La Alianza Hispana


La Alianza Hispana was begun in 1968 by Ana Maria Rodríguez, teacher of English as a second language at the Winthrop Elementary School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Noticing the impoverished conditions of her Latino students, Rodríguez, along with fellow teacher Betsy Tregar, started meeting at Denison House in Roxbury with Latino parents to begin addressing their needs. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Latino community of Boston became very active in the city's civic, social, and political life. Primarily residing in the South End, Roxbury, and Dorchester, Latinos began organizing to advocate for their civil rights and access to social services. La Alianza Hispana was the first Latino organization of the Roxbury/North Dorchester area of Boston.

The Collection

The records of La Alianza Hispana document the founding, administration, and programs of this pioneering Latino social service agency; its personnel and financial operation; its fund-raising activities; and its role within the Latino community from 1969 and in the Boston community at large. Some of the materials, particularly those from the 1970s, are in Spanish.

A highlight of the collection is the material on the agency's past and current programs, including adult education, housing, youth development, elder services, business development, counseling, and public health. Also of special interest is the proposal submitted to Model Cities for the establishment of a multi-service center for the Spanish-speaking. Other highlights are the materials on outside organizations, which documents La Alianza Hispana's relationship with other community and governmental agencies and La Alianza Hispana's role in furthering Latino interests and needs; and the resource files on Latino population, culture, and society. These reference materials were collected by La Alianza Hispana to provide a social and historical context in order to better meet their clients' needs.

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