Onda Latina

The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

Nav: Home


The Mutual Aid Societies
Program #

Social Issues
Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Oct 7, 1976

The Mutual Aid Societies

Richard Goodman discusses how and why Mexican Americans formed mutual aid societies. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, when many Mexican Americans still lived in rural areas, life could be very precarious and insurance was a clear necessity. But because Anglo-owned insurance companies discriminated against them, they turned to each other and formed mutual aid societies. These societies were locally organized and run, although they could be part of larger chapters, and were not run for profit, as were the Anglo owned insurance companies. Instead all members received equal benefits for medical crisis, funerals or unemployment.

The societies’ funds came from monthly dues paid by each member and fundraisers held for families experiencing crisis. The organization itself provided financial assistance while individual members offered food and other support for member-families in need. While the inner-workings of the societies were often secret, they did create very strong bonds of community and loyalty.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

DIIA | © 2009 Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services