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 CocaCola, 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.
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.
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.
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.