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The

origins of The American Society of Cali can be traced to a little known incident that occurred in the year 1938. In January of that year a U.S. navy ship called the "USS Taylor" docked in Buenaventura. The officers and sailors of the crew were invited to Cali to be entertained by the American community there. The person most involved in this kind invitation was a prominent American by the name of Ernest A. de Lima who had settled in Cali some years before and now lived there with his wife and three young children. One of the important results of this incident was the founding of the "American Association", established by Ernest to properly attend to future affairs of this kind. This was the first American Association of its kind ever formed in Latin America. The "Association" continued through the war years, but with Ernest´s death in 1953, it faded away.

In the mid 50´s the Cali area saw a considerable influx of American citizens and their families as a result of the increased investment by U.S. companies in manufacturing plants, especially in the industrial zone, north of the city. As an indirect result of this change, a group of American businessmen along with the support of their Colombian counterparts revived the idea of an organization of this type and founded The American Society of Cali in 1957. Some of the people involved were: Scott Jeffrey of Colgate, Anthony Dimino from Quaker, Howard Temple from Coca˜Cola, Norman Guy from Home Products, Roy Davis from Goodyear, Frank Carter from Carton de Colombia and Ernesto de Lima from DeLima & Co. who is still an active member today.

The original membership was almost exclusively American. There was no initiation fee and the annual dues were 150 pesos. By 1969 U.S. citizens made up about 60% of the membership. Over the years since then considerable change has taken place to the point where today the membership is about 91% Colombian, 6% U.S. citizens and 3% other foreign nationals.

The American Society of Cali is perhaps the most enduring organization of its kind in this beautiful city. It continues to attract men and women who are leaders in the community. The objectives of the Society are to integrate the Colombian and international community resident in the Cali area, to strengthen relations between Colombia and the U.S., to promote business and social development in the Valle del Cauca, to organize and participate in programs of social interest to its members and to engage in such charitable work as the facilities and funds of the Society permit.

The Board of Directors consists of sixteen members, both men and women, who organize activities throughout the year including visits to factories and other organizations, conferences of political, social and business interest, social events, sports and cultural events and activities related to the U.S. Embassy.

The Board of Directors thanks its loyal members for their support over the years and extends a warm welcome to those members of the Cali community who would like to join us in our various activities which we are sure you will find both interesting and enriching

 

December 2007 address to the members and guests at the year end celebration of the 50th anniversary of The American Society of Cali.
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