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Meets the Core Curriculum Education Standards!

Want to share YOUR story or read from others? Join the Mormon Colonies in Mexico Wiki

Plateau Colonies
Colonia Diaz
Colonia Juárez
Colonia Dublán
Mountain Colonies
Colonia Pacheco
Cave Valley
Colonia García
Colonia Chuichupa
Sonora Colonies
Colonia Morelos
Colonia Oaxaca
• Colonia San José &
• the tiny ones, too.

Key Events
• Establish
• Expulsion
Exodus and their
• Eventual Return


The Storyteller

Pamela Jo Bowman

Email the producer if you would like to share images of your ancestors in Mexico or their journals and letters.


Historical Documentary about
the families who settled the Mountain West.

FROM 1880:   An exciting and captivating historical documentary about the families who migrated from Mountain West (Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) to settle the Mormon colonies in Mexico. This 90-minute DVD highlights the struggles, hardships, and uncertainties that the men and women faced when they fled the recently acquired U.S. territories to establish homes in a foreign country and culture. Seeking to avoid prosecution and imprisonment, these families overcame many obstacles to build a land of refuge.

THRU REVOLUTION:   The advent of the Mexican Revolution drove most of the families back across the border and led to the rapid development of the Rocky Mountain Corridor. The film also reveals the value of the colonies to the competing revolutionary factions and the special relationship Pancho Villa had with the colonists.

TO PRESENT:   Today, Colonia Dublan and Colonia Juarez, two of the original Mormon communities still exist and thrive. The resilient citizens have learned through centuries of struggle that when they work together and are united, they are strengthened and can achieve anything. This DVD follows the historical events that began in the 1880’s, reveal how these settlements have endured to modern times and how they appear today.

Based on the actual journals, interviews with settlers, their descendants and historical documents, you will witness the lives of the colonists through their words and actual photographs. Many of the photographs of the escape, exodus and repatriation have never seen before. Present-day footage of the surviving colonies provides a unique glimpse at this important period in American history.

Read what viewers are saying about
Documentary DVD

Aunts Lived There & They Loved It
I wanted to let you both know how much my aunts loved the DVD. They were going on about how interesting and informative it was! They found out stuff even they didn't know, and they lived there! All 3 of my aunts have watched it and now my mom has it. They said you guys did a great job and it was fantastic. Congratulations on a wonderful product! — Robbie B., Tulsa, Oklahoma
Great Job Capturing Forgotten History
We received our dvd yesterday and watched it last night. Your group who produced it did a super excellent job of telling a piece of Mormon history that is largely forgotten by the church historians. The telling of the hardships that this group of Saints went through and how they endured to make the communities that still exist and are a part of northern Mexico was long overdue. It brought back memories of our visit there. I hope someday to return for another visit. GREAT JOB!!! — Jeff & Ruth P., Harrisville, Utah
Learned Even More than Dad Shared
Received the LAND OF REFUGE DVD and it is wonderful. We learned a lot more about the Colonies than Dad has shared with us over the years (or maybe we are at an age when it means more to us now). Congratulations on a job well done! I would like to order three additional copies for members of our family. — Dale P., La Habra, CA
Re-Read Grandmother's Story Until 2 a.m.
Thank you so much!! I so appreciate all of your work on this project. After I watched the DVD last night, I sat up until 2 AM re-reading my grandmother’s lifestory. — Joann M., Safford, AZ
Send Me More!
I would like to order six (6) more copies of "The Land of Refuge". So excited! I'll be anxiously awaiting to hear from you. — Virginia R., El Paso, Texas
Enjoyed Screening & Appreciate Research
Just want to tell you how much we enjoyed the screening. Several of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents were seen and quoted on your film. I can't imagine the amount of research it must have taken. I would like a list of your references. I would like to know which of the groups of saints my ancestors came with. Thanks again. — Marjie V., Mesa, Arizona
DVD Helps Remember Families and Contributions
I learned quite a bit from the video. My grandfather, Walter L. Scott was born & raised in Colonia Juarez. His father was Robert Logan Scott. He was a teenager when the outmigration took place, and ended up in Salt Lake. He would attend the Spanish branch periodically here in Salt Lake all his life, to make sure his Spanish was up to snuff. He passed away in the 1960’s, but prior to his passing the family took him back to Colonia Juarez. He showed everyone where his family lived, and many other sites that he remembered. He hadn’t been back since he left as a teenager. There were still people there that he remembered, and that remembered him.
When the temple was built there, my brother and I furnished and installed the chairs in the ordinance rooms. It was an incredible experience just to be in the land of our roots. Thanks for all your work – the videos are now a family heirloom. My kids are one more generation removed from the colonies, but I don’t want them to forget. — Wally S., Salt Lake City, Utah
Great Screening
My friend (and distant cousin) Miki Scott went to see the film with her friends. They say it was great and were very excited to hear some of their own relatives comments quoted etc. I can't wait to see it too. I will show it to my grandmother in California. I think she'll enjoy it since her mom and aunts and uncles always talked about their life in Diaz. Have a great day. — Steve D., Coolidge Arizona
Great DVD & Christmas Gift
Just viewed the DVD. It was great! Is it possible to get this order shipped immediately as we will be leaving town and want to take them with me for Christmas presents in Utah. — Joanne M., Safford, Arizona
Grandmother Was Monumental Influence
My grandmother was a practical nurse and midwife in the Mormon colonies. The DVD was a monumental undertaking and you did an excellent job. — Nancy R., Mesa, Arizona
Done the World a Great Service

I just wanted to take a moment to personal thank you, Pamela, and those who worked with you to make this documentary. Professionally I teach philosophy (am trying to write a dissertation now!), and issues of community in political philosophy are one of my personal interests. The documentary's disclosure of the history of the colonists was absolutely fascinating in this regard. The Mormon establishment in the Inner-Mountain West generally, and this off-shoot exodus in particular is unquestionably one of the grand epic events of community building in recent history. The caliber of your documentary was more than I expected, and did a fantastic job shedding light on this particular aspect.

In capturing this bit of history, I think you've done the world a great service. I was particularly moved by your interviews with those who could still remember something of life in the original colonies. Given their age, I don't imagine they will be around much longer to speak of it--in this regard it reminds me of the service Greg Prince did in conducting interviews with those who served with or well knew President McKay. You've amassed a treasure trove.

Personally, I want to thank you for what the video does for me religiously. A connection to our heritage, its greatness in the midst of serious trials, ambiguities, and uncertainties is one of the things that most firmly roots me in my faith. While I knew something of the colonies, particularly the Eyring family, I had never taken the time to look into it. Not only was it wonderful to see your documentary, it has inspired a great deal of curiosity in me; I hope to read more about the colonies in the future.

Again, my thanks for seriously undertaking a project that has certainly been a blessing to me, and which I trust will be our blessing to our whole community. I look forward to your next production,

James Olson
Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy
Georgetown University
Alexandria, VA


The Mormon Colonies in Mexico
Photographic Collection

Handsomely bound book with a collection of photographs from the Mexican Colonies as they are today (sold separately). These choice images reflect the sights that the colonists fondly remember. The pictures are select choices of the photographer, Christopher Isaac Bowman. They include historical landmarks, landscapes, and sights familiar to all who have lived, visited or have listened to the rich history of the land of refuge, the Colonies of Mexico. (Photo credit above: Juarez Temple at Night, Courtesy of Marvin and Gay Longhurst, Colonia Dublán)

Release date to be announced.


Music of the Colonies

guitar playersOne of the many enduring qualities of the Land of Refuge is the music of Mexico. As the Latter-day Saints became acquainted with the traditions of their adopted land they discovered their common love of music. It was not long before the people embraced and expanded their musical tastes to include the Mexican traditional music. This CD (sold separately), includes music that is sung at the campfires, around the hearths, at graveside services and wedding parties. These songs tug at the hearts of all colonists bringing recollections with fondness for their home. The artists, Christopher H. Bowman and Wesley Michael Bowman resonate the sound of both cultures.

Release date to be announced.