Event—Public Programming

Stories from Mexican Hometown Associations

From the Leonard A. Lauder collection of Raphael Tuck & Sons postcards

From the Leonard A. Lauder collection of Raphael Tuck & Sons postcards

From the Leonard A. Lauder collection of Raphael Tuck & Sons postcards

Listen to an audio recording of this program.

Hometown associations, or clubes de oriundos, are organizations created by migrants and immigrants to allow them to assist the people in their communities of origin.

They began more than three decades ago with Mexican migrants in the United States who realized that their families and neighbors back home were going without essential services and infrastructure; the first hometown associations raised money and pooled donations to provide them.

Seeing the great value of these initiatives, officials in Mexico began to offer matching funds to multiply the efforts of their citizens abroad, beginning with Dos por Uno at the state level in 1992 and culminating with the federal government's Tres por Uno program inaugurated in 2002. These programs inspired similar efforts in many countries across Latin America, and have been adopted around the world as an important economic development strategy.

The Chicago Mexican Migrant Oral History Project is an effort to gather and preserve the testimony of the people in Chicago most directly involved in those efforts. The project unites the efforts of people in the migrant community with researchers at multiple universities and the staff of the Newberry Library. Together they have digitally recorded, annotated, and transcribed dozens of hours of interviews with club members detailing their personal histories, arrival and lives in Chicago, and the activities of their associations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The resultant archive, which will be held at the Newberry, will be an extraordinary record of representatives from the fastest-growing group of people in the Chicago area. As the project continues to grow, it will offer community members, researchers, public officials, and many others firsthand accounts of the lives, activities, and achievements of this dynamic group of Chicagoans.

This event brings together leaders of some hometown associations in the Chicago area, who have already contributed to the oral history project, to share their stories about the critical work and history of these organizations.


9:30 am Coffee

10 am Opening Remarks

  • Mr. Eduardo Niño, Consul for Community Affairs, Consulate-General of Mexico in Chicago
  • D. Bradford Hunt, Vice President for Research and Academic Programs, Newberry Library

10:15 Stories and Discussion

Download a PDF flyer for this event, to post and distribute.


Xóchitl Bada, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, is author of Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicacoagán: From Local to Transnational Civic Engagement and coeditor of Enforcing Rights Across Borders: The Case of Mexican Migrants. She is the currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Latin American Sociology.

A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Latinx Studies Program at Penn State, is author of Hotel: An American History. His current book project is Latino Landscapes: A Transnational History of Urban America Since 1950.

This event is cosponsored with the Penn State University Latinx Studies Program and the Newberry's program in Chicago Studies.

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.