Alianza Hispano-Americana founded
On this day in 1894, the Alianza Hispano-Americana was founded in Tucson, Arizona, by Carlos I. Velasco, Pedro C. Pellón, and Mariano G. Samaniego, as a fraternal benefit society. It fanned out across the rest of the Southwest over the next sixteen years, spreading to Texas by June 1906. It grew into the biggest and best known of the Mexican-American sociedades mutualistas in the Southwest. AHA was set up to offer life insurance at low rates and provide social activities for Mexican Americans. Its goals were similar to those of other fraternal aid groups in the United States, which began to multiply in the late nineteenth century among European immigrants. When AHA was established, most United States citizens could not depend on government social security programs, labor unions, or commercial life insurance to provide economic assistance to a family upon the loss of the chief family provider, usually the father. Besides tendering such services, AHA, like other mutual-aid groups, also sought to preserve the culture of its constituents and taught its members democratic traditions, such as free speech, by involving them in organizational activities.Texas-based AHA lodges were established in major cities, such as San Antonio and El Paso, but there were some affiliates in such small towns as Luling and Lytton. Expansion into Texas and other Southwestern cities in the 1910s improved services to the immense Mexican immigrant population that had been driven across the border by the Mexican Revolution. After 1929 the establishment of the League of United Latin American Citizens cut Texas participation in the AHA, and the AHA faded away in the 1960s.