ALAMOSA — The Colorado Field Institute will host a winter lecture on La Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27th, in Porter Hall, Room 130, on the Adams State University Campus, 208 Edgemont, Alamosa.
Ever driven by the lovely white stucco building in Antonito and wondered, what is S.P.M. D. T. U.? Well, here’s your opportunity to find out. Join Rogelio Briones, Consejero (Advisor) to the La Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU — Society for the Mutual Protection of United Workers) as he leads a panel of other Board members in a presentation of the history, current activities and future plans of the SPMDTU.
The SPMDTU was founded in 1900 by Celedonio Mondragon, among a core group of supporters in Antonito, in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. The SPMDTU began as an organization that sought, through non-violent actions, to combat the exploitation of Hispanic workers and property owners. After World War II the SPMDTU had more than 1,500 members. The SPMDTU had concilios locales (local councils or chapters) in forty-one towns in Colorado, thirty-six in northern New Mexico, and three in Utah. The SPMDTU is the oldest surviving Hispanic organization in the United States and is still active.
The original SPMDTU Concilio Superior (Headquarters) meeting hall is located on the west side of Antonito’s main street. Built in 1926, the SPMDTU building is listed on both the State Register of Historic Properties and the National Register of Historic Places, and is still used as the meeting place for the Concilio Superior Board of Directors. Efforts are underway to restore and preserve the historic structure.
Rogelio Briones joined the SPMDTU in 1978 and served two-terms as Presidente Superior from 2000 to 2004. Rogelio is an artist and a retired art educator, married to Donna with four children and seven grandchildren.
The Colorado Field Institute is a nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 to promote greater stewardship of the natural and cultural resources within the San Luis Valley. For more information on this event, email us at [email protected]