Visualizing early twentieth-century Mexican community formation

Mapping the Mexican Midwest

This map is best viewed on a desktop. If you are having trouble viewing the map, please click here.

How to use the map

  • Check boxes in the top right corner will allow you to select and deselect communities, churches, and consular organizations to control and focus your viewing experience.
  • To learn more about what a marker represents, click to reveal a popup.
  • The map groups institutions and orgs at wider zoom levels. Click numbered markers to zoom in and separate the concentrated markers.

Types of markers and explanations of their details

  • Communities marker: A concentration of Mexican residences further detailed by number of other Mexican neighborhoods nearby.
    • Metropolitan: a larger grouping of Mexican communities inhabiting multiple neighborhoods within and near the city limits of a major city. Only St. Louis, Kansas City, and Omaha are classified as metropolitan areas.
    • Urban: Densely populated cities with multiple industries and usually more than one Mexican neighborhood within its city limits.
    • Rural: Towns, farm communities, and labor camps often centered around one industry. Often this was either the railroad industry or sugar beet production.
  • Churches marker: A space, not always a church building, used for religious practice.
    • Nationality: This does not signify citizenship, but the assumed national origin of church members. Anglo is used here to demonstrate the assumption of white parishioners.
    • Denomination: Though a majority of ethnic Mexicans in the early twentieth century were nominally Catholic, ethnic Mexicans attended churches of the following denominations in the Lower Midwest: Catholic, Protestant, Christian, or Baptist.
  • Consular organizations marker: Includes consulates, Comisiones Honoríficas Mexicanas, and Brigadas de la Cruz Azul.
    • Consulates: Mexican diplomatic organizations established throughout the United States. Consulates performed a range of services often with the guiding principles that they should oversee the well-being of Mexicans abroad and maintain their connection to Mexico.
    • Comisiones Honoríficas Mexicanas: Mexican state-sponsored organization with local community leadership that was mandated to oversee the well-being of their Mexican compatriots.
    • Cruzes Azules: Women’s auxiliary organization that often provided social services to their Mexican compatriots.

Map made with the assistance of James Adams, Data and Visualization Librarian, Dartmouth College