Meet the LeBaron living amongst the Maya

Quintana Roo, the home of the ancient Mormon family

Dozens of members of the Mormon community of Chihuahua, recently besieged by organized crime, and some of them, as polygamists have lived in small towns of Quintana Roo for more than 20 years. One of these communities is Chulavista, five kilometers from Pedro Antonio Santos on the Cancún-Chetumal highway and 10 kilometers from Bacalar.

There, about 20 families live, everyone knows each other, most of them from the north of the country, of American descent and with the surname LeBarón.

There are about 160 residents, including children and adults, dedicated to agriculture, masonry, carpentry and temporary work in the United States.

The other community is located in a small town of 60, called San Antonio Nuevo, near Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where two families, direct descendants of the founders of the Church of the Firstborn, founded in Chihuahua in 1955 presided over by Joel LeBarón, son of Alma LeBarón, an American defender of the original teachings of The Book of Mormon, such as plural marriage and blood atonement.

Huge Family

San Antonio Nuevo a tiny agricultural community,  hidden by the folliage of the jungle, populated by descendants of the Mayas, very few of whom speak Spanish. However, they live together, side by side, with other “campesinos” and their families, white, blond and blue-eyed, who speak English as well as Spanish, some even being able to communicate in the Mayan language.

And who lives there?

One of the families in this small town is Jaime LeBarón Hanson, a native of Chihuahua and son of Floren LeBarón, brother of the founder of the Church of the Firstborn and one of the first “12 apostles”.

Floren arrived in Quintana Roo in 1984 with his wives and children and settled down in a remote area in the middle of  the Quintana Roo jungle, the site today known as San Antonio Nuevo.

Floren was previously in Nicaragua, but he left as a result of the civil war and moved to Felipe Carrillo Puerto, with his wives and children, He settled in several remote places in the jungle, such as Xcon Ha and Punta Piedra. Years later, around 1994, Floren LeBarón moved to San Antonio Nuevo, where his son Jaime lives today.

The father of 14 children…

During their visit to San Antonio Nuevo five years ago, journalists found Jaime, who in addition to Spanish and English, spoke Mayan with a strong accent. He told them that he was determined to follow, at all costs, his beliefs and transmit them to his descendants, without evangelizing those around him.

He also recognized that he was the father of 14 children, but he refrained from talking about his wives saying, “I don’t like to voice my religion, I would rather refrain from saying anything, if I may”

In Southeast Mexico, Jaime LeBarón, now 43 years old, used to live in a small house made of wood and thatch, in a corner of the jungle, surrounded by cedar, mahogany and wild boars, accompanied by one of his wives and some of his children.

His house, although it was a “palapita“, as he said, features electric power, a refrigerator and other aspects of modern life. The family also owns a van and a motorbike. The other Mormon family lives in a concrete house with air conditioners built into the wall.

Photo: Central9

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



Comments

comments