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A Newspaper Urges Mexican Immigrants to Join a Mutual-Aid Society

This article, printed in a Spanish-language newspaper in New Mexico in 1904, urges readers to join the Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana, a mutual aid society, or mutualista, with branches in Arizona and New Mexico. The Alianza eventually became one of the biggest mutualistas in the United States, with branches in several states. The organization not only provided health and death benefits, but supported nascent labor organizing on the part of Mexican-American mineworkers.

During the last week a project was carried out rather successfully, for the purpose of organizing a lodge of the Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana, whose headquarters, or Supreme Lodge, is located in the city of Tucson, Arizona Territory.

There is no place in Arizona, no matter how small it might be, that has not established mutual societies. In New Mexico, unfortunately, among the Hispanic American people, it is entirely the opposite. It must be confessed that in Arizona our brothers [nuestros hermanos de raza] are ahead, inasmuch as they have arrived at the grand conclusion that in union there is strength, and from the societies proceeds the well-being and progress of the people.

The Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana has branches or lodges in Phoenix, Jerome, Congress, Tempe, Nogales, Yuma, Kofa, Clifton, Morenci, Metcalf, and other places that we do not recall in the territory of Arizona. In New Mexico they have finally been established in Silver City and Hillsboro, and there are hopes that many more might be established in different places.

This institution was established in Tucson, Arizona, in the year 1898 [1894]. The benefits which it offers are enormous, protecting the wife and children with $1,000 in case of the death of the member, and in the case of the death of the wife, $200 for a decent funeral. Besides these benefits there is weekly help of a doctor, medicine, and cash money.

It is a demonstrated fact that by means of societies our people progress, and the society which concerns us [La Alianza] is solidly based with the funds it holds in reserve, and has always met its contractual obligations punctually.

Every two years it has its conventions where all of the delegates of each lodge gather together to elect supreme officials, and to make whatever reforms might be necessary in the bylaws. The next convention will take place in Phoenix, capital of the territory of Arizona, and it is hoped that a large number of delegates will attend since the Lodge there is making great preparations to worthily recieve all the delegates.

Young people have never had a better opportunity than now to join a good society such as this. It costs them an extremely low monthly fee and we hope that all will make a good effort to join, in order that thus our people may be represented in a society that in every sense protects the interests of the Hispano-Americanos.

Source | "La Sociedad Alianza Hispano-Americana de Tuscon, Arizona," El Labrador, March 20, 1904, in Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans, ed. David J. Weber (Alberquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973), 252-3.
Creator | El Labrador
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | El Labrador, “A Newspaper Urges Mexican Immigrants to Join a Mutual-Aid Society,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 17, 2018, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/2201.

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