A German Mexican (Deutsch Mexikaner in German or Germano Mexicano Or Aleman Mexicano in Spanish) is a Mexican citizen of German descent or origin. Most Germans arrived in Mexico during the mid to late 19th century inspired by the policies of Mexican el Presidente Porfirio Diaz and his liberal policies. German immigrants became merchants, industrialists, and educators. Some went to Mexico to be farmers or find work. Most settled in Mexico City, Veracruz, the Yucatan, and Puebla. During and after the First and Second World Wars significant numbers of Germans also immigrated to Mexico.
In Mexico City even today there are some neighborhoods that are clearly German Mexican as reflected in the Germanic styles of some neighborhoods and homes there. German settlements in Mexico go back to when they settled Texas when it was under the rule of Spain. The first permanent German settlement in Texas was in a town called “Industry” in Austin County. After the Mexican-American War of 1848 many Germans left Texas and went deeper into to Mexico as they sided with Mexico during that war.
During the reign of Mexican Emperor Maximilian I (an Austrian Hapsburg) a foreign colonization project was begun. Between 1865-66 about 543 German families were brought from Hamburg in Germany to the Yucatan in Mexico primarily to the villages of Santa Elena and Pustunich. The majority of these Germans wer farmers, craftsmen, wheelwright, shoemakers, and cabinet makers.
In 1890 Mexican el Presidente Porfirio Diaz collaborated with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck regarding southern Mexico’s agricultural potential. The result was the immigration of 350 Germans into southern Mexico in the State of Chiapas where extensive coffee farms were established. Fincas (estates) were built in the Chiapaneco jungle and towns were given German names like Bismarck, Prussia, and Hanover.
In the 1920s about 6000 Russian Mennonites who were originally from Northern Germany and the Netherlands migrated from Canada to northern Mexico. Today there are an estimated 95K descendants from these Russian Mennonites in Mexico.
In the town of Nueva Alemania some neighborhoods and homes resemble architectural styles found in northern Germany. Many of the German settlers in that area came from Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck in Germany. German settlers from the German province of Bavaria immigrated to places like Veracruz, Mazatlan, and San Luis Potosi in Mexico. They built structures similar to those found in the Black Forest region of Germany.
Oktoberfest is commonly held in several large cities with German Mexican communities throughout Mexico especially in the cities of Mexico City, Chihauhua, and Victoria de Durango. German Mexicans were an important part in developing Mexican cheese and Mexican beer such as Dos Equis Ambar and Negra Modelo were invented at the dawn of the 20th century to celebrate the turn of the century by a German brew master in Mexico. In Mexico City sits the Colegio Aleman Alexander von Humboldt (the College of the German..Humboldt) and it is the largest German school outside Germany today.
If you’ve ever listened to Mexican music then you know some of it sounds very similar to German polka music. That’s because some Mexican music has its roots in German music both of which often include the accordion instrument. Tex Mex, Tejano, Conjunto, Banda, Ranchera, and Norteno are just a few forms of Mexican music that come from German influence. Many of these forms of German Mexican music are very popular in northern Mexico and the US where there are large populations of people of Mexican and German heritage.
Notable German Mexicans include former Mexican el Presidente Vincente Fox, the Mexican actor Mauricio Ochmann and Alberich Bormann. They also include Mexican singer and actress Dulce Maria, Ozzy Lusth, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and former Miss USA and Mexican actress Laura Harring. Others of note include Mexican political analyst and writer Denise Dresser, Mexican boxer German Ohm, Mexican singer Olivia Molina, Mexican scholar Adolfo Aquilar Zinser, and Mexican singer and actor Cesar Costa. There are many more notable people who are German Mexican as well.
Today there are many Mexicans who are descendants of Germans some still with German surnames. You can find out more about the German Mexican connection by googling “Germans in Mexico.”