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Records of YMCA International Work in Cuba

 Collection
Identifier: Y.USA.9-2-16

SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION

Includes correspondence, reports, and printed material, primarily concerning the YMCA in Havana, Cuba. A significant portion of the records consist of correspondence and documents concerning the finances and the 1941 closure of the YMCA, building projects, and world service. There are also small portions of records concerning assistance to Cuban refugees during the 1960s, and the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students held in Havana in 1978, to which the YMCA's World Alliance sent a delegate.

Dates

  • 1904-1979
  • Majority of material found within ( 1904-1941)

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Use of Materials:

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

HISTORY OF YMCA INTERNATIONAL WORK IN CUBA

In 1904, Joseph E. Hubbard was sent to Cuba to assist in establishing a YMCA. The Cuban Y was founded on May 12, 1905 in Havana. This Association served both Americans and Cubans. A building was rented, a gymnasium was opened, Bible classes were held, a boys' camp was facilitated, and Cubans were added to the board of directors.

Havana had difficulties raising money early on. In 1911, an effort was made, encouraged by a conditional offer of $75,000 from the YMCA International Committee, to obtain 150,000 in Havana for a new building. The Catholic bishop publicly attacked the project as Protestant, Spanish clubs were opposed, American business men were lukewarm and the campaign fell far from the goal. Hubbard was not discouraged and remained in Havana. In 1915 a building was erected with mostly money from the International Committee.

In 1921, Everett James Simonds replaced Hubbard. For a time the Havana Association continued to grow through the financial support of the Cubans. Simonds left in 1926. Cuban Luis Machado was president, but in general, able Cuban leadership was lacking, especially for the secretarial posts. Simonds was replaced by Herbert Watson Chaffee. Unfortunately, arguments about finances and revisions of the constitution arose between the Cubans and the North Americans. The building was in horrible shape and debts were accumulated. The depression struck and with it fell the economy. And for all of the above reasons the effort in Havana came to an unfortunate end. In 1941 the building was sold.

The following is a list of individuals who served as YMCA secretaries in Cuba, along with their dates of service:

Chaffee, Herbert Watson (1927-1932) MacLeod, John J. (1906-1908)
Davis, Charles (1923-1925) Mann, Frank H. (1905)
Garniss, George Winslow (1909-1919) Nuttle, Charles Howard (1909-1913)
Ghiselin, Samuel Brown (1909) Simonds, Everett James (1918-1925)
Hatch, Arthur L. (1919-1920) Thayer, Clarence Putnam (1920-1922)
Hubbard, Joseph Edward (1904-1919) Ward, Earle A. (1921-1925)
Historical information largely adapted and quoted from World Service: A History of the Foreign Work and World Service of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States and Canada, (New York: Association Press, 1957) by Kenneth Scott Latourette, and from the collection.

Extent

1.9 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)

Abstract

Correspondence, reports, and printed material, primarily concerning the YMCA in Havana, Cuba, mostly concerning the finances and the 1941 closure of the YMCA, building projects, and World Service.

Physical Location

See Detailed Description section for box listing.

RELATED MATERIALS

Biographical information on many of the secretaries involved in work in Cuba (see list of individuals in the historical note) is available in the YMCA Biographical Files, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

Processing Information:

Processed as part of Fast Processing Project II, August 2009, as collection FP031. Material has been minimally processed. Descriptions of box contents are very general.

Catalog Record ID number: 6258641
Title
YMCA INTERNATIONAL WORK IN CUBA:
Subtitle
An Inventory of Its Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Lara Friedman-Shedlov.
Date
2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-625-3445