Primavera Hutterite Colony (Paraguay)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Primavera, a Hutterite colony in East (Alto) Paraguay, located about 80 miles northeast of Asuncion. This colony was founded in 1941 by the inhabitants of the Cotswold Bruderhof in Wiltshire, England.  The Bruderhof belonged to the Society of Brothers (later known as the Hutterian Brethren, Bruderhof Communities, and more recently, Church Communities International), founded by Eberhard Arnold in 1920 in Germany.  Members of this group had previously moved from Germany to England between 1936 and 1938, where many English nationals joined the movement. At the outbreak of World War II, those members of the Bruderhof who were German nationals were faced with detention.  An alternative was to emigrate as a group, and so the Bruderhof chose to leave England and immigrate to Paraguay, the only country willing to accept a pacifist community of mixed nationalities.

The movement to Paraguay was made with the assist­ance of the Mennonite Central Committee and the American Friends Service Committee, and the set­tlement was made adjacent to the Mennonite Colony of Friesland to the east. The colony consisted of three separate village communities -- Isla Margarita, established in 1941, Loma Jhoby, 1942, and Ibate, 1946. The total population was 350 in 1941, 650 in 1951, and 650 in 1958. Of the 650 persons in 1951, 350 were children under fifteen. In the late 1950s eighteen different nationalities (about 50 per cent were English, about 20 per cent were German) and 90 family names were found among the Primavera Hutterites. The chief source of income was agriculture; some industry had developed, particularly the extraction and bottling of orange juice, tangerines, and grapefruit. By their education programs and their hospital (Sanatorio Primavera) the community had proved to be very helpful to the native Paraguayans. The official corporate name in Paraguay was Sociedad Fraternal Hutteriana. It maintained a home and busi­ness office in Asuncion of 40 persons 1958.

In the mid-1950s several fund-raising trips to the United States resulted in a Bruderhof Movement expanding to North America, starting with Woodcrest in New York State, followed shortly by Oak Lake in Pennsylvania and Evergreen in Connecticut. The influx of new American members brought fresh inspiration to the movement. A spiritual crisis led to the closing of Primavera and all South American centers. The land of the former colony was purchased by the Friesland Colony.

In 2010 the Bruderhof returned to Paraguay, founding a small community in Asuncion called Villa Primavera.


Barth, Emmy. No Lasting Home: A Year in the Paraguayan Wilderness. Plough Publishing House 2009.

Fretz, J. W. Pilgrims in Paraguay. Scottdale, 1953: 53-59.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 398.

Oved, Yaacov.  “Una inmigración peculiar: la Sociedad de Hermanos en Paraguay y Uruguay.”  Estudios Interdisciplinarios de America Latina y El Caribe  3, No. 1 (June 1992).

Additional Information


Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Emmy Maendel
Date Published March 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and Emmy Maendel. "Primavera Hutterite Colony (Paraguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2008. Web. 18 Oct 2021.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der and Emmy Maendel. (March 2008). Primavera Hutterite Colony (Paraguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 October 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 219. All rights reserved.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.