Mexican migrants resided in different settings across the Lower Midwest that included urban and rural settings. You will find communities from the 1920s through the 1940s categorized by their geographic setting as follows:
- 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
The map identifies churches by their name, its denomination, and the national identity of the church. Often churches with Mexican parishioners were labeled as Mexican churches in city directors, by church authorities, and by the parishioners themselves. To show the complexity of church-going, I have also included churches with white or Anglo parishioners that also hosted Mexican church-goers. Unfortunately, the map does not identify the Anglo churches where white parishioners and church authorities segregated Mexican attendees to the back pews or basements during religious services.
Denominations include: Catholic, Protestant, Christian, or Baptist
The Mexican state established consulates and patriotic organizations throughout the Lower Midwest. Consular organizations not only include the Mexican consulates of Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri, but also the many Comisiones Honoríficas Mexicanas and Brigadas de la Cruz Azul. These organizations included Mexican nationals who often took up leadership positions in their respective communities. Organizations include:
- 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
About the sources
Research of Mexican consulates records at the Acervo Histórico Diplomático in Mexico City, the Works Progress Administration papers in state historical societies of Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas, and the Paul Taylor Papers at the Bancroft Library allowed for a large scan of Mexican communities in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. This research was then complemented with further exploration of consulate records at AHD and city directories and church records at state archives to identify ethnic Mexican institutions and community organizations in the Lower Midwest.