YMCA Archives Logo
318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

YMCA INTERNATIONAL WORK IN LATIN AMERICA:
An Inventory of Its Records


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Historical Sketch | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Related Materials | Indexed Terms/Access Points


OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

Creator: YMCA of the USA. International Division.
Title: Records of YMCA international work in Latin America
Date: 1881-2000.
Collection Number: Y.USA.9-2-25
Abstract: Records of YMCA work in South America/Latin America include annual reports, convention reports, correspondence, financial records, histories, pamphlets, photographs, and newspaper clippings. The collection is comprised primarily of records of the South American Federation of Young Men's Christian Associations (later the Latin American Confederation or Consejo Latinoamericano de Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes), documenting YMCA work in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay, as well as the work of smaller YMCA movements in Belize, Bolivia, British Guyana, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua. Small files on YMCA work in the West Indies islands of Antigua, Aruba, Granada, St. Christopher, St. Maarten, Tobago, and Trinidad are also included.
Quantity: 12.8 cubic feet (17 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


HISTORY OF THE SOUTH/LATIN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF YMCAs

The South American Federation was established in 1914 in order to promote fellowship and coordination among the YMCA associations of South America, as well as to further expand the movement throughout the continent. The Federation, originally composed of nine member nations, was based in Montevideo, Uruguay and was headed by a Continental Committee or "Junta Continental."

Upon its establishment, the Federation was faced with a dilemma regarding the religious qualifications for YMCA membership due to South America's largely Roman Catholic population. It was determined that membership would be based both on the "Portland Basis," which required membership in an evangelical church, as well as on a personal basis for those who merely avowed their Christian faith, allowing both Catholics and those without a church affiliation to join the YMCA.

Early on, the Federation focused its efforts on expanding YMCAs in major urban areas and building on the YMCA's traditional four-fold mission to improve the spiritual, mental, social and physical condition of young men. Physical education and sports attracted new members to the associations, while religious activities like Bible study were less popular. The Federation also focused on recruiting South American intellectuals who often held little loyalty to the Catholic Church. Through lectures and publications written by prominent intellectuals, the Federation appealed to educated South Americans who held positions of power in government and business.

In addition to the South American Federation headquarters in Montevideo, the Federation operated the International Student Camp at Piriápolis, which hosted YMCA conferences and worked to foster international fellowship. Under the direction of Philip Arthur Conard, the Federation also established the Instituto Técnico in Montevideo in 1923 to train Latin American secretaries and physical education directors. The school's graduates, combined with the assistance of the South American Federation, allowed most associations to survive the years of the Great Depression, which resulted in drastic cuts in funding and staffing from the North American YMCAs.

In 1940, A. Hugo Grassi replaced Conard to become the first South American to serve as the General Secretary of the Junta Continental. Under Grassi's leadership, the Federation established new associations and constructed new YMCA buildings, increased South American leadership, and helped to put the Federation and local associations on a more stable financial footing. By 1950, there were 14 YMCA associations in South America that served 300,000 people and included over 26,000 active members.

The Federation was reorganized in 1962 to become the South American Confederation, which placed more emphasis on operations at a regional level. Also in 1962, the Confederation established the Christian Emphasis Program that sought to increase the religious purpose of the YMCA mission.

The South American Confederation was reorganized again in the early 1970s; large national federations such as Brazil and Argentina were permitted to have direct affiliation with the YMCA's World Alliance in 1971, and a new constitution was adopted in 1972 that allowed all Latin American nations to have representation in the new Latin American Confederation (Consejo Latinoamericano de Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes or CLACJ). In addition, the Confederation began to focus more attention on development missions and began to work in partnership with other international development organizations like USAID, which provided matching funds for YMCA projects in Latin America.

Following the late 1970s, the Latin American Confederation placed most of its attention on small and newly developed YMCA associations, rather than on more established associations that were administered by largely self-sustaining national federations.

Historical information largely adapted from the collection, as well as from World Service: A History of the Foreign Work and World Service of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States and Canada (New York: Association Press, 1957) by Kenneth LaTourette.



SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION

Records of YMCA work in South America/Latin America include annual reports, convention reports, correspondence, financial records, histories, pamphlets, photographs, and newspaper clippings. The collection is comprised primarily of records of the South American Federation of Young Men's Christian Associations (later the Latin American Confederation or Consejo Latinoamericano de Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes), documenting YMCA work in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay, as well as the work of smaller YMCA movements in Belize, Bolivia, British Guyana, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua. Small files on YMCA work in the West Indies islands of Antigua, Aruba, Granada, St. Christopher, St. Maarten, Tobago, and Trinidad are also included.

Reports and correspondence found in the collection were composed by senior secretaries of the Continental Committee, members of the North American YMCA's International Committee, as well as by senior secretaries of individual associations and national federations. The reports detail physical and religious education programs, student work, boys' work, staffing, budgets, international and continental conventions, and the personal correspondence of staff.

Records of special programs are also included in the collection. They include correspondence detailing the International Camp at Piriápolis, the Instituto Técnico, collaboration with the Peace Corps and USAID, and lectures and publications by Julio Navarro Monzó and John A. Mackay. The collection also includes diffuse correspondence detailing YMCA relations with the Catholic Church, political issues in Latin America, as well as ideological and administrative conflicts within the Confederation.



ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Records of YMCA International Work in Latin America. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed as part of Fast Processing Project II, March 2009, as collection FP049. Material has been minimally processed. Folder descriptions may be general and material has not been grouped into series.
Catalog Record ID number: 6336906


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

Box 1 Stadium Nacional de Montevideo, 1913.
Pamphlets, undated.
Physical Education reports, 1919-1930.
Reports of Continental Secretaries, 1914-1924.
Correspondence and reports, 1919-1922 and 1952. 5 folders.
Reports and miscellaneous, 1916-1971.
The Work of the Association, 1929.
Continental Committee, 1953-1954. 2 folders.
Uruguay Senior Secretary, 1953-1955.
Reports, 1947-1974.
Convention report, 1967.
Trinidad and Tobago, 1978-1985. 2 folders.
Antigua papers, 1972-1975.
Aruba papers, 1966-1988. 2 folders.
Latin American Confederation, 1980-1982.
Central America, 1914-1932. 2 folders.
British Guiana, 1942-1960.
British West Indies papers, 1957-1966.
Box 2 Correspondence and reports, 1911, 1925-1954 and 1961-1967. 18 folders.
St. Maarten, 1984-1990.
Santa Domingo Dominicana, 1985-1987.
Grenada, undated.
Guatemala, 1961-1967 and 1979-1990. 9 folders.
Guyana, 1980-1986.
Box 3 Correspondence and reports, 1910-1924 and 1928-1929. 11 folders.
General, 1919-1953.
"The Significance of the YMCA in South America," 1939.
Budgets and reports, 1938-1946. 2 folders.
Reports, 1946-1947 and 1951-1952. 4 folders.
Miscellaneous, undated.
Box 4 Correspondence and reports, 1955-1957. 5 folders.
Dwight O. Welch annual reports, 1957.
General, 1958.
Continental Convention, 1956-1957.
William E. Glenn annual reports, 1957-1960.
Continental Committee, 1956-1958.
Senior Secretary correspondence and reports, 1958-1962. 9 folders.
Convention annual reports, 1962.
Annual reports, 1962.
Box 5 Latin American meeting in Santiago, Chile, 1970.
Latin American Confederation meeting in Lima, Peru, 1973.
Latin America YMCA Peace Corps, undated.
Uruguay correspondence and reports, 1968 and 1971. 2 folders.
Latin American Confederation correspondence and reports, 1972-1976. 9 folders.
Correspondence and reports, 1977-1980. 5 folders.
Latin American Confederation Endowment Fund, 1973.
Punta del Este meeting in Uruguay, 1974.
Latin American-USA YMCA Consultation, 1974.
Latin American Confederation Pariápolis, 1974 and 1977.
Latin American Confederation publications, 1973-1980.
Nicaragua, 1981-1989.
Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of YMCAs constitution and archives reports, 1998-2000.
Box 6 Senior Secretary Tenth Constitutional Convention, 1957. 2 folders.
General, 1957-1964.
Consultation on Latin America in Washington D. C., 1962.
South American Confederation:
Box 6 Senior Secretary Executive Committee Directive of the Secretary General, 1963.
Senior Secretary Conference Record, 1964.
Senior Secretary Dr. Fernandez Arlt, 1961-1969. 2 folders.
Senior Secretary, 1954-1972. 10 folders.
Uruguay, 1970. 2 folders.
Prescot K. Johnson annual reports, 1963-1971.
Haiti, 1979-1980.
Honduras, 1970.
Honduras hurricane relief, 1974-1975.
Honduras, 1990.
Carribean papers, 1986-1988. 2 folders.
Latin America, 1984.
Box 7 Non-YMCA "The Christian Century," 1965.
"Continental," 1928-1930.
Campamento Internacional, 1913-1960.
Miscellaneous reports, 1919-1929. 2 folders.
Annual reports, 1952-1975. 2 folders.
"The Young Men's Christian Association in South America," 1955.
Employed Officers training manual, 1924. 2 folders.
Instituto Tecnico reports, 1922-1929.
Physical Work report, 1929.
Annual meetings, 1953-1956. 2 folders.
"Hombre, Ideología y Revolución en América Latina," 1965.
"Pariápolis: Hogar Espiritual de la Juventud Latinoamericana," 1926.
S. Wirt Wiley report, 1922.
The YMCA College, 1922-1931.
Pariápolis reports, 1939-1947.
Box 8 Reports, 1893-1919.
Guatemala annual reports by Charles M. Lewis, 1963-1966.
General, undated, 1900-1931 and 1965-1975. 6 folders.
Annual reports, 1908-1921.
Building projects, 1957.
Budgets and reports, undated, 1923-1937. 10 folders.
Box 9 Columbia papers, undated and 1962-1991. 6 folders.
Box 10 "The West Indian YMCA Bulletin," 1910-1917. 2 folders.
Jamaica, undated and 1979-1985. 2 folders.
Jamaica partnership with Toronto, 1985.
West Indies, undated, 1980 and 1983-1985. 3 folders.
Basseterre, St. Christopher, 1881-1888.
Antigua, 1987-1988.
Bahamas, 1984.
Belize, 1986 and 1988-1990. 4 folders.
Box 11 Jamaica, 1961-1983. 4 folders.
Box 12 Guatemala Capital Assistance Program, 1964.
Guatemala, 1958-1980. 4 folders.
Guyana, 1954-1966 and 1971.
Box 13 Bolivia reports, 1940s-1970. 2 folders.
La Paz, Bolivia, 1954-1962 and 1971-1982. 3 folders.
Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1964-1979.
Bolivia papers, 1967-1986. 2 folders.
Box 14 Dominican Republic papers, 1979, 1982-1987. 3 folders.
Ecuador papers, 1976-1979. 3 folders.
Ecuador Building and Capital Needs Quito, 1963-1967.
Ecuador Building and Capital Needs Guayaquil, 1967-1969.
Box S26 Colombia Building and Capital Needs, 1965-1968.
Colombia correspondence and reports, 1969-1979. 8 folders.
Box S20 South America Confederation reports, 1951-1978. 13 folders.
Box S15 Costa Rica papers, undated and 1957-1987.
Dominican Republic papers, 1964-1982 and 1988. 7 folders.
Dominican Republic report on Santo Domingo, 1969.
Remodeling Dominican YMCA camp, undated.
Ecuador correspondence and reports, 1963-1972 and 1983-1987.



RELATED MATERIALS

Records of YMCA international work in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela are separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.
Biographical information on many of the secretaries involved YMCA work in South and Latin America may be available in the YMCA Biographical Files, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.


INDEX TERMS

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Topics:
Young Men's Christian Associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian Associations -- Latin America.
Places:
South America.
Latin America.
West Indies.
Organizations:
Consejo Latinoamericano de Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes.
Federación Sudamericana de Asociaciones Cristianas de Jóvenes.
Instituto Técnico (Federación Sudamericana de Asociaciones Cristianas de Jóvenes, Montevideo, Uruguay).
International Committee of YMCAs. World Service.
Peace Corps (U.S.).
United States. Agency for International Development
Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.
YMCA of the USA. International Division.
Types of Documents:
Photographs.