Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


CONFEDERACIÓN DE ORGANIZACIONES MEXICANAS Y LATINO AMERICANAS. The Confederación de Organizaciones Mexicanas y Latino Americanas del Estado de Texas was founded at a state convocation of Texas-Mexican self-help organizations in Port Arthur on November 27, 1938. Its attempt to coordinate efforts of various groups in the state to improve the "moral, economic, and cultural betterment" of Mexicans place it as a historical bridge between the earlier mutual-aid societies (sociedades mutualistasqv) and the later civil-rights groups. Its original name was Confederación de Organizaciones Mexicanas, but it soon assumed a broader title to include state residents of Mexican descent born in either the United States or Mexico. The Mexican consuls in Houston and Galveston issued a call in July 1938 to Texas-Mexican organizations to a meeting called the Convención Regional de Organizaciones Mexicanas de las Jurisdicciones Consulares de Galveston, Beaumont, y Houston. Efforts were made to establish El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Española (Spanish-speaking Congress) to ensure basic rights for all Spanish-speaking people in the United States.

The Galveston convention participants set up a coordinating committee, which spent the remainder of the summer forming regional alliances that led to COMLA the following November. The committee contacted social, recreational, and other civic groups in all the consular districts around the state, including the Cruz Azul Mexicana, a women's charitable organization, hoping to bring all these groups under COMLA's banner. COMLA worked to improve the cultural life of Mexican children by organizing libraries and cultural enrichment programs. In Houston the organization took a slightly different name, La Federación de Sociedades Mexicanas y Latino Americanas. Under consul Luis L. Duplán it worked to improve its constituents' health, educational, and social conditions, in some cases cooperating with the Rusk Center (see SETTLEMENT HOUSES), a settlement school that provided social services to the Mexican immigrant community in the city. At one time FSMLA joined COMLA in temporarily removing signs posted in public places in Wharton that declared, "Mexicans not Allowed." COMLA held at least four annual conventions, beginning in 1938 and was considered somewhat successful for a time in addressing the Mexican community's major concerns. At what may have been its last annual convention in Galveston in 1941 it focused on the specific issue of segregation. FSMLA apparently lasted through World War II.


Arnoldo De León, Ethnicity in the Sunbelt: A History of Mexican-Americans in Houston (University of Houston Mexican American Studies Program, 1989).

Teresa Palomo Acosta

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Teresa Palomo Acosta, "CONFEDERACION DE ORGANIZACIONES MEXICANAS Y LATINO AMERICANAS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 02, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.