Event Detail


A 45,000km Motorbike Odyssey across the Americas in search of the Menninites

Cameron Dueck
Thursday, 4 May 2023
Meeting Room 202, 2/F Duke of Windsor Social Services Building, 15 Hennessy Road, Wancha

Hong Kong-based writer and adventurer Cameron Dueck, a Mennonite himself, tells the extraordinary story of his 45,000 km motorcycle odyssey across the Americas to learn more about the Mennonite diaspora. Across Latin America, from the plains of Mexico to the jungles of Paraguay, lives a cloistered Germanic people who fled persecution in Europe, the Mennonites. For nearly a century, they have kept their doors and their minds closed, separating their communities from a secular world they view as sinful.

From skirmishes with secular neighbours over water rights in Mexico, to a mass-rape scandal in Bolivia, to the Green Hell of Paraguay and the wheat fields of Argentina, Cameron followed his ancestors south, finding reasons to both love and loathe his culture.

In this finely illustrated presentation, Cameron describes how land and geography defined the Mennonite migration story, and the history of his own family. From the Mennonite skill at draining swamps and turning barren land into rich farms, to the repeated “privilegium” granted by kings and queens, the Mennonite culture and story have been shaped by their hunger for land across numerous continents.

Cameron Dueck grew up in a Mennonite family on a remote farm in the Canadian Prairies and is now an international journalist, award-winning filmmaker and accomplished adventurer. His journalism career started in Chicago, moving on to New York City, followed by stint at Reuters as a correspondent in Singapore. Cameron, already an accomplished sailor, started his expedition career by sailing from Thailand to the Mediterranean, dodging pirates off the coast of Yemen and braving dust storms on the Red Sea, before setting off across the Atlantic Ocean. He then restarted his career in journalism, joining the South China Morning Post and then the Financial Times in Hong Kong. In 2009, he launched the Open Passage Expedition, setting sail for Canada’s Northwest Passage. The journey led to Cameron’s first book, an award-winning documentary film and an app, all titled The New Northwest Passage.

Cameron's articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Business Traveller Asia, the South China Morning Post and the Financial Times, among numerous other publications. He is also an engaging public speaker, having addressed audiences across North America and Asia.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others.

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to UBS as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

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