Alliance of Pan American Round Tables (also known as the Alizanza de Mesas Redondas Panamericanas, 1916-) is a women's organization which was founded to create networks among the people of the western hemisphere and represent each republic within the Americas. Initially a local organization, founded in Texas, it spread to statewide chapters with a parenting body in 1921. In 1944, with expanded international ties the Alliance was formed to unite the outreach of the various chapters. The non-partisan, non-sectarian NGO provides educational and cultural outreach programs.
The Pan American Round Table (PART) was founded by Florence Terry Griswold in San Antonio, Texas on October 16, 1916. The impetus to found the organization was Griswold's concern for women and children refugees of the Mexican Revolution and the need to help them and better understand their lives. She believed that an apolitical and nonsectarian, with no commercial purpose nor alignment with any national government could help build bridges between nations that businessmen and politicians were unable to foster due to their motivations. If women could develop an understanding and cooperation among themselves, on the concept of the Round Table equality, she thought that they could influence men to do the same. Calling the inaugural meeting at the Menger Hotel, the charter members, besides Griswold were Mary Burleson Bee (Mrs. Carlos); Ella Dancy Dibrell (Mrs. Joseph Burton Dibrell); Anna Hertzberg (Mrs. Eli Hertzberg); Olivia Nolte (Mrs. Walter Nolte); Mary Pancoast (Mrs. Aaron C. "A. C." Pancoast); among others.
Griswold served as the first director and in 1921, the second chapter opened in Laredo and later that same year, Eugenia Schuster opened the branch in El Paso. In 1922, the chapter in Austin, as well as the state organization were founded. Griswold founded the state organization and became the first State Director to coordinate the activities of the various branches. Round Tables in other countries followed with the first branch established in Mexico City in 1928. In 1936, Ángela Acuña de Chacon founded the first branch in Costa Rica at San Jose and the following year, the Dallas chapter was founded by Katherine S. Robinson (Mrs. Stone J. Robinson).
In the early 1940s, Emma Gutiérrez Suárez joined the Mexican branch. She would later become the chapter's National Director. Upon Griswold's death in 1941, Robinson became the State Director and Nolte proposed that a scholarship, named in Griswold's honor be granted annually for young Latin American women wanting to further their education in the United States to enable them give back to their home country upon completion of their schooling. In 1944 the international body, the Alliance of Pan American Round Tables (Spanish: Alizanza de Mesas Redondas Panamericanas) was founded in Mexico City with Robinson as the first international Director General. By 1946 a Cuban branch had been formed and by the time of the organization's fiftieth anniversary, there had been chapters created in all of the countries of the Americas except, Canada, Haiti and Venezuela.
The Alliance's "Director Generals"
|Years of Service||Image||Name||Countries||Notes/ Details|
|1944–1947||Katherine S. Robinson||United States||elected in Mexico City|
|1947–1951||Mrs. Maurice V. Hugo (Mary Lois)||Mexico||elected at the Havana, Cuba Convention of 1947|
|1951–1953||Olimpia Varela y Varela||Panama||elected at the Dallas, Texas Convention of 1951|
|1953–1955||Dixie E. Waltrip||United States||elected at the Monterrey, Mexico Convention|
|1955–1958||Ola C. Hendrix||United States||elected at the Porto Alegre, Brazil Convention|
|1958–1962||Ottilia de Oliveira Cháves||Brazil||elected at the El Paso, Texas Convention of 1958 and reelected at the 1960 Guatemala Convention|
|1962–1966||Emma Gutiérrez Suárez||Mexico||elected at the Mexico City Convention of 1962 and reelected at the 1964 Lima, Peru Convention|
|1966–1968||Madeline Clark Nelson||United States||elected at the San Antonio, Texas Convention of 1966|
|1968–1972||Carmen de Recalde||Nicaragua||elected at the Managua, Nicaragua Convention of 1968 and reelected at the 1970 Mexico City Convention|
|1972–1976||Carmen Luz Calero de Barrionuevo||Peru||elected at the Panama City, Panama Convention of 1972 and reelected at the 1974 Albuquerque, New Mexico Convention|
|1976–1978||Maxine C. Guerra||United States||elected at the Lima, Peru Convention of 1976|
|1978–1982||Ruth García Barna de del Puerto||Mexico||elected at the Fort Worth, Texas Convention of 1978 and reelected at the 1980 Acapulco Convention|
|1982–1984||Esperanza Bermudes de Morales||Nicaragua||elected at the El Paso, Texas Convention of 1982|
|1984–1986||Sara R. de García Jaramillo||Peru||elected at the McAllen, Texas Convention of 1984|
|1986–1988||Helena Torres Muga Richards||United States||elected at the Cancun Convention of 1986|
|1988–1990||Rebeca Osuna Westrup||Mexico||elected at the Guadalajara Convention of 1988|
|1990–1992||Mila de Coquis||Peru||elected at the Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia Convention of 1990|
|1992–1994||Gladys N. Simpson||United States||elected at the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Convention of 1992|
|1994–1996||Delia Pérez de Plata||Mexico||elected at the Miami, Florida Convention of 1994|
|1996–1998||Ursula Wille||Bolivia||elected at the Puebla, Mexico Convention of 1996|
|1998–2000||Carmen Robinson Guerra||United States||elected at the Lima, Peru Convention of 1998|
|2000–2002||Luchy de Elias||Dominican Republic||elected at the Puerto Rico Convention of 2000|
|2002–2004||Fabiola García de Steffanoni||Mexico||elected at the Monterrey, Mexico Convention of 2002|
|2004–2006||Norma Ríos de Flores||Peru||elected at the Cordoba, Argentina Convention of 2004|
|2006–2008||Peggy Lasater Clark||United States||elected at the Corpus Christi, Texas Convention of 2006|
|2008–2010||Martha Ofelia Martínez de Calderón||Mexico||elected at the San Jose, Costa Rica Convention of 2008|
|2010–2012||Ana Maria Acuña de Macedo||Argentina||elected at the Mérida, Mexico Convention of 2010|
|2012–2014||Elsie Perez||United States||elected at the Buenos Aires, Argentina Convention of 2012|
|2014–2016||Maria Eva Muñoz de Manzarraga||Mexico||elected at the Lima, Peru Convention of 2014|
|2016–||Nhury Gutiérrez Vilches||Chile||elected at the San Antonio, Texas Convention of 2016|
The present day organization has around 1,400 chapters with each operating as an autonomous entity with their own governing documents. Most chapters provide educational programs and financial aid packages for Latin American students, as well as cultural programs. In 1991, the Florence Terry Griswold Endowment Fund was created to maintain its scholarship program in perpetuity. The 100th Anniversary of the organization was held with their biennial convention in San Antonio, Texas from October 26 to 29, 2016.
The archival records of the organization were housed in Mexico City until the 1970s. In 1977, the member of the Mexico City PART chapter who was housing them at her home, brought a discussion for a permanent archive. Because the Bylaws of the Alliance required that Mexico City was required to maintain the archive, formal amendment of the governing documents had to occur. In 1978, the proposal to found a permanent archive was suggested at the convention held in Fort Worth, Texas and approved. In 1979, the records were transferred to the University of Texas at Austin library.
- Frantz 2010.
- Trotter 1967.
- The El Paso Herald-Post 1976, p. 6.
- Ruíz Ibañez 1966, p. 73.
- Wallace 1948, p. 20.
- Alvarez 2015.
- Carroll, H. K., ed. (1951). Anglo-American Directory of Mexico. Mexico City, Mexico: Talleres Tipográficos de "Excélsior". p. 105. OCLC 1481159.
- The Deming Headlight 1962, p. 13.
- Panamericana Texana 2016, p. 4.
- Rosales 2006, p. 340.
- Valenzuela 2016.
- Alvarez, Carla O. (2015). "Alliance of Pan American Round Tables Records". Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Libraries. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Frantz, Helen B. (June 15, 2010). "Pan American Round Table". Handbook of Texas Online. Denton, Texas: Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Rosales, F. Arturo (2006). Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History. Houston, Texas: Arte Publico Press. ISBN 978-1-61192-039-0.
- Ruíz Ibañez, Manuel (13 March 1966). "La Primera Licencia de Aviacion". The Express and News (in Spanish). San Antonio, Texas. Retrieved 31 December 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Trotter, Mrs. Clyde P. (February 7, 1967). Pan American Round Table Movement (Speech). Meeting of the Pan American Round Table One, Spring Valley Country Club. Dallas, Texas: Pan American Round Tables of Texas Interchange Library. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Valenzuela, Liliana (April 4, 2016). "100 years of cultivating sisterhood in the Americas". Austin American-Statesman. Austin, Texas. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Wallace, Mary V. (October 3, 1948). "Pan American Round Table, Club of the Week, Studies Peoples, Arts, to Better Relations". Brownsville, Texas: The Brownsville Herald. p. 20. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "2016-2018 Alliance Directors" (PDF). Panamericana Texana. Houston, Texas: Pan American Round Tables of Texas. 39 (4): 4. Fall 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "Distinghished (sic) Guest addresses Deming Pan American Round Table". Deming, New Mexico: The Deming Headlight. 26 April 1962. Retrieved 31 December 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Round Table to Honor Mrs. Schuster". El Paso, Texas: The El Paso Herald-Post. January 14, 1976. p. 64. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via Newspaperarchive.com.