the foregoing policy the following

equipment

A

is

needed:

new

dormitory, a real dormitory, to accommodate 100 boys. cannot hold the better class of boys with our present sleeping quarters; (1)

We

nor is there room enough for those who would to come.

like

A

2) new dining room and kitchen to accommo( date 150 persons. The present refectory is only a makeshift.

There (3) An athletic field of fifteen acres. must be room enough for the 100 or more boys to recreate at one time: room for games of all kinds, and for physical training under a competent director. The boys cannot be allowed on the streets, and yet they must have physical freedom and physical education.

4 ) Six new teachers two for the normal course ( one American for English; one American for natural sciences; one French teacher; one teacher for mathematics and commercial subjects. :

;

MODERN MISSIONS

240

IN MEXICO

A

science hall for chemical, physical, and biological laboratories. new site of at least twenty-five acres. (6) (5)

A

is, the whole institution ought to be moved much larger site, which would be ample enough

That to a

for every activity of the school.

The present

cramped, and cut up by This makes disas the boys have to pass across

site is small,

intersecting streets into four parts.

cipline very difficult, streets from one building to another.

Furthermore,

we

are right in the heart of the town, and it is a cause of trouble to have the Protestant students

come

into such close contact with the antagonistic neighborhood. The matter of sanitation is a serious

problem on the present

site.

There

is

no natural

drainage.

Coyoacan takes the place of home

to her boys.

Many parents entrust their sons to the principal with the remark that he is to be father to them and deal with them accordingly. One man from Tabasco, who had no cash but plenty of land, offered to deed over to the school a farm if it would take his children

and educate them.

The

school

may

have cause to regret its refusal some day, for I believe the land lies over a petroleum field. If a takes the whole course that Coyoacan offers, boy he will abide in this home from about the age of twelve to nineteen ter

is

just the time

when the

charac-

formed.

No its

school that is not almost solely mercenary in aims and practices can be self-supporting. Even

those institutions charging very high tuitions are

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

241

Coyoacan needs an en-

usually liberally endowed.

dowment.

Its position in regard to local support peculiar. Being Protestant, it is non grata to the community in general. The Bible is used as a text-

is

book in every year; pupils are urged, though not compelled, to attend Sunday school, and preaching services. Thus, its influence is positive and well known. It counts many of its neighbors as friendly disposed but not openly so. Such as are friends dare not give their support to the school publicly. The Roman Catholic Church's opposition is just as strong as the law will allow. The editor of Mexico's greatest daily, who had been giving large subscriptions to the Y.M.C.A., just last year told the secretary that he would have to withdraw his Other support because of the clergy's dictum.

large contributors acted similarly. The constituency of the school

part poor; there in

is

little

from that

is

for the

most

prospect of great help And yet the doors

source.

coming must not be closed against

this class of boys, as

most of the candidates for the ministry have come from just that source. Every year now, from twenty to thirty boys are turned away from the school because they are not able to bring the funds. Every year the school helps about thirty students,

board and tuition. In order that more poor boys may be received, when dormitory space shall have been provided, and at the same time no greater burden be put on the Board, I can see no other way than to secure a modest endowment. in part or entirely, with both

MODERN MISSIONS

242

IN MEXICO

REPORT ON EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

IN MEBIDA,

YUCATAN, MEXICO

By

Miss Eunice R. Blackburn, Principle of the TurnerHodge School. March 17, 1923

A. Local Conditions. Data Given by the Department of Education. Children of school age in Merida (approxi16,000 mately) Children of school age in state outside of

Merida

51,000

Children in public schools of Merida Children in other public schools of state

10,300 .

.

Children in private schools of Merida .... Children not' in school in Merida

39,000 2,000

3,700 Children not in schools in rest of state .... 11,800

What follows is a free translation of paper sent me by the Secretary of Education: At present there are no exact statistics on the number write.

of people in the state who cannot read or safe approximation is that fifty per

But a

cent of the people in Merida cannot read or write, while but twenty per cent of the people in the state outside of

Merida can do

so.

Attempts have been made to arouse the people an interest in education through special programs in the schools to which the parents have been invited. These have usually been held at the end of the school year and on days of special historic interest. Private work has been done by into

a

s r/l

m

,5

h5

bt

3 p 5
O *

.S

"H _M

w O C

w

Q O

4)

H

be

MODERN MISSIONS

242

IN

MEXICO

REPORT ON EDUCATIONAL SITUATION YUCATAN, MEXICO

IN MERIDA,

By Miss Eunice

R. Blackburn, Principle of the TurnerHodge School. March 17, 1923

A. Local Conditions. Data Given by the Department

of Education.

Children of school age in Merida ( approxi16,000 mately) Children of school age in state outside of

Merida Children in public schools of Merida Children in other public schools of state

51,000 10,300 .

.

Children in private schools of Merida .... Children not in school in Merida

39,000 2,000 3,700

Children not in schools in rest of state .... 11,800

What follows is a free translation of paper sent me by the Secretary of Education: At present there are no exact statistics on the number write.

of people in the state who cannot read or a safe approximation is that fifty per

But

cent of the people in Merida cannot read or write, while but twenty per cent of the people in the state outside of Merida can do so.

Attempts have been made to arouse the people an interest in education through special programs in the schools to which the parents have been invited. These have usually been held at the end of the school year and on days of special historic interest. Private work has been done by into

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

243

dividuals especially interested in the education of the public, also the press has cooperated in this, as well as a few corporations and the school au-

sad to say, there has been shown of this labor. The reason for this lack

thorities, but, little fruit

of interest seems to

lie

in the fact that

many do

not use Spanish in their daily life and that there is almost nothing printed in Maya. Maya is not taught in the schools, because Spanish is the official

language and because there is no reason for learning to read it. The people are indifferent to education because so few years have elapsed since they were really slaves. The egotism and avarice of the capitalists have kept good schools from being estab-

and the results obtained from the poor were established have given no incentive to the Indian to strive for an education. It is not possible to say even approximately what

lished

schools which

proportion of children are without books in our schools. There should be few, for at present only one book, and that a reader, is required of the

The

work is given out by the [This of course means that the child is not trained to get anything more than he learns at school, and is in no way prepared to carry on his studies by himself when his school days are over. children.

other

teacher.

E. R. B.] There are at present ten buildings in Merida in which public schools are held, which are considered

The other adequate by the school authorities. are owned houses which are buildings privately rented for this work. Outside of Merida there are

244

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

about thirty-five school buildings which are public property. The schoolhouses

owned

in

Merida were

origi-

nally planned for but six grades. The classes are so large that sections must be made of the grades,

but there are no extra rooms for these sections. Often eighty or more children are in one class. All of the schools are equipped with blackboards of some sort; pictures showing the history

and

Mexico; pictures showing the " lessons in evils of alcohol pictures demonstrating instruand and nature study"; figures physics, ments to teach geometry; and some schools have sets of weights and measures. very few schools of Merida, and fewer still of the state outside, have libraries for the children. Even where there are libraries there are very few books in them. There are no schools with grounds for games, or civilization of ;

A

school gardens. At present the Socialistic Party night schools all over the state.

is

conducting

An

attempt is made to teach those who must work during the day. [In my opinion, the night schools are used chiefly to teach Socialistic doctrines.]

The above

is all

taken from the report sent

by the secretary of the university. pretation of the situation follows:

A

small per cent of the children

My

own

me

inter-

who do go

to

school finish the sixth grade, a larger per cent finish the fourth grade. The unsettled condition of the government makes the people suspicious of and the children are constantly hearing

the schools

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

245

adverse criticism of their schools and teachers until

they lose confidence.

The

teachers are supposed

to be graduates of the normal school. To graduOutside ate requires ten years of school work.

of Merida there are very, very few teachers who have had more than six years of school work. This means that the best teachers here have had two years less than the high-school graduate of our

country. The teaching I have seen is so poor that the average eighth-grade graduate in the United States

They

knows more than are interested

these

normal graduates.

in the

enough

work

in

many

do not know the mechanics of teaching, and have no good texts. The teachers are poorly and irregularly paid so that there is little incentive cases but

to enter the profession. The field of this school should include

Campeche

and Quintana Roo as well as Yucatan, because to reach any other good Church school requires a journey of at least two days. Since children cannot travel alone, the expense

prohibitive for the class of people we expect to reach. The very rich can and will send their children to the United

States or to

Europe

is

for an education.

There

is

also the racial feeling here against the other tribes of Indians in the republic.

In the

state of

to those in

Campeche

Yucatan.

the schools are inferior

In some of the small towns

there are no schools because

it is

claimed there

is

no money for the teachers although the school taxes have been paid. Except in the city of Campeche they do not attempt more than four grades

MODERN MISSIONS

246

IN MEXICO

what is reported is true, these schools are not above the second grade. In Quintana really Roo there are no schools worthy to be so called, and

if

and very few of any kind at very few people there are able

all.

It

is

to read at

said that

The

all.

Indians there have never been conquered, pay no taxes, obey no Mexican laws, and really have no contact with Mexico, their imports coming through Belize or British Honduras. Therefore the field of this school

is

large.

B. The Turner-Hodge School, Merida, Yuca-

The school was established in Itzimna, tan. a suburb of Merida, in September, 1918. There were sixty-two children enrolled.

The

school

was

established as a result of the work of Miss Blanche E. Bonine. She later married Dr. Breckenridge. There were thirty-two pupils in June, 1921, when

school closed for the

summer

vacation.

The

school

was then moved to the city and at present we have an enrollment of 125, forty-five boys and eighty girls. They come and go, so that to-morrow we may have a few less or a few more. The first year there were three missionary teachers Miss Bonine, Miss Bergens, and Miss Sage. Since then there have been but two at any one time. Miss May McLennan and Miss Eunice R. Blackburn are the present missionary teachers.

At

present there are

Yucatecan teachers and two others giving two hours and one hour a day, respectively. There was a kindergarten until this year but as it did not pay and as we had only a few applicants this year, it has been discontinued. There are at five full-time

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

247

present six grades which correspond fairly well to the first six grades in the average school in the United States, and a seventh grade which is a modified high-school course

arranged to meet the mental

We

are requirements of seventh-grade children. held quite closely to government requirements as

matter and courses offered. Government reports have to be sent in once a month to

subject

and inspectors are sent out at irregular intervals. the end of the year the government requires an examination from the pupils at which their teachers

At

preside. The school

owns no real estate but is fairly well equipped for the work it is doing. The general principles and ideals of the school toward which the present missionary teachers are

A

working are: 1. good school teaching the fundamental branches of education in the first six grades. 2. good preparatory course such as will prepare the pupils to enter any professional school in the city. 3. teacher-training department in which we can train our own teachers and teachers

A

A

for church schools in the small towns. in which

we can have

4.

A board-

at least one

ing department girl from each small town in which there

community, who

is

an

evangelical preparing to be a leader in the life of her community as a teacher if is

possible, or as a church worker. to be all the work of

These

girls are

taught home-making, to play to be at ease, and to know how to conduct hymns, recreational activities.

Rev. and Mrs. J. T. Molloy, evangelistic mis-

MODERN MISSIONS

248

sionaries in Merida,

IN MEXICO

hope to have an established

Bible school which will be really a part of this school, the school giving the ordinary school work to the Bible-school pupils and the missionaries giving Bible classes out of school hours to those of the

school

who

care to enroll.

All of these forms of service we have begun, but we have not been able to develop them as rapidly as we desire, chiefly because of political conditions. The needs of the school are, first, more American help if possible, and, if not, more money to get Yucatecan help ; second, a permanent building for the school. The present building is the best

A

we have been is

vantage

we

able to obtain in the city. disadthat it is now full; if the school grows

have to buy more property near, or build Nor are the playgrounds large enough for organized games such as baseball, basket ball, or tennis. The advantages are that it is near the center of the town, and therefore near the church, markets, and the homes of children. There are two shall

additions.

street-car lines that pass the house.

The rooms

are

well arranged. Statistics,

School Year, 1921-1922

Total enrollment .... 140 96 Average enrollment attendance Average .

Boys 39

Girls 101

.

.

Work

given: Kindergarten, 6 years of elementary school work, and a special seventh grade. Ages of children, 4 to 18 years.

249

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION Teachers: Missionaries

2.

American

1

teacher

1

(full-time),

of piano.

Yucatecan

7 (3

3 half-

full-time,

time,

and

per day)

1 one hour

.

4.

Boarding pupils, 13; semi-internados,

school closed July 14, 1922, there were 88 pupils in school, 60 of whom returned this year.

When

Year 1922-1923

126 Boys 44 Girls 82 77 43 Enrollment November 17 120 Enrollment September 30 101 114 Enrollment October 30 Total enrollment

.

.

90 106

Average daily attendance for September Average daily attendance for October Enrollment by Grades: Total for year Total Boys Girls

First

12

Fifth

27 23 27 19 19

Sixth

Seventh

Second Third Fourth

November

15

12

11

10 5

17 14

2

17

26 23 27 17 18

8

2

6

3

1

2

of children, 6 to 17 years. Internados, 8; semi-internados,

17,

1922

Total Boys Girls

Ages

5.

12

14

12

11

10

17

5

12

1

17

6

2

4

3

1

2

260

MODERN MISSIONS

Children

who

attend

IN MEXICO

Sunday

school, 38.

None

of the Sunday-school children pay full price, and 17 either pay nothing or owe over 100 pesos.

Teachers: Missionaries 2.

American

1

Yucatecan

5 full-time, 1 part-time

(Teaches piano and musical appreciation.)

In a comparison of the two months and a half work accomplished this year with that done in the same period of time last year, we find that the discipline is easier, the children are more prompt of

with their home work, there is less cheating in games, in and out of class, and the average daily attendance is better.

The

teachers are cooperating better, are more ready to try new methods, and are actually grading the children's written work.

Our

boarding-school pupils are more willing and dependable in the performance of their home duties.

In addition

to the regular subjects required

law, namely, arithmetic, reading,

by

grammar, geogand nature study, we teach cooking, sewing, manual training, gymnastics, music, drawing, music and art appreciation. Except for the evening Bible chapter and prayer, and the study of the Sunday-school lesson, no definite

raphy, history,

civics,

religious instruction

is

given.

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

251

On Friday evening, from seven to nine, children of the neighborhood who wish to do so come for games.

At these gatherings boys and girls play to-

gether.

boys and

On

school days, except in gymnastics,

girls

play separately.

The pupils work for part or all of their board. Thus they are taught to do housework of a pracThe larger girls are permitted to make tical sort. some special dish for Sunday night supper. We wish to add three more years to our present course of study, thus giving a good general education through the tenth grade. wish to add

We

next year, or at once if possible, a training school in which we may give practice in teaching to students of the City Normal School, cooperating with the government and giving a special title for the

work.

We

wish to add these departments for the lowing reasons

fol-

:

Because we must have better teachers in Yucatan. We have earnest young teachers, but they have been poorly instructed. 2. Because we wish to train Christian boys and 1.

girls so that they will be able to conduct schools in the small towns, and thus conduct a Mission school in every town in which there is an evangelical com-

munity. 3. Because boys and girls of the Peninsula must have more advanced work. believe that the

We

key to the situation lies in having the children, under the supervision of competent teachers, complete the first four grades at an early age. They

MODERN MISSIONS

252

IN MEXICO

be then too young to specialize in fancy work and piano (a polite way of saying "to hunt a JJ novio ) and the parents will be willing to let them continue their general education. At present four will

years is considered sufficient for any girl and for the average boy. The public schools are not up to our standards for the following reasons: 1. One teacher has from 50 to 150 children in

a poorly equipped room. (A blackboard one meter square is considered sufficient for any room.) 2. Teachers lack both knowledge of subject matter and of methods. 3. Because of traditions the teachers have no

adequate conception of what the children are able do or of how they should behave. 4. Teachers are promised a salary of $50 a month but under the present conditions do not to

always receive

it.

We want to do more for the children of evangelhere in Merida. We want one girl

ical families

from each town community. pay. If

in which there

We

is

an evangelical

have now, I think,

all

who can

we

could have two more normal or collegetrained men or women (college training to have included a teachers' course) and $2,500 a year in addition to our present appropriation for salaries of

Yucatecan

manage

teachers,

this additional

the needed equipment.

we

work.

think that

we

could

We have money for

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION

THE "WORK YOUR WAY" SCHOOL AT

253

TELIXTLAHTJACA,

OAXACA, MEXICO

By

A.

W. Wolfe,

Superintendent of Evangelical

Work

Educational

The projected

in

Oaxaca

a proin our present edu-

school in Telixtlahuaca

is

posal to meet needs now unmet cational system. It will be properly neither an nor an industrial school, but rather a agricultural " " school where students may work to self-help

help meet the expenses of their education. However, these manual tasks will be so directed as to contribute to their education and, not only to their own education but, as an object lesson, to that of the community.

Our present schools are all in large cities. Few of our Presbyterian colleges at home are so located. The disadvantages of the big city school are as follows: 1.

The whole moral

Environment.

the institution

sufficient to

force of

defend

itself hardly against its environment. It has to compete with better financed state and municipal institutions. In a smaller place, the school can dominate the is

town, creating almost a model village that will give students an idea of what their home towns might be. 2.

Spirit of Service.

fed, clothed,

and housed

except in the

city.

are graduated

who

As

The young people

are

in a style not practicable a result pastors and teachers

will not return to serve in their

MODERN MISSIONS

254

IN MEXICO

home towns and who cannot on

or will not

live

salaries that village schools or rural

congregaSelf-supporting native churches

tions can pay.

cannot be formed in

this

way

outside the principal

cities.

3.

The

Cost.

city schools are located

where

wages, rent, taxes, and food are most expensive; " store where the student must wear shoes and "

where luxury

constantly before his eyes. This greatly increases the cost of education and therefore reduces the number who may be educlothes

;

There are

cated.

is

at least five promising candidates

for the ministry who would like to enter Coyoacan in January. They are penniless. Two such candidates are already there from Oaxaca. Only " " six or seven free students can be received all

Mexico, because of the

some from

In a small town,

cost.

twice or three times as far. More poor be can educated. boys have several fine, young married lay workers who want an education. Only in a small-

money goes

We

town school can

this

be done at reasonable ex-

pense. 4.

Quantity

Production.

The Telixtlahuaca

school will not compete with those in the Federal District in point of scholastic rank. There is a

vast

the rural

that needs teachers, with a shorter training and evangelists, a smaller earning capacity but sound religious ideas and genuine consecration than our present schools aim toward. These people are needed now, field,

and

field,

citizens

o r.

H O

)fv '4

1*

M$ i>4^ 1

i

fc)

j'^4"'>

<-,

w

Mii

^

w%

3 O

S 4

s-

CO fc

n l-H

CQ

MODERN MISSIONS

254

IN

home towns and who cannot on

MEXICO or will not

salaries that village schools or rural

live

congrega-

Self -supporting native churches

tions can pay.

cannot be formed in

this

way

outside the principal

cities. 3.

Cost.

The

city schools are located

where

wages, rent, taxes, and food are most expensive; " store where the student must wear shoes and before his clothes"; where luxury is constantly

This greatly increases the cost of education

eyes.

and therefore reduces the number who may be educated. There are at least five promising candidates for the ministry who would like to enter Coyoacan are penniless. Two such candidates are already there from Oaxaca. Only some " " six or seven free students can be received from

in

all

January.

They

Mexico, because of the

cost.

In a small town,

twice or three times as far. More poor be can educated. boys have several fine, young married lay workers who want an education. Only in a small-

money goes

We

town school can

this

be done at reasonable ex-

pense. 4.

Quantity

Production.

The Telixtlahuaca

school will not compete with those in the Federal District in point of scholastic rank. There is a

vast

that needs teachers, with a shorter training and evangelists, a smaller earning capacity but sound religious ideas and genuine consecration than our present schools aim toward. These people are needed now, field,

the rural

and

field,

citizens

ta (0

o

o

'/

EDUCATIONAL SITUATION they are needed in quantity.

Only a

255

distinct

of school can accomplish the work. 5. Contact. Schools in the cities

are

type not

adapted for contact with village people who are abashed and self-conscious in the city. One does not get close to them.

CHAPTER XX

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN r

^HEKE

no work in Mexico more appealing JL or more challenging than that which is to be " " done for the Indians. By is meant Indians not merely the Mexicans with Indian blood, but the Indian communities that do not speak Spanish and live in much the same way that their forefathers have lived during the past centuries. There is a sharp line of distinction between the Latino Indians who speak Spanish and who tend more and I

more

to live as the other Spanish-speaking inhabi-

tants of

only

is

his

and the Indian who speaks idioma and holds to the work of former generations. and

Mexico

own

methods of

live,

dialect or

life

estimated that although the people of Indian blood in Mexico number nearly 10,000,000, It

is

the non-Spanish-speaking Indians total approximately 2,000,000. outline survey of these non-Spanish-speaking

An

made during 1922-1923 by Rev. L. L. Field Secretary of the Pioneer Mission Legters, In his report, dated June, 1923, Mr. Agency. Legters wrote: Indians was

"

The problem

dians of Mexico

of the evangelization of the Inis in some ways far more difficult

than in Central America. 256

In Central America the

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

257

Indian communities are more nearly centralized and compact, the distances to be traveled are less, and the traveling

is

easier,

though the mountains are

higher; while in Mexico the tribes are more widely distributed and isolated. They are in some instances scattered, part in one state, part in another, and many tribes are running into states allotted to different denominational Boards,

For

instance

is the large tribe of Othomi, the greater number of whom are in Methodist territory, while others

there

Northern and Southern Presbyterian Churches; or the Mexicano of whom there are more than half a million. Large numbers of this tribe are found in states under the are in the territory of both the

care of the three Boards. "

The data given below

are taken from Federal

These do not give the number who have Indian blood, or who are Indians as we use the word in the United States, designating blood or reports.

The word is employed in this report as meanpeople who do not speak Spanish, but who use

race.

ing

their native language, or idioma.

"

The number

of people of Indian blood

is

near

10,000,000, but the dialect-speaking Indians are fewer, according to government figures about 2,050,000.

"

"

There is one tribe of over 500,000 population. There are three tribes between 200,000 and

300,000. "

There is one tribe of more than 150,000, but than 200,000. " There are seventeen tribes having over 20,000.

less

MODERN MISSIONS

258

IN

MEXICO

"

There are five tribes between 10,000 and 20,000. There are six tribes between 5,000 and 10,000. " There are seven tribes having less than' 1,000. "

"

That

these figures given by the government are incorrect, everyone admits. As I have investigated

them personally, I have found that

many

cases

the figures are far under the real number. man who had helped make the census said:

in

One

'We

counted only the cities, villages, and ranches. The Indians in the mountains we did not bother with.' There is one tribe of 50,000 or thereabouts, who

were entirely omitted.

These figures are a mini-

mum.

"A

government

official,

who

tried last

Januand

ary to arrange for schools, said of the Tsendal Tzotzil in Chiapas " ' One of the missionaries (public official), :

who

works in the southeastern region of Mexico, Chiapas, has recently reported in a graphic way the semisavage condition of the Indians of that region. Difficulties will surely confront those

who attempt

to bring these aborigines to accept willingly such teachings as are imparted to them with the view to

redeeming them and bringing them into

civiliza-

tion.'

"

The Indian Culture Department, commenting

makes the following statement: If the establishment of schools and educational centers is arduous and laborious in the great cities and important centers of the country where we are

on

this report,

"

'

helped by persons strongly in favor of education and by the great forces of civilization as well as the

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

259

of rapid and easy ways of communication, what do you think of the campaign that the Indian

facilities

Culture Department has undertaken? This is the task of teaching the great masses of aborigines of the whole native territory, beginning with the alphabet and providing opportunity for more advanced education as well as of converting them to the civilize/d life. All this must be done with rather a small budget and has in the development of its functions many and great difficulties at every step. One of these difficulties is the ignorance of our lan-

guage on the part of many of the belief that every native white

man

and the nothing more

natives, is

than an enemy. " The Indians of this region avoid all contact with the whites. Owing to this, as I passed through .

.

.

'

their territory I could not do anything but count their dwellings, because at the announcement of

my

by the barking of the dogs, the mothers and children ran to the mountains with the velocity of arrival

deer, hiding themselves in the thickest part of the

neighboring woods. "

'

As for the father of the family, he is ordinarily

and can be approached only by surbecause he has, in common with his relatives, prise, the tendency to hide himself from any human being whatever until he has identified at a distance the at his labors,

person who interrupts the quiet in which he lives. " They have no industry. They live by plant'

and beans. and hogs, chickens, turkeys.

ing

little

quantities of corn

.

This Indian

is

.

They

raise

.

rather antagonistic to civiliza-

MODERN MISSIONS

260

IN MEXICO

and he is very much opposed to all efforts that tend toward his regeneration, therefore it has tion,

been impossible to keep government records, since fathers always conceal the names of their sons with such care that the Office of Civil Register is of no use whatever to this country. The people do not

and very seldom deaths. They have no cemeteries, but they bury their dead within their own houses, or under the shade of one of the trees

register births,

which surround the houses.' " In Oaxaca are found a larger number of Indians than in any other state in the union. From among them have come some of the great leaders and statesmen of Mexico. There are 33,530 Mixi

who claim

to be the descendants of

famous during the days of Cortes.

Montezuma,

They

are

still

I was told in more this tribe than the many number given by the government. As we were leaving one place where we had spent Sunday, two men from another town put their hands on my shoulder, saying, In how many days will you return and come to our town to tell us more of this? considered the best fighters in Mexico.

that there were

'

'

'

I shall never return; I am passing this way just once.' What a pity that some evangelist cannot be sent to 33,000 people I replied,

!

"

We passed through the Zapotecan country for

days. This is an outstanding tribe in many ways. It is the tribe from which came the great leader

and is is

religious emancipator, Juarez.

The census The tribe

given by the government at 224,863. divided into two great branches, the

'

mountain

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

261

and the valley Indians.' One of the rebel generals me that he had 40,000 Zapotecan Indians in his command during the rebellion. These Indians are the only Indians I have seen in Mexico who are

told

I spent one night in a very home in Tehuantepec. They were all very their race.

proud of fine

and well dressed

intelligent, clean,

the children

attending the city school. I heard them talking among themselves. I said, Did you all learn Za*

'

replied in a tone of scorn,

'

No, had learned They Spanish. I saw another man who spoke and read Spanish.

potecan?

we

They

are Zapotecs.'

I said to him,

He '

'

replied,

*

Where

It

Which do you

is

my

'

did you learn Zapotecan? proper language.' I said, '

He

'

answered, NatuI love native rally my tongue.' I passed through large towns with nothing but Zapotecan Indians, like best?

though all were counted as Spanish because they could speak Spanish. How this proud people could be won if some one brought to them the gospel in their own language, and if a man came to speak to them in a language they still love and teach their children! For even though they may be reached in Spanish, there are one quarter of a million who speak no Spanish at all. " While on this trip I tried to buy a small stone idol from a man who spoke Spanish and could read and write in this language, although he spoke very little of the Indian dialect. I asked, What is the He said, There is no price on it.' I venprice? Let me have it, will you? He replied, tured, '

'

'

*

*

I cannot,

'

it is

my

god.'

I said,

*

But you

are

MODERN MISSIONS

262

He

a Catholic.' saints,

"

'

replied,

but I worship

IN MEXICO Yes, I reverence the

my gods.'

.

.

.

In the United States there are small tribes of than 2,000,000 Indians, where three Boards are at work. While there is not one missionary to the more than 2,000,000 in Mexico, in the United

less

States there are 444 ordained Protestant ministers,

202 Catholic

priests,

and more than 800 Protestant

helpers to 340,000 people with Indian blood. "As one Indian was being told of the love .

God and

of

.

.

death of Jesus for men, he said,

'

That must have happened at least six months No, two thousand ago,' and when he was told, years ago,' he fell backward as though struck in the face. Two thousand years ago, and we never '

*

heard it!'" Rev. Paul Burgess, of the Guatemala Mission of our Church, has performed conspicuous service in behalf of the non-Spanish-speaking Indians in Guatemala. On October 16, 1922, he wrote to

New York "

stating clearly

some of the aspects of

work:

this

It

is

good to know that the Board has the

of the need of the Indian and

vision

pushing forward for his at present this Just plans evangelization. work is in the pioneer stage arid so far I have not seen that cuts.

it

is

will be possible to take

Missionary work among

any short

these Indian tribes

I suppose, follow the lines it has followed elsewhere, beginning with the missionary apostle who learns the Indian language and gives the Word

will,

to the people in their

own

tongue.

Just

now

it

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

263

seems to me our chief aim in this most important work should be to secure such missionaries for the different tribes. "

Of

course

we should not

overlook the fact that

the close relation of the various Indian tribes to the

Spanish civilization greatly modifies our problems. the one hand it facilitates our work among the

On

Indians to a certain extent, as there is always a fairly large group of Indians in every tribe who

understand Spanish and can be reached through the Spanish-speaking missionary and the Spanish Bible. These in turn may evangelize their fellows in their native language and so the work may be carried on even without the missionary's learning the Indian language. But our experience has been that these Indian evangelists; are unable adequately to grapple with many problems which present themselves. These are often linguistic. They do not understand Spanish well. Just yesterday I found that one of our oldest and most trusted Indian evangelists had been rendering Mark 2 11, Arise, take your milk, and go to your house,' due :

'

to the likeness of lecho,

'

and

'

milk,' in also are unable to find Spanish. They adequate words in their own language or to form them so as

to express

many

Spanish words.

bed,'

Biblical ideas.

leche,

So they use the

The Indian

evangelist almost inevitably, instead of growing closer to his people, begins to emulate the Spanish evangelist, to desire to preach to Spanish congregations, and to adopt

Spanish customs and dress, all of which may be all very well but it tends to identify the gospel in the

MODERN MISSIONS

264

eyes of the Indians,

IN MEXICO

who remain

faithful to the

language and customs, with the Spanish exploiter. The gospel has thus come to be just one more element of disintegration preying on Indian civilization. Personally, I do not think that the Indian civilization has any ultimate future. It will in all probability be absorbed by the Spanish. But there are millions of Indians who can never be tribe

and

its

evangelized in Spanish to-day. Every reason that can be advanced for missions to the Italians, Bo-

hemians, and Poles of the United States in their own languages, can be adduced in favor of distinctive mission

work

to the Indians of Latin

America

to-day."

Elsewhere in

this

volume, in the chapters that

and in Oaxaca, there growth and promise of the work among the Indians in these two states. In Oaxaca, Rev. and Mrs. L. P. Van Slyke have describe the

work

in Chiapas are various references to the

decided to give themselves completely to the service of the Indians of the Zapotecs and the Serranos. Their decision was reached only after long consid-

and after actual experimentation in taking Zapotecan boys into the hostel which they maintained in their own home in Oaxaca City. On August 16, 1923, Mr. Van Slyke wrote to the Executive Committee of the Mexico Mission giveration

ing reasons for their desire to enter the Indian service

and grounds for

their decision to begin work mule in the moun-

at Yatzachi, a three days' trip by tains north of Oaxaca City. statement follows:

Mr. Van

Slyke's

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

265

"

Statement of reasons for transfer of Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Van Slyke to the village of Yatzachi el

Bajo

in the Sierra of

Oaxaca for work among the

Zapotecan Indians in the Indian language: " No other state in Mexico, except Chiapas, has a problem of Indian evangelization even approaching the magnitude of that which we find in Oaxaca. Chiapas has about 400,000 Indians, most of whom speak very little Spanish, but Oaxaca has over 500,000. These are the figures given by the census of 1910, and are relatively accurate for the present time. Many of these Indians speak a certain amount of Spanish, but are much more at home in their native language. In some sections the Indian language is falling into disuse, but in a great many parts of the country it will be another century before any great change

is

seen.

"

There are two main divisions of the Indian race Of Oaxaca, the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs. there are between Zapotecs 250,000 and probably 300,000; and of Mixtecs, about 150,000. Two or in

three smaller tribes

number 20,000

or 30,000 each,

and some very small groups of a few thousand each complete the list. The Indians of the same race do not all speak exactly the same language; indeed, the language varies greatly from district to district, and even from one village to another. However, the backbone of the language remains the same. The Zapotecan race has three main divisions, the Zapotecs of the the Serranos, and the valley, of Men Zapotecs from different Tehuantepec. divisions do not understand each other readily at

MODERN MISSIONS

266

first,

though they find

other's dialect.

But

IN MEXICO

possible to pick up each the Serranos seem able to

it

all

understand each other fairly well, in spite of

dif-

ferences of pronunciation. " The Zapotecan race seems to be

naturally strong, industrious, intelligent, and of real promise. Benito Juarez was a full-blooded Zapotec of the

The great ruins at Mitla are the a notable Zapotecan civilization of pre-

Sierra of Ixtlan. relics of

known

for their

desire for the education of their children,

and they

The Zapotecs

Spanish times.

seem

less

are

priest-ridden than most of the

Indians. "

An important element in the

tion in this state all

mountains.

able

by

is its

The

the railroad

missionary

is

geography.

missionary situaIt

is

extent of territory is

other

practically

made

avail-

relatively insignificant. compelled to use much time

The and

energy simply in getting to the different parts of his field. The result is a lack of proper supervision,

and great delay in the work. Ideally, concentrating most of the missionaries of the state in the capital city would be our policy, but this policy is

not suited to the state of Oaxaca, because of the

lack of railroads, ordinary automobile roads, and the consequent inaccessibility of different sections of the state.

It takes two days of the hardest kind

of horseback travel to reach our congregation in the Sierra. The missionary thus loses four days of

precious time whenever he makes the trip. With a shortage of reliable native workers, I have been

compelled to do the work of a native preacher in

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

267

The same thing is true of the, Those who have traveled through the length and breadth of the state on horseback, and therefore know whereof they speak, assert that there is no one center from which the work could

this

remote

district.

state of Chiapas.

be efficiently carried on. The city of Oaxaca should be made as important and strong a center of work as possible, but

it

cannot with efficiency be made

the residence of all the evangelistic missionaries of the state. " to the present time all evangelistic work in our Mission has been carried on in the Spanish

Up

language

or, in certain places,

by means of Indian

No

interpreters. missionary has learned an Indian language, and no concerted effort has been made to bring the more important parts of the

Bible to the Indians in their

own

language. I know that some translations exist, but the Spanish work has so overshadowed the work among the Indians that no persistent effort has been made,

my knowledge, to follow out a plan of evangelism in the native languages. And since our plan

to

proposes a

new

departure, and

is

in the nature of

an experiment, it is important to see clearly what reasons there are for thinking such a radical departure necessary. " There are two principal reasons why the gospel should be brought to these Indians in their own

The first is that they will understand and accept it much more quickly than if it comes language.

through an interpreter. I will deal later with the question of why we cannot leave the work mainly

MODERN MISSIONS

268

to selected Indians

IN MEXICO

whom we might

train.

With

the few words of Zapotecan that I possess, I can win people's confidence much more quickly. I

have seen children's faces change from distrust and fear to smiles of friendliness at two words spoken in their language. It is a great surprise to these people to hear a white man speak to them in their can language, and it pleases them immensely.

We

win people's friendship and confidence and love

we can out

it,

if

talk their language, as we never could withthis is the strongest ground from which

and

to appeal to them for Christ. Through personal friendship for us, they can be led to personal faith

in the Master. " The best of interpreters cannot transmit uninjured the message one would give. His voice al-

most never expresses the shades of feeling which the missionary himself puts into his words.

knows whether the or

interpreter

is

making up explanations of

One never

interpreting truly, own. At times

his

the truth can become seriously twisted in passing through the mind and lips of an interpreter, even if

he be a trained Christian.

It

is

much harder

to translate Spanish into Zapotecan than it is to translate English into Spanish. The preacher

should be able to think in Zapotecan, and not expect a slow-witted Indian, who does not know Spanish even as well as the missionary himself, to

perform the mental gymnastics and somersaults necessary to transfer the message into the Indian language. " The second reason

is

-even

more fundamental.

o

O w

Q W w K EH

55

O

O H

g a S m
^;

a w O

H O O

MODERN MISSIONS

268

to selected Indians

IN MEXICO

whom we might

train.

With

the few words of Zapotecan that I possess, I can win people's confidence much more quickly. I

have seen children's faces change from distrust and fear to smiles of friendliness at two words spoken in their language. It people to hear a white

is

a great surprise to these

man speak to them in their We can and it pleases them immensely. language, love if and win people's friendship and confidence we can out

it,

talk their language, as we never could withthis is the strongest ground from which

and

to appeal to them for Christ. Through personal be led to personal faith can for us, they friendship in the Master. " The best of interpreters cannot transmit uninjured the message one would give. His voice al-

most never expresses the shades of feeling which the missionary himself puts into his words.

knows whether or

making up

One never

the interpreter is interpreting truly, explanations of his own. At times

the truth can become seriously twisted in passing through the mind and lips of an interpreter, even if

he be a trained Christian.

It

is

much harder

to translate Spanish into Zapotecan than it is to translate English into Spanish. The preacher

should be able to think in Zapotecan, and not expect a slow-witted Indian, who does not know Spanish even as well as the missionary himself, to

perform the mental gymnastics and somersaults necessary to transfer the message into the Indian language. " The second reason

is

even more fundamental.

X o o

O

o w X ",

?

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN a

269

personal knowledge of vital been found to be the only for Christian foundation solid character, and the temporary, makeshift translations made by an InIt

is

this:

direct,

sections of the Bible has

dian are not equal to the task. One who knows well the work among the Indians in the United States has told

me

personally that in the only

three Missions where a really strong, vigorous native church has been founded, the Bible, or large sec-

has been given the people in their own language. I think we can take it as a well-established principle in missionary work that the Bible,

tions of

it,

its more directly practical and spiritual parts translated into the language of the people, is essential to the founding of strong Christian character

or

in the individual convert or in the

new

native

church. "

We

accept this general principle without but a difference of opinion enters when discussion, it is held that it is necessary to give the Bible to the Indians in their own language, rather than to follow the present policy of doing the best we can for all

the older generation through interpreters, teaching the young people Spanish, and giving them the

Spanish Bible which surely presents the gospel far more adequately than any translation into the Indian language could. To some it would seem as

plan for teaching the Bible in Indian dialect were a step in the wrong direction; that what we should emphasize should be the educa-

though

this

tion of all in Spanish, and that nothing should be done to increase or perpetuate the use of the Indian

MODERN MISSIONS

270

Or

languages. translation

is

IN MEXICO

should be agreed that such advisable, why not leave it to a wellif it

trained native Christian, who must take a large share in the work of translation even if the mission-

ary has learned the language and translation himself?

is

making the

These are perfectly

fair ob-

jections, but not unanswerable. " In the first place, even under the most favor-

able conditions and supposing in operation the most extensive program of education that our Mission and the government combined could finance and, man, it would take anywhere from fifty to a hundred years in order to give the majority of

the

new

generation a working knowledge of simple

Spanish.

In the meantime, what is going to happen

to the present generation and a large part of even the coming generation? Unless the Bible can be

read to them in their

own language and

the gospel

preached to them in their own language, the vast majority of these people will die without Christ.

Given the Gospels translated into the Indian language and young men trained to read them to the people and to preach in their language, under the supervision of a missionary who knows the language, who knows the districts thoroughly from personal visitation, and who knows intimately the of the people, these great groups of Indians can be evangelized in this generation, and a strong native Church can be established. But if we con-

life

tinue to try to reach the Indians with a ten-foot pole, as we have done up to the present time, real

evangelization will be indefinitely postponed.

I,

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

271

for one, do not like to think of being responsible, because of unwillingness to go to the trouble of

among

living

the people, learning their language, translation, for the failure

and doing the work of to reach thousands

upon thousands

of Indians

now

living.

"In

the second place, in the remote district of Villa Alta, where we think of living, it will take an indefinite length of time to supplant the use of the Indian language in the home and among the people in general. Two powerful causes unite to

perpetuate the use of the native tongue: the girls' lack of education, and the lack of communication.

As

long as the majority of

and

girls receive

no educa-

learn Spanish, the idioma, as all the Indian dialects are called, will continue to be

tion

fail to

the language of the home, and consequently the prevailing speech. Instead of conquering the prob-

lem once and for again with each

we

will

have

new generation

the mother learns

And

all,

it

to do all over

of children, unless

and speaks Spanish in the home.

good roads, I mean auto roads, are opened, and there is more going to and fro, and until

a greater influx of strangers speaking Spanish, the process of Spanishizing will be greatly retarded. No one can prophesy when such roads will be built. isolated

"

The

At

present some villages are

much

less

and have more Spanish culture than others. exact bearing of this upon the translation

of parts of the Bible into the idioma is the following: As long as the idioma is the language of the

home, of infancy and boyhood or girlhood, even

MODERN MISSIONS

272

IN MEXICO

teaching Spanish to the young people will not make the Bible appeal to them as strongly in Spanish as This is simply a it would in their own language.

We

know that our matter of ordinary psychology. a a has Bible tenderness, gripping appeal, English a comforting tone for us in the words which we learned in our homes that it cannot have in any other language, however well we may master it. However we may

'

'

interpret the gift of tongues at Pentecost, there is presented there a very true aspect of the work of evangelization: each man

heard the gospel in his own native tongue. I have been told that educated young Indians in the United States, who can read English just as well as you or I, prefer to read the Bible in the tongue they learned as babies. Until Spanish becomes the language learned in childhood in the home, it cannot reach the people's hearts so well as their

own

language.

"Another psychological element this:

Spanish

is

in the case

is

the language of the dominant race,

of conquerors, exploiters, and rulers. This influence is undoubtedly entirely unconscious and in cases does not exist, but I think portant enougti not to be overlooked.

many "

I do not wish

it

it is

im-

thought that our desire to learn

the language and carry on the work directly in the idioma is based solely on the idea of translating believe that inimportant parts of the Bible.

We

timate contact with the people, entering into their life,

and to a certain extent, sharing their condigo far toward winning them to

tions of living will

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

273

If no formal translation were to be done, we would nevertheless wish to dedicate our whole time to the Indian work, learn the language, and Christ.

among them. Nothing can impress them with our disinterested love for them so much as our

live

wishing to live with them and our going to the The idioma is trouble to learn their language. usually despised by Spanish-speaking people. Indians have a feeling that they are looked

The down

upon by people a little higher up in the social scale, and that their language is regarded as an outlandish speech, unworthy of an educated man's attention. I have observed that the Indians of Yatzachi note

the

contrast between our attitude toward their

language, in our desire to learn it, and that of a retired Mexican of Spanish descent in the vicinity, who ridicules the language and, in spite of many years' residence in the village, has learned only absolutely necessary phrases, which he pronounces

His is the typical attitude

abominably.

speaking Mexicans

of Spanish-

an attitude of contemptuous

the other hand, want to show superiority. our respect for the Indian and for his language. want him to respect himself and his language,

We, on

We

although we also want him to learn Spanish and gradually to substitute Spanish for the idioma, in order that he may be assimilated into the Spanish civilization and culture of Mexico, to which, so In this confar, he is practically an outsider. nection I wish to quote a passage from a book just '

Lindquist:

Red Man

in the United States,

by

The American Board reached out

to

published, Tine

MODERN MISSIONS

274

IN MEXICO

the lands of the Dakotas, where Doctors Riggs and Williamson translated the first and, with one exception, the only complete Bible for the Indians of the United States. Some simple textbooks, de-

votional works, and lated into Dakota,

taught "

It

is

hymn books were also transand many of the tribe were to read and write in their own language. impossible," said Bulletin Number 30 of "

Bureau of American Ethnology, to estimate the effect this acquisition has had in stimulating the There are self-respect and ambition of the tribe." then two elements of the situation, entirely aside from the reasons based on the importance of giving the

'

the Bible to the Indians in their language: First,

we

shall

be demonstrating our deep personal interIndians by going to them and learning

est in the

their

a

language and

according to our ability, them, making ourselves all

living,

'

sacrificial life

among

things to all men,' as Paul put it; and second, we will be teaching them self-respect and ambition by

respecting them and by teaching them

home and

of

life.

village that thus approaching

We

them

new

ideals

firmly believe, also,

in their

own

language,

meeting them more than halfway, will have the effect of making them more desirous of all we have to teach them, including Spanish, and that instead of postponing their induction into Spanish civilization, it will hasten it. This is a matter of faith, but

we

based on sound principles. we have at present in regard to this language work. There may be some book or books dealing with the language, but we believe

"A

it is

word

as to the ideas

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

275

have not found them as yet. Probably our best plan is the one which we have followed so far, a purely inductive study, with the help of the men who know Spanish and with the help of one of the most promising of our Protestant converts, a stuhave formulated a small dent in Coyoacan.

We

number

of the rules of

written

down

grammar and

quite a vocabulary.

forms, and

We

will

have

on some system of representing the Quite a few of the sounds resemble sounds in English, such as sh, % as in azure, and so forth. The language has tones a little like those in Chinese

to

decide

sounds.

and Siamese, although they are simpler, and these have to be represented in some simple way.

will

Some

Catholic translations of the catechism, the

mass, and certain other ceremonies exist, as well as a large number of titles and deeds of inheritance in the idioma of this part of the Sierra, but rela-

few people can read these, partly because form of the language is rather archaic, and

tively

the

partly because they do not understand the system of representing sounds. Consequently we will

have to invent or choose a system of phonetic representation of the language, and then teach it to those who already know how to read Spanish.

We will do this with our colporteurs and preachers,

and with those members of our congregations who

We

can read. may include this as part of the work in our schools of the future, not allowing it in the slightest degree to displace the learning of Spanish. will have parts of the Bible, translated

Workers

as carefully as possible, which they can learn

by

MODERN MISSIONS

276

IN MEXICO

and teach to those who cannot read. Think of the power of such verses as John 3 :16 learned by heart hy hundreds of Indians, and repeated and explained and illustrated in our servheart, or read,

ices.

I believe that the

Word

of

God

is

literally

*

and than and and sword, active, any two-edged sharper piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.' I trust to the power of the gospel in the native tongue more than to-day, as in the days of the apostles,

living,

I do to the preaching of missionary or of native evangelist. "

We

feel that if the

can be carried out,

program we have

it will,

in

mind

under God, be the means

of the evangelization of the Sierra in this generation. If we wait for native workers to receive ade-

quate training, and try to supervise them at long distance, the realization of our purpose of evangelization will be postponed fifty years. And we have not all the time in the world at our disposal. The Catholic Church is waking up, and is going to

tighten

its

grip on the Indian

The government

if

we do not get busy.

planning to give far more attention than ever before to schools for the Indians, is

and unless we can furnish Christian teachers for these schools, we will miss an invaluable opportunity. "

We feel that the training of young Indian men

to be the teachers of their people program of evangelization, but it

alone, with occasional visits

a vital part of the we do not feel that is

from the missionary,

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

277

would be at all adequate. We have several backward congregations in the Mixtecan field that are the result of this type of work, work carried on at a distance by visits and interpreters. However, no well-trained Indian has as yet, in our own field, gone back to his people with the gospel. The Baptists have one such man in one of the Zapotecan He is an orvillages in the valley of Tlacolula.

dained minister, a thoroughly trained and conse-

But

in spite of training and earnestness, because of lack of supervision, he has not been

crated man.

very active, and has accomplished relatively little in comparison to what he might have done if well

He

has preached the gospel in Spanish, though always conversing with the people in the idioma. He needed the visit of a specialist in Indirected.

dian work to show him the necessity of preaching in the Indian language. At the same time, his

work has been

far better than nothing, and in the case of language groups of small size, such as the Chinantecos in the northern part of the Sierra, I

should favor educating young boys to be sent back to their tribes to work under the supervision of a visiting missionary. "

The following is a general outline of the work we should like to establish and develop in the Sierra, with the

center,

for

the

present

anyway,

at

Yatzachi: "

Preaching in the Indian language, all servin Zapotecan; translation of the most impor-

1.

ices

tant parts of the Bible. " 2. School for boys of the district, similar to

MODERN MISSIONS

278

IN MEXICO

Telixtlahuaca School; aim toward self-support by means of manual work of pupils emphasis on agri;

cultural training.

"3. Evangelistic work at week-ends by older boys; gradual evangelization of surrounding villages by means of older boys, colporteurs, and

personal "

4.

visits.

Wider work

trict of Villa

Ixtlan. "

of evangelization of entire disAlta, and of neighboring district of school, with special

5.

Girls'

6.

Simple medical work, with

primary and sewing cooking. "

"

work

in

sale of medicines.

I quote the following from my letter to Mr. Reif snyder in answer to various questions he had asked about our plan: " Yatzachi is a good center. It is healthful, has '.

good

good water, good air, within an hour's walk

climate,

Around

it,

is

well drained.

in different di-

rections, is a circle of seven villages, including a

town of 2,000 population, the largest of the district. Adding two or three hours more, one includes quite a number of good-sized towns. Our plan is to carry on regular religious work in Yatzachi, learning the language well, doing pastoral work, helping a little in a medical way, visiting near-by towns,

gradually training colporteurs to travel widely, training the older boys, as in Coyoacan, for evangelistic work, going with them myself often to make visits, bringing boys from other towns to live with us and get a Protestant education, thus forming the same kind of friendly contacts in many

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN other villages that Yatzachi.'

we have found

279

so helpful in

"

If in the next twenty-five years, with all justice to the other parts of our great field, it should be possible to assign three other evangelistic missionaries to Indian work in Oaxaca, I would suggest

the following distribution: " 1. Serrano Zapotecs, 50,000, one missionary, the undersigned. " 2. Valley Zapotecs, 100,000, one missionary. " 3. Mixtecs, 130,000, one missionary. " 4. Mixes, 35,000, one missionary. Several other smaller groups could be reached by

trained native workers. of the whole state

we

We are thinking in terms

and of the language conditions

find here.

"

To sum up It is impossible to build a strong individual Christian life or a strong church life on :

anything but a real knowledge of the Bible. Such a knowledge can never be given by means of the faulty translations of a relatively ignorant Indian interpreter. The plan is to give the vital parts of the Bible to the workers in their own language so

that they can give them to the people, by means of a careful translation, made by the thoroughly

trained missionary on the basis of the original and the various translations, and with the constant help

men in regard to details of the Indian To do this, or anything remotely like

of the native

language.

absolutely necessitates residence among the people. It could never be done while living in the I am convinced that such work in their own city.

it,

280

MODERN MISSIONS

IN MEXICO

language will be not only the quickest way of evangelizing the Indians, but also of educating them and teaching them Spanish, and the only sure way of building a strong native Church. The Indians have been neglected until now. No work has been done in their language. Spanish is the language of their conquerors and masters. Until white missionaries take the trouble to learn their language, the Indians will not believe in their disinterestedness

and

We

accept the gospel.

we want them

"We

to

love,

come

and will not unreservedly must go directly to them if

to our Christ.

very deeply that God has led us steadily and very clearly to this plan and this dehave both been drawn powerfully and cision. mysteriously to the Serrano Indian. I had the feel

We

great privilege of opening the field two years ago, and the congregation in Yatzachi I can call my own

same sense that Paul called many congregaAlmost all the boys in our hostel come from this district. We believe, in all humility, that we have a knack for languages, and sufficient in the

tions his own.

linguistic training to handle the problem. heart is in the Indian work, as in nothing else,

Our and

we

earnestly wish to give our whole time and attention to it, without having to attend to a large field

including Spanish

work and work among Mixtecs,

as at present. The Indian is worth the best we have. Everyone who knows the Indians of Oaxaca

regards the Serrano Indians as being

among

the

most intelligent and most energetic in the state. There is a special interest in an effort to win to

I u si

1
-Q

Si,

3

o O H H O

X

.

v

N
3 Q t

i

H

W

w

O c 5 ...

$% ^ "^ H ^ "^ BH

W

H

:^ M & (3

.2

s o

r

bio

O C

fi

T

Q fc 3

c

^ "

o

c^o^

o

>PH

tc cS

W y

O

MODERN MISSIONS

280

IN MEXICO

language will be not only the quickest way of evangelizing the Indians, but also of educating

them and teaching them Spanish, and the only sure of building a strong native Church. dians have been neglected until now.

The In-

been done in their language.

the lan-

way

No work has

Spanish

is

guage of their conquerors and masters. Until white missionaries take the trouble to learn their language, the Indians will not believe in their disand love, and will not unreservedly

interestedness

accept the gospel.

we want them "

We

feel

to

We must go directly to them if come

to our Christ.

very deeply that

God

has led us

clearly to this plan and this deboth been drawn powerfully and mysteriously to the Serrano Indian. I had the great privilege of opening the field two years ago, and the congregation in Yatzachi I can call my own

steadily

cision.

and very

We have

same sense that Paul called many congregaAlmost all the boys in our hostel come from this district. We believe, in all humility, that we have a knack for languages, and sufficient in the

tions his own.

linguistic training to handle the problem. heart is in the Indian work as in nothing else,

Our and

we

earnestly wish to give our whole time and attention to it, without having to attend to a large field including Spanish work and work among Mixtecs, as at present. The Indian is worth the best we have. Everyone who knows the Indians of Oaxaca

regards the Serrano Indians as being

among

the

most intelligent and most energetic in the state. There is a special interest in an effort to win to

r9

O IT

*

o o

o X

y y

6

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN

281

the Protestant religion the same race that produced Benito Juarez, the great Liberal of Mexico.

He

is

quoted as having said that Protestantism

natural religion for a republic, yet his

own

own

is

the

district

Aside from remains that the great bulk of the population of the state is Indian they will hold back the entire state until they are

and

his

village are

still

Catholic.

this sentimental reason, the fact

;

evangelized and educated, so that in reality, work among the Indians is the foundation work in this state. In the opinion of our Station, more work, and work of a more sacrificial type than ever beWe regard fore, must be done for the Indians. our plan as a worth-while experiment based on sound reasons and experience in other fields. We

ask to be given the opportunity to demonstrate the power of work done by living among the Indians

and adopting

their language, believing that our ex-

perience will be of value in other parts of the field where similar conditions may be found. have

We

not come to this decision in any sudden way, rather it is

the crystallization of thoughts and longings

that have been in our minds for

two

years.

We

have thought it through carefully, we have faced frankly all sorts of difficulties involved in the step, and we are ready to handle them. believe that God has called us clearly to this special work. ask the Mission to free us from other work in order that we may devote our entire time and attention

We

We

to it."

In 1923, Mr. and Mrs. Van Slyke went to YatThey have built a house there and are ac-

zachi.

MODERN MISSIONS

282

IN MEXICO

engaged in pioneer service on behalf of the Indian community. This is the first time in the history of Protestant missions in Mexico that an American couple have given themselves entirely to

tively

the service of the non-Spanish-speaking Indians,

and many have been following Mr. and Mrs. Van Slyke in thought and in prayer as they have entered upon this venture of faith and love.

With

reference to Chiapas, reinforcements have been sent to Mexico in 1924 with the hope that

one of the

new missionaries may be work

active part in the

able to take

an

in that state.

Especially is there a need for this because of the retirement of

Rev. N. J. Elliott from the Mission.

The Reformed Church outstanding service to

America has rendered the Indians in the United in

by means of various Missions conducted in American Southwest. The work of the late Rev. Walter C. Roe and of Mrs. Roe and of their States

the

Rev. Henry Roe Cloud, is known throughout the United States. There are possifoster

son,

bilities

that the

extend

Reformed Church may

desire to

of the beyond United States, and on September 24, 1923, the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions officially invited the Reformed Church to cooperate in the this

the

service

borders

work in Chiapas through whatever agency the Reformed Church deems appropriate. This matter the

is

at present

Reformed Church and

it

under discussion by is hoped that the two

Churches may be able to join in this united service on behalf of the Indians of Mexico.

THE APPEAL OF THE INDIAN At

283

the meeting of the Foreign Mission Confer-

ence in January, 1924, Mr. Legters related an incident taken from his experience in work among the Indians in the United States that applies, as well, to the situation south of the "

Rio Grande:

When I was a missionary among the Comanche we went

Indians in the United States,

to visit

Quannah Parker, the last of the great Indian chiefs. As we sat on his porch and talked to him about the gospel we said to him, think about the gospel?

'

Quannah, what do you He said, It is good But/ we said thing for the women and children.' to him, what do you think of it for yourself? Then he turned and said, White man, how long The missionary said, you know this Jesus road? When I was a little boy I knew about it.' He said, White man, your father, how long he know '

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

about was a

Jesus road?

this

'

*

Why, when my

boy, he knew about

father

Jesus road.' Then Quannah left the porch and started towards the door. He pulled his blanket around his head and, as he reached the door, he turned and said: '

little

White man, me heap

to stone. long.'

door."

My

heart is turned old man. waited too long. You waited too turned his back to us, and closed the

You

He

this

CHAPTER XXI MISSION DEVELOPMENTS SINCE

1922

the visit of the Commission to Mexico

SINCE

in the fall of 1922, there have

been various

A

brief summary of the developments of interest. Mission Stations is the various in major changes

given in this concluding chapter. In the Federal District, the sum of $29,000, $25,000 of which was given in memory of Dr. A.

W.

Halsey, formerly Secretary of the Mexico Mission, has been invested in the Halsey Memorial dormitory building at Coyoacan, and $2,000 has

been made available for the social and recreation hall at San Angel, which was in use as an assembly

room

for

commencement

exercises in

December,

1924.

Four thousand for the church

dollars has been

and

made

social center in

available

Oaxaca

City,

and three additional missionaries have been

as-

signed to Oaxaca. The sum of $2,000 has been appropriated for the church and land at Tapachula, and Chapter

XX

describes certain measures

now being taken

to se-

more adequate cooperation and assistance from the United States in the work of the Church in Chiapas, and for the Indians in Oaxaca. In April, 1923, the Institute Morelos in Vera Cruz was closed, chiefly because of the high rent, cure

284

MISSION DEVELOPMENTS SINCE

1922

285

the lack of permanent property, and the unmet needs of the other schools of the Mission; the of the faculty and part of the student body were transferred to the San Angel School in the Federal District, and the current appropriations were distributed throughout the

American members

budget of the Mission. In August, 1924, the Turner-Hodge School in Merida purchased permanent property, which, including the cost of organization and the local holding society, cost approximately $41,000. The property held by the Bible Institute and Social Center in Merida was also purchased in

August, 1924, for approximately $8,000. The funds for the two latter purchases came from gifts of the 1924 Easter Oifering for Mexico of Presbyterian Sunday Schools in, the United States and from the Women's Board. There were 1,503 Sunday schools that used the Easter program on Mexico prepared by the Foreign Board, and these schools gave a total of $28,584.05 for the needs in Mexico.

In 1922, the Union Press

in

Mexico City faced

an indebtedness of approximately $16,000. Subsequently, due to the securing of funds by Mr. Day in the United States to clear off this debt, and due to the energy and capacity of Senor Osuna, the local manager, this debt was entirely removed, so that in January, 1924, the Press was clear of all such obligation. Since the death of Dr. Conwell, the LatinAmerican hospital at Puebla has been in charge

MODERN MISSIONS

286

of Dr.

Bingham,

IN MEXICO

of the Baptist Mission,

and Dr.

Methodist Mission; our Mission in 1924 voted to make a contribution for current ex-

Illick, of the

penses to the hospital and for the cost of training of hospital nurses of 1*1,000.

When

the Commission

met with

the Mission in

December, 1922, a five-year program of property needs was outlined and approved. Some of these needs have already been met. The full list follows

:

1.

Dormitory, Dining School,

Room for Coyoacan Boys'

Preparatory

Mexico City:

Total required $65,000.00 Halsey Memorial Fund assigned and other funds secured 29,000.00

Balance required 2.

Merida

Girls' School,

$36,000.00

Yucatan, Administration and Dor-

mitory Building: Total required

Already secured 3. 4. 5.

6.

.

terians

.

Chureh Building San Angel Girls' School Equipment and Gymnasium

.

3,437.50

7,500.00 2,000.00

5,500.00

Oaxaca State, Residence and

School

Already secured

4,500.00 1,500.00

Balance needed 10.

1,429.00

1,000.00

Balance needed Telixtlahuaca,

5,000.00

7,500.00

Jalapa, Finish

Already secured 9.

5,000.00

4,062.50

Balance needed 8.

41,000.00

Dormitory Equipment for Coyoacan Preparatory School Equipment for Merida Girls' School, Yucatan 6,000.00 Coyoacan Missionary Residence 4,571.00 Already secured Balance needed Oaxaca City, Remodeling and Finishing Church Building Already secured from Southern Presby-

7.

41,000.00

3,000.00

Jalapa Property adjacent to Mission for Hostel and Social

Work

6,000.00

MISSION DEVELOPMENTS SINCE 11.

1922

Oaxaca City, Residence

287

$6,000.00

Tapachula, Chiapas, Manse 13. Frontera, Tabasco, Chapel (McCalla Fund) 14. Coyoacan School Athletic Field 15. San Angel, Dormitory Girls' School

12.

3,000.00 3,000.00 1,500.00

30,000.00

Equipment

5,000.00

Tabasco, Chapel Manse, and Land 17. Coyoacdn, Mexico City, Pastor's Residence 18. Muna, Yucatan, Chapel 16. Villahermosa,

8,000.00

4,000.00 500.00

Campeche, Campeche, Chapel, Manse and Lot Missionary Residence, Campeche 21. Carmen, Campeche, Finish Chapel 19.

5,000.00

20.

5,000.00

22.

Mfrida Institutional Work Already secured

23.

24. 25.

26. 27. 28. 29.

1,000.00

$10,000.00 8.000.00

Balance needed Puerto Mexico, Vera Cruz, Chapel and Lot ....... Orizaba Church Remodeling Vera Cruz Church and Manse Science Hall for Coyoacan Mexico City, Morales Memorial Church San Pedro, San Pablo Chapel and Social Center Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Chapel and Lot .

Two

Missionary Residences, Mexico City 31. Missionary Residence, Merida

30.

37.

38. 39.

2,500.00

10,000.00

50,000.00 12,500.00 12,500.00 3,000.00 8,000.00

Missionary Residence, Jalapa 33. Huatusco, Vera Cruz, Chapel and Lot 34. Churburna, Yucatan, Chapel 36.

2,000.00

18,000.00

32.

35.

2,000.00

8,000.00 500.00

500.00

Sabancuy, Campeche, Chapel Tizapan, Mexico City, Social Room Tacubaya, Mexico City, Additional Land for Playground Tacubaya, Mexico City, Social Equipment El Porvenir, Vera Cruz, Chapel

500.00 500.00 .

500.00 100.00

375.00

Since 1922, ten new missionaries have been added to the force in Mexico Rev. C. H. Ainley, Mr. G. N. Furbeck (on short-term appointment), Rev. and Mrs. G. B. Hammond, Miss Anne C. Hawley, Rev. Paul H. Leavens, Miss M. L. Pitman, Miss L. S. Plummer, Rev. and Mrs. N. W. :

Taylor. The Mission has suffered heavy losses, however, due to resignation, withdrawal, and death. Nine missionaries have thus retired from the serv-

MODERN MISSIONS

288

IN MEXICO

so that the net gain in Mission membership is only one. Through cooperative agreements, the

ice,

Mission has heen assigned the sole responsibility for Protestant wort in one fourth of the territory of Mexico and for one fifth of the population, totaling over three million souls. This field includes six states and one territory, as well as a share in the work in the Federal District. In 1924 there

was not a

single resident missionary in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and Campeche, and in the TerSuch important cities ritory of Quintana Roo.

and centers as Vera Cruz, Orizaba, Tapachula, and Tuxtla Gutierrez were without any missionaries. When the Board accepted the responsibility for this territory in 1914, it stated in its action that at least sixty missionaries would be needed. In

1924 there were thirty-four missionaries on the There is need to-day, no less than in 1914,

field.

for volunteers who, for Christ's sake, will cross the Rio Grande, to serve those who are our neighbors in his

The

name.

The

to hear, let

field is there.

and strong. him hear."

call is clear

"

The need

He

is

there.

that hath ears

ARIZONA Todos Santos

Guadalajara

Moretiao

MEX1CC 'Colima Guernav

O

OUTLINE MAP OP MEXICO WITH ROUTE OF THE COMMISSION

Chilpanclngo

ALABAMA

LMISSISSIPPI

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Guanajuato ueretaro

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wmpecny^

A BRIEF BEADING LIST ON MEXICO For those who

(NOTE.

desire

a shorter

list

certain books which might be included in such are starred.)

than the following,

an abbreviated

list,

HISTORY *

The Mexican Nation, by Herbert Company, New York, 1923.

A

Priestley.

The Macmillan

thorough review of the development of the Mexican known history of the land and

nation from the earliest

people to the inauguration of President Obregon, with a discussion of some of the perplexing problems of to-day. Mexico, To-Day and To-Morrow, by E. D. Trowbridge. its

The Macmillan Company, New York, 1919.

A

briefer survey than the preceding book, giving a concise statement of the development of Mexico to 1918. *The Conquest of Mexico, by William H. Prescott (1843).

Everyman's Library, E. P. Button and Company, New York, 1909. (New Edition, 2 vols.) A classic which ought to be in the library of everyone interested in Mexico.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT *

The Land Systems of Mexico, by George M. McBride. American Geographical Society, New York, Research Series No. 12.

The

and most comprehensive statement of the agrarian problem in Mexico which has thus far been clearest

produced. * The Social Revolution in Mexico, by E. A. Ross. Company, New York, 1923.

A

Century

brief survey and estimate of recent developments in Mexico, written by a well-known sociologist and observer. 289

MODERN MISSIONS

290

An

Mexico,

Interpretation)

IN MEXICO

by Carleton Beals.

B.

W.

Buebsch, New York, 1923. A frank discussion of present conditions and tendencies

With many

in Mexico.

of the author's statements there

will undoubtedly be disagreement, but his views are informative and challenging, and will provoke further study

and

investigation.

DESCRIPTION * Terry's

New Edition, 1923. by T. Terry. Company, New York. standard guidebook to Mexico which is full of valuMexico,

Houghton

A

Mifflin

able information.

In Quest of El Dorado, by Stephen Graham. and Company, New York, 1923.

D. Appleton

An interesting description of present-day Mexico against the background of Spain, the West Indies, New Mexico, and Panama.

A

Gringo in Mariana-Land, by Harry L. Foster.

Mead and Company, New York,

Dodd,

1924.

A

readable narrative giving the author's impressions of Mexico and the Central American Republics.

Mexico, by Frank G. Carpenter.

Doubleday, Page and Com-

New

pany,

One World

York, 1924. of the volumes in the

Travels."

series

of

"

Carpenter's

Superficial but of value in giving ini-

tial impressions of the people and the country. Its Stories, Legends and Scenic Charm, Beautiful Mexico by Vernon Quinn. Frederick A. Stokes Company, New

York, 1924. This book emphasizes the picturesque and attractive aspects of the Mexican landscape and the Mexican people. In an Unknown Land, by Thomas Gann. Charles Scribner's Sons,

New

York, 1924.

A description of an expedition through Yucatan by repMaya Society and the Carnegie Instiwhich has brought to light new and interesting

resentatives of the tute,

READING LIST ON MEXICO

291

information concerning the little-known and ancient of this portion of Mexico.

cities

Edited by Robert Mexican Year Book for 1922-1924 1924. G. Cleland. Los Angeles Times-Mirror Press The second volume of these year books, which have already won for themselves a distinct place as an authoritative

compendium of current information concern-

ing Mexico.

RELIGIONS OF MEXICO The Gods

by Lewis Spence. York, 1923.

of Mexico,

Company,

New

A thorough

Frederick A. Stokes

and authoritative study of the

religions of

the peoples of ancient Mexico, illustrated for the most part from native paintings and pottery.

Roman

by Webster E. BrownH. and Revell ing. Fleming Company, New York, 1924. " " One of the volumes in the Living Religions series. Christianity in Latin America,

A clear,

succinct

summary

of

Roman

Catholicism in Latin

America from the Protestant viewpoint by one who has lived and worked for twenty-eight years in South America.

PROTESTANT WORK Mexico

T o-Day,

cation

A

by George B. Winton. Movement, New York, 1916.

Missionary Edu-

brief survey of the situation which, although not

up

to date, still has a distinct value.

FICTION Monte zuma's Daughter, by H. Rider Haggard. Longmans Green Company, New York. The scenes of this novel are laid in the capital of Mexico during the last days of the rule of the Montezumas and their conquest by the Spaniards.

The current

publications of the Pan American Union, Washington, D.C., also contain much of information and interest concerning Mexico.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

1925
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A, Missions -- Mexico
English